The historical past of the SEC is stuffed with legendary coaches who’ve led their faculties to untold numbers of iconic victories and memorable championship seasons.
But simply who’s the biggest of all of them? Has the top of the listing modified considerably in current years?
That’s the topic of our listing right this moment. Here’s one man’s model of a Top 10, considering solely what they completed whereas their faculties had been members of the SEC:
10. Ralph “Shug” Jordan, Auburn (1951-75)
The consummate Auburn man, Jordan performed football, baseball and basketball on The Plains and was additionally head basketball coach at his alma mater and at Georgia earlier than taking on a moribund Tigers football program. He had his first profitable season in Year 3 and gained a nationwide championship in Year 7, however by no means gained one other convention title regardless of some advantageous groups over the years. He gained 176 video games in 25 seasons, reaching the 10-win plateau thrice.
9. Pat Dye, Auburn (1981-92)
Dye may simply be the biggest coach in SEC historical past who by no means gained a nationwide championship. He obtained shut just a few occasions, nevertheless, as his 1983 and 1988 groups had been nearly as good as any crew in the nation. He additionally gained or shared in 4 SEC championships, and recorded the solely back-to-back 10-win seasons in Auburn historical past in 1988 and 1989. Most importantly, he put the Tigers on equal footing with Alabama in the Iron Bowl rivalry. In 1989, he pulled off the unthinkable, bringing the Iron Bowl to Jordan-Hare Stadium for the first time.
8. Bobby Dodd, Georgia Tech (1945-66)
Dodd’s Yellow Jackets carried the banner for the SEC for a lot of the Fifties, profitable a complete of 59 video games (together with six bowl video games), two SEC titles and a nationwide championship in a six-year span from 1951-56. The rise of Alabama and Ole Miss in the late Fifties and early 60s ended Georgia Tech’s dominance of the league, and an unsightly feud with Paul “Bear” Bryant and the Crimson Tide expedited the Yellow Jackets’ exit from the SEC after the 1963 season. He gained 165 video games in 22 years at Georgia Tech, 143 of them earlier than the Yellow Jackets left the SEC.
7. Johnny Vaught, Ole Miss (1947-70, 1973)
Vaught’s Rebels gained three SEC titles from 1947-55, and that wasn’t even his most dominant stretch. From 1957-63, Ole Miss misplaced a complete of seven video games, gained 4 SEC championships and three nationwide titles. His final SEC title got here in 1963, which coincided with Alabama’s rise as the dominant program in the convention. He stepped down following a coronary heart assault in 1970, then returned briefly as interim coach three years later earlier than retiring for good with 190 victories and 6 SEC championships in 24 seasons.
6. Vince Dooley, Georgia (1964-88)
Dooley left Jordan’s Auburn workers to take over the Tigers’ archrival, and ended up staying 25 years as head coach and one other 16 years as athletics director. He gained six SEC championships — together with three straight from 1980-82 — and the 1980 nationwide championship. His 1981 and 1982 groups narrowly missed the nationwide championship as effectively, and his 1983 crew contended for the league and nationwide titles late into the season. Dooley stepped down as coach following the 1988 season, having totaled 201 victories, with only one shedding season, a 5-6 mark in 1977.
5. Urban Meyer, Florida (2005-10)
The mercurial Meyer lasted simply six years at Florida, however he packed fairly a little bit of profitable into that brief time. His Gators went 65-15 total, profitable 13 video games three completely different occasions, going 5-1 in bowl video games and claiming BCS nationwide championships in 2006 and 2008. His 2009 crew seemed ticketed for a second straight title earlier than being derailed by Alabama’s rising juggernaut. Meyer’s exit from Florida was controversial, as he claimed to be affected by exhaustion and different well being issues, solely to floor lower than two years later at Ohio State, the place he loved even larger success (together with a nationwide title in 2014). With Nick Saban, he’s one in all two modern-era coaches to win nationwide championships at two completely different faculties.
4. Robert Neyland, Tennessee (1926-34, 1936-40, 1946-52)
Part of Neyland’s tenure pre-dates the Volunteers’ entry into the SEC, however his most-dominant period got here simply previous to World War II. Tennessee went 31-2 from 1938-40, with three straight SEC championships and two nationwide titles. He missed the 1935 season and the 1941-45 seasons because of army service, finally rising to the rank of brigadier normal in the US Army. His 1950 and 1951 groups gained consecutive nationwide titles, giving him a complete of 4 in 21 seasons with the Volunteers. He stepped down as coach following the 1952 season, ending up with 173 victories, seven convention titles (5 in the SEC) and an astounding .828 profitable proportion.
3. Steve Spurrier, Florida (1990-2001), South Carolina (2005-15)
Spurrier dragged the SEC into the trendy period, bringing his wide-open passing assault right into a league that also believed in three yards and a cloud of mud. His Gators gained 5 SEC titles in six years from 1991-96, and performed in the first 5 SEC championship video games, profitable 4 of them. He gained his lone nationwide title in 1996, and added one other SEC championship in 2000 earlier than heading to the NFL. After two years in Washington and two extra out of teaching, he returned to the SEC at South Carolina. His Gamecocks by no means gained an SEC title and performed in the league championship solely as soon as, however his 86 victories in 11 seasons are the most in program historical past. In 23 seasons complete at Florida and South Carolina, he gained 208 video games and 6 SEC titles.
2. Paul “Bear” Bryant, Kentucky (1946-53), Alabama (1958-82)
Bryant holds the document for teaching victories at two faculties, profitable 60 video games and an SEC title in eight years at Kentucky earlier than his record-breaking run at Alabama. Bryant’s 323 victories, 15 convention championships (13 at Alabama) and 6 nationwide championships had been major-college football data at the time of his retirement. Perhaps the biggest of his many advantageous qualities as a coach was his capability to adapt — he gained championships previous to integration and after integration, throughout the single-platoon period and through the free substitution period, using a pro-style offense that includes future NFL quarterbacks and operating a wishbone offense led by quarterbacks who by no means obtained a sniff at professional glory.
1. Nick Saban, LSU (2000-04), Alabama (2007-present)
Saban would not have Bryant’s longevity — at the least not but — however he has surpassed his legendary Alabama predecessor in many different classes. Saban has a document seven nationwide championships — one at LSU, six at Alabama — to go together with 9 SEC titles and 230 video games (and counting, maybe in all three classes). Most notably, Saban has gained all his championships outright — there have been no shared convention or nationwide championships — and has gained all of them by beating top-flight competitors. His Alabama groups have 14 consecutive double-digit-win seasons, and have ended the common season already eradicated from the nationwide championship race solely thrice in his 15 seasons.
Others of observe: Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee (1993-2008); Johnny Majors, Tennessee (1977-92); Les Miles, LSU (2005-16); Mark Richt, Georgia (2001-15); Frank Thomas, Alabama (1931-46); Wallace Wade, Alabama (1923-30)