Top 5 College Coaches that belonged in the NFL

NoVA Buckeye's picture
March 30, 2013 at 1:45a
10 Comments

The NFL is known for college coaches that were bad NFL coaches, but what about the other way around? Some aren't familiar with the idea, but these people exist. Let's get with the countdown, and if there are any I missed, let me know in the comments. Okay, here we go:

5. Bill Callahan - Nebraska

Bill Callahan was a terrible hire by Nebraska followed by a terrible firing of FRUG Solich, which ultimately set back Nebraska miles and they're still recovering. Bill Callahan is low on my list because he wasn't a great NFL coach to begin with. Let's look at the records and they speak for themselves:

OAKLAND RAIDERS

2002: 11-5, lost Super Bowl

2003: 4-12, missed playoffs

NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS

2004: 5-6 (3-5), missed bowl game

2005: 8-4 (4-4), won Alamo Bowl

2006: 9-5 (6-2), lost Cotton Bowl

2007: 5-7 (2-6), missed bowl game

The first thing you notice off the bat is that his first season as a head coach, he reached the Super Bowl. This had mostly to do with it being Jon Gruden's team that he had already developed prior and just simply having Rich Gannon at quarterback. 2003 was a disaster as Callahan was accused of throwing games and was fired. Ironically, Callahan is the last Raider HC to ever have a winning record.

The Nebraska days were up and down, but mostly down. He had two bowl games during his tenure, but the abysmal in-conference record almost speaks for itself. The 2007 season had a hilarious preseason and never seemed to go right and it ended with a bad loss to the Colorado Buffalos which caused Callahan's firing.

Nowadays, Callahan is the OC for the Dallas Cowboys, which actually explains a lot if you think about it. Moving on...

4. Bruce Arians - Temple

Most people forget that Bruce Arians was once the HC of the Temple Owls. Most people also forget that Bruce Arians was the OC for the Browns the last time they made the playoffs. Small world.

Bruce Arians' college record at Temple is abysmal by many means. 21-45 was the combined record of Arians' teams at Temple, and that does not include the scandal-ridden 1986 season where they had to forfeit 6 wins due to having an ineligible player on their roster. Temple never qualified for a bowl under Arians. (Keep in mind, he coached there between 1983 and 1988)

In the NFL, a lot remains to be seen as a head coach. In less than one full season, Arians guided Indianapolis to the playoffs last year and will now be taking over in the desert for the Cardinals, who have much more issues than the Colts did. This one's a wait-and-see, but considering Arians won more games in 12 games at Indy than he did in a season at Temple, he gets a spot ahead of Callahan. Speaking of seasons...

3. Charlie Weis - Notre Dame, Kansas

Charlie Weis belongs in the NFL, he just doesn't know it.

While Weis has never been a head coach in the NFL, he insists on taking college HC jobs. After being a highly touted Bill Belichik assistant (red flag #1), he was brought up in HC searches because of his "decided schematic advantage." The first job he took was the Notre Dame job, which started off smoothly before a 3-9 crotch shot that he still managed to survive through, but it didn't get much better as back-to-back 6-loss seasons guided him out the door. He had an overall record of 35-27 at Notre Dame.

Following his firing, he went BACK to the NFL, where he became the OC for the Chiefs and guided them to the playoffs. Shortly afterwards, Weis left for the Florida OC job, where the Gators went 6-6 and Weis then left because Kansas somehow thought he was the best option they had.

1-11 folks, and he's still employed! Charlie, do everyone a favor and stay in the NFL. Please.

Our next guy also belongs as an offensive coordinator...

2. Jim Caldwell - Wake Forest

Jim Caldwell had exciting offenses at Wake Forest! They set numerous school passing records (which have since been broken) and were exciting! Sports! Unfortunately, Caldwell's Demon Deacons couldn't run the ball nor play good defense. Dear Old Wake Forest was not sad to let him go and he has never been seen in Winston-Salem since.

Caldwell had a career record of 26-63 (12-52 ACC) in Winston-Salem and was 1-0 in the postseason (a win in the Aloha Bowl)

His NFL record is highly questionable, too. He had two good first seasons as an HC, but that was because of Peyton Manning. His year without Manning was a disaster as he went 2-14 and was promptly fired.

This past season, Caldwell was promoted to OC for the Ravens and got his second ring. HIS SECOND RING. You know who else has two Super Bowl rings? Our top spot.

1. Bill Parcells - Air Force

The Tuna isn't known for staying at one place for too long, in fact, there was one brief stint at the beginning of his coaching career that I'm sure he would like to forget: a 3-8 season in Colorado Springs in 1978.

Some argue that Parcells is one of the greatest coaches of all-time and has compiled an overall record of 172-130-1 in New York (both Giants and Jets), New England, and Dallas. He won two Super Bowls with the Giants.

But that season with the Falcons? Yikes. He should be glad most people don't remember it.

HONORABLE MENTION

Jon Embree - Colorado

Walked into an awful mess left by Dan Hawkins and was fired two years later, sparking an ethnical controversy.

Comments

BuckeyeChief's picture

Good list, especially Tuna. I am a huge Giants fan, but after reading his bio, and then Joe Gibbs, I think Parcells is a jack @$$...Gibbs really impressed me.

 

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

RBuck's picture

No Paul Brown?

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

NoVA Buckeye's picture

This list is for BAD college coaches that came from the NFL
Paul Brown's national title is preventing his ranking on this list

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

RBuck's picture

Gotchya.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

Maffro's picture

Jon Gruden should preemptively be on this list since it seems like that dude is somehow rumored to be on every AD's wish list for some reason despite not coaching at any level of college football in 20 years.
 

NoVA Buckeye's picture

He never went to college to become a HC, so he can't be on the list

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

danbrown7665's picture

Bill Callahan was a good NFL coach?

"limitations, like fears are often just illusions"
-Michael Jordan, the greatest athlete of all time
 

NoVA Buckeye's picture

If you read, I clearly stated he wasn't a good NFL coach to begin with.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

GoldenBearBuckeye's picture

Not an NFL head man, but the CU coaching staff of Embree and Bienemy has to have the worst record ever compiled, as well as most points against.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Didn't catch that earlier. I was so caught up in looking way back that I had forgotten about Embree (especially when you consider he coaches for my favorite NFL team)

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.