Very few times, and almost near impossible does a program strike gold back to back with their coaching hires. Only the very privileged few college football programs have long term consistent success with back to back coaches. Today we are going to bring you the top five back to back coaching hires. If you look at the above image, you see two guys that have brought major entertainment to not only the SEC West, but all of college football. This is where we start out…
#5. LSU: Nick Saban 2000-2004 and Les Miles 2005-2016
Together at LSU
- Two National Championships (2003 & 2007)
- Five SEC Championships
- 76% Winning Percentage
- 10-6 Bowl Games
- 16 Straight Bowl Appearances
At one time LSU employed the greatest head coach in modern day college football for five seasons in Nick Saban, and when he departed they found a solid replacement with the Mad Hatter. It is hard to believe that LSU gave away a coach that was 114-34 in his thirteen seasons at LSU. Whenever you think of consistent winning the past two decades, LSU football has to come to mind. One could dare to say that LSU would be the consistent king of the SEC if Nick Saban wasn’t in the conference, and Miles would still be on top.
#4. Miami: Jimmy Johnson 1984-1988 and Dennis Erickson 1989-1994
Together at Miami
- Three National Championships (1987, 1989, 1991)
- Three Conference Championships (Joined the Big East in 1991)
- 11 Straight Appearances to modern NY6 Bowl Games
- 6-5 Bowl Record
- 115-18 Total Record
- 86% Winning Percentage
This duo would be a lot higher on the list if they had a longer tenure at Miami. But when the Dallas Cowboys come a knockin you go out rockin. Or if you are Dennis Erickson if the NCAA is about to come knockin, you definitely bail rockin. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Miami was everyone’s favorite team to hate because they were that good. The numbers speak for themselves for why this duo is in the top five.
#3. Jim Tressel 2000-2010 & Urban Meyer 2012-Present****
Together at Ohio State
- Two National Championships 2002 & 2014
- Seven Conference Championships
- 85% Winning Percentage
- 8-6 Bowl Record
Notice the asterisk beside these two? Jim Tressel was forced out three weeks before the 2011 season, and interim Luke Fickell took over that season. Not necessarily a real hire from the Buckeyes, as he was not a long term option. The real hire they came across currently only has six losses in the past four seasons. Since 2000 the Buckeyes are living on cloud nine and enjoying major success. The Buckeyes are currently so spoiled from the success that a multiple loss season at this point is considered a disappointment.
#2. FSU: Bobby Bowden 1976-2009 & Jimbo Fisher 2010-Present
Together at Florida State
- Three National Championships (1993, 1999, 2013)
- Fifteen Conference Championships
- 27-11-1 Bowl Record
- 77% Winning Percentage
- Have not missed a post season bowl game since 1980
Florida State has definitely struck gold with these two. If there was a Mt. Rushmore for college football coaches, Bobby Bowden would definitely be on there. Many thought it would take one sacrificial lamb after Bowden until they found the right coach, but Jimbo Fisher transitioned well. There is a chance that these two combined would last well over half a century. No other college football program now or in the future will probably see this type of consistency.
#1. Nebraska: Bob Devaney 1962-1972 & Tom Osbourne 1973-1997
Together at Nebraska
- Five National Championships (1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997)
- 16 Conference Championships
- 18-16 bowl record
- 83% Winning Percentage
The one stat that put this duo above the second placed duo is the national championship one. Nebraska fans have been going through tough times lately but if you are a Cornhusker fan, there is nothing like reminiscing the 70s, 80s and 90s! The amount of success these two coaches had back to back are almost unspeakable.
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