College Football Head Coaches: Ranking All 130 Seasons 2019

College Football Head Coaches: Ranking All 130 Seasons 2019

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College Football Head Coaches: Ranking All 130 Seasons 2019

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25. Bryan Harsin, Boise State

2017 Final Coach Ranking: 33
2018 Final Coach Ranking: 64
2019 Record: 12-2

Okay, he probably should be higher than this after pulling off the Mountain West title along with a season-opening win over Florida State. However, the standards are so much higher at Boise State now, and the loss at BYU was enough to keep it out of the New Year’s Six. He’d be higher, but the 38-7 blowout to Washington in the Las Vegas Bowl hurt.

24. Will Healy, Charlotte

2017 Final Coach Ranking: Not Ranked
2018 Final Coach Ranking: Not Ranked
2019 Record: 7-6

Yeah, Healy’s team got rocked in a bowl game, but he got his team there. It was the program’s first bowl game, and it all happened after overcoming a 2-5 start with five straight wins to get eligible. The young, energetic head man did everything the program could’ve asked for to rally the team in the historic campaign.

23. Blake Anderson, Arkansas State

2017 Final Coach Ranking: 61
2018 Final Coach Ranking: 70
2019 Record: 8-5

No one had to go through more things off the field than Anderson, who lost his wife to cancer. On the field, his team was able to rally back from a 3-4 start with a big second half of the season and a Camellia Bowl win over FIU. It was a good season as is, but under the circumstances, it was a truly special job.

22. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

2017 Final Coach Ranking: 27
2018 Final Coach Ranking: 5
2019 Record: 11-2

It stinks because his team got rocked at Michigan and was sort of forgotten about from then on, but Kelly did a great job coming off a trip to the CFP in 2018 with a team that played at a high level throughout. The last five wins of the regular season were dominant, and the team showed up large with a fantastic performance over Iowa State in the Camping World. It was a quietly great 11-2 season.

21. Mack Brown, North Carolina

2017 Final Coach Ranking: Not Ranked
2018 Final Coach Ranking: Not Ranked
2019 Record: 7-6

It wasn’t the smoothest of seasons, but compared to the last few clunkers UNC experienced, this was terrific. Remembering that he had to come up with a rebuild, he and his staff were able to flip QB Sam Howell from Florida State, and that turned out to be all the difference. Even with a bad midseason run, the team rallied late and ripped through their last two games to get bowl eligible, and rolled Temple 55-13 in the Military.

20. Mario Cristobal, Oregon

2017 Final Coach Ranking: Not Ranked
2018 Final Coach Ranking: 57
2019 Record: 12-2

Okay, so there was the loss at Arizona State when the team just didn’t show up until it was too late, and there was the problem closing out Auburn in the opener, but everything else was fantastic. With the pressure on to produce, his Ducks dominated the Pac-12 Championship and pulled off the Rose Bowl win. A trip to the CFP would’ve been nice, but this was the step-forward season he needed to have.

19. Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee

2017 Final Coach Ranking: Not Ranked
2018 Final Coach Ranking: 62
2019 Record: 8-5

This could’ve totally gone off the rails. If you’re the Tennessee head coach and you lose at home to Georgia State and BYU, and then get obliterated by Florida and Georgia in a 1-4 start, and then lose at Alabama to go 2-5, there’s a problem, Instead of losing the team, Pruitt’s guys stepped up to close out with a six-game winning streak to close out the year, got bowl eligible, and pulled off the Gator Bowl win over Indiana.

18. Luke Fickell, Cincinnati

2017 Final Coach Ranking: 105
2018 Final Coach Ranking: 17
2019 Record: 11-3

Remember what Fickell’s reputation was before taking the Cincinnati gig. He was a great recruiter, strong assistant, and the guy who had the one dud season at Ohio State in a long, long time. His team lost to Memphis twice on the road, and got rolled by an epic Buckeye squad. That’s it. It beat UCLA, beat UCF, and won the Birmingham Bowl over Boston College.

17. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia

2017 Final Coach Ranking: 22
2018 Final Coach Ranking: 39
2019 Record: 9-5

Mendenhall’s achievement to take Virginia from the land of the mediocre to among the best programs in the ACC continues to be remarkable. Yeah, it went through an ugly loss to Clemson, but it was in the ACC Championship. Yeah, it lost to Florida … in the Orange Bowl. Throw in the win to finally end the streak against Virginia Tech, and he and his staff did a sensational job.

16. Dan Mullen, Florida

2017 Final Coach Ranking: 23
2018 Final Coach Ranking: 6
2019 Record: 11-2

Mullen has now turned into the best current head coach who hasn’t won anything major – like a conference championship game. His Gator team did win the Orange Bowl, its only losses were to LSU and Georgia away from Gainesville, and it rolled through a brilliant season after losing starting QB Feleipe Franks in the third game of the season.

15. Mike Norvell, Memphis

2017 Final Coach Ranking: 34
2018 Final Coach Ranking: 29
2019 Record: 12-2

His team got over the hump. For a few years, Norvell was good enough to get Memphis to the American Athletic Conference title game, but it hit a UCF wall. This year, he got the conference title, got the team to the New Year’s Six, and he did it with a thrilling style of play that Florida State fans should love.

14. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma

2017 Final Coach Ranking: 5
2018 Final Coach Ranking: 9
2019 Record: 12-2

Forget how it all ended, and forget that there weren’t any super-strong wins like past Oklahoma teams had. Riley’s offense worked again, his team was able to be tough enough to bounce back and beat Baylor on the road and hang on in several tight games, and it was another Big 12 Championship season with a trip to the College Football Playoff. Riley has become taken for granted; it was another phenomenal coaching job.

13. Eli Drinkwitz, Appalachian State

2017 Final Coach Ranking: Not Ranked
2018 Final Coach Ranking: Not Ranked
2019 Record: 13-1

This was supposed to be a wee bit of a rebuilding season. What did Drinkwitz do in place of Scott Satterfield? 13-1, a Sun Belt title, a New Orleans Bowl win, and strong victories on the road over North Carolina and South Carolina. That one year was enough to convince Missouri to make Drinkwitz its man.

12. Nick Rolovich, Hawaii

2017 Final Coach Ranking: 108
2018 Final Coach Ranking: 53
2019 Record: 10-5

How did Rolovich get the credit for the grind that is a Hawaii season? He got the Washington State job. It gets a bit lost that this team has to travel more than anyone else, it played 15 games, it got to the Mountain West title game with clutch wins in November, and pulled off a nice win over BYU in the Hawaii Bowl. Throw in the wins over Arizona and Oregon State with a team that had to adapt and improve on a slew of issues on both sides of the ball, and it was an amazing job.

11. Tyson Helton, WKU

2017 Final Coach Ranking: Not Ranked
2018 Final Coach Ranking: Not Ranked
2019 Record: 9-4

How much fun was this season? Helton stepped in and took a 3-9 team of 2018 and won nine games with a killer defense early on, an opportunistic offense, an a group that obliterated Arkansas on the way to a strong four-game winning streak to close things out with a thrilling First Responder Bowl win over Western Michigan.

NEXT: 2019 Coach Season Rankings: The Top Ten

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