ACC Preseason Head Coach Rankings: Preview 2019

ACC Preseason Head Coach Rankings: Preview 2019

2019 Preview

ACC Preseason Head Coach Rankings: Preview 2019

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Going into the 2019 season, how do the ACC coaches stack up? Here’s the preseason ranking of all the head men. 


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Who do you want as your head coach for right now, and how good are the all the current ACC coaches?

Record and resumés aren’t necessarily everything, but of course they matter. Where are each of the teams going, which guys have the buzz, and which ones need to prove themselves a bit more?

These aren’t Hot Seat Rankings – those are coming later. These are the rankings based loosely on what the head coaches have done, and mostly about what they’re about to do.

Think of it this way. If you were to hold a head coaching draft …

14. Mack Brown, North Carolina

It’s not that Brown can’t coach anymore – he’s only a legendary Hall of Famer – and there’s enough experience returning to take the Tar Heels to a bowl game. He might just be the perfect hire who sets the tone to get the program back on track, buuuuuuuuuut … Scott Satterfield and Neal Brown were there for the taking, and North Carolina could’ve set its sights higher than that.

Brown’s a great guy and it would be a wonderful story if he’s on the top five of this list next year. This year, though, the other 13 coaches are either loaded with enormous upside, or are coming off a few fantastic years at rough places to win.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: Not Ranked
2019 North Carolina Preview

13. Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech

An amazing defensive coordinator before taking over the Temple head coaching job, he managed to win 15 games in two seasons. An interesting hire for the Yellow Jackets, he’ll bring the D right away in the style and coaching change, but can the O pivot from the Paul Johnson option attack? Give it time.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: Not Ranked
2019 Georgia Tech Preview

12. Willie Taggart, Florida State

Go ahead and hope and expect him to rocket back up into the top five if he and the program can rebound in a big hurry. He still hasn’t won a conference championship in his nine seasons as a head coach, he has a career 52-57 record, and he still hasn’t won a bowl game. And now, he’s known as the head coach who couldn’t get Florida State to a bowl game for the first time since 1981. It’s hardly all his fault – Jimbo Fisher didn’t exactly leave a full cupboard – but this is a superpower program that needs to become a player again.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: 5
2019 Florida State Preview

11. Steve Addazio, Boston College

For those Eagle fans grouchy about Seven Win Steve not being able to bust through and do something more – winning seven games in five of his six seasons – remember what life was like before he arrived. The Eagles went 6-18 in the two years before Addazio. It might not always be fun – having the bowl game cancelled because of weather wasn’t a positive – but BC mattered in mid-November when Clemson came to town.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: 10
2019 Boston College Preview

10. Pat Narduzzi, Pitt

Yeah, he was able to pull off a few big midseason wins to get Pitt to the ACC title, but was it really a breakthrough season? After losing the Sun Bowl, he went 12-14 over the last two seasons and is a mediocre 28-24 in his four years at the helm. Worse yet, he’s 0-3 in bowl games. This probably isn’t a fair ranking, but the coaching talent in the ACC just got a whole lot stronger thanks to the new hires.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: 13
2019 Pitt Preview

9. Manny Diaz, Miami

Let’s just wait and see if he’s ready to be the head man. He’s got the energy and he’s got the skills to take Miami back to its super-power status, but for now, call this ranking a holding pattern. If he can be close to as strong a head coach as he was a defensive coordinator, everything will be fine.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: Not Ranked
2019 Miami Preview

8. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

The 2018 season wasn’t that miserable by most reasonable standards. Before the 6-7 season with a clunker of a bowl loss, Fuente went 19-8 in his first two seasons and appeared to be the next-big-thing head coach going off to an even bigger gig. The bloom isn’t totally off the rose after a rebuilding year, but the Hokies had better bounce back big.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: 4
2019 Virginia Tech Preview

7. Scott Satterfield, Louisville

Yeah, Louisville wanted Jeff Brohm, and yeah, he would’ve been a great get, and yeah, Satterfield is every bit as good a hire, if not better. All he did was win 40 games and three Sun Belt titles – at least pieces of them – in the last four seasons with three bowl wins, and a fourth if you want to give last year’s team credit for dominating the New Orleans Bowl after he left.

But it was all at a Sun Belt program, right? Ask Penn State last season, Wake Forest two years ago, Tennessee in 2016 how good those Mountaineers were. He’s going to be fantastic for the Cardinals.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: Not Ranked
2019 Louisville Preview

6. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest

Wake Forest managed to come up with three straight winning seasons from 2006 to 2008, so it is possible to win in Winston-Salem. Even so, what Clawson has been able to do over the last three years to get the Demon Deacons bowling has been remarkable. Winning all three of them has been even more remarkable.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: 7
2019 Wake Forest Preview

NEXT: Preview 2019 ACC Top 5 Coaches

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