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Check the charts: Where FBS head coaches stand in their school's record books

When Steve Spurrier became South Carolina's all-time wins leader in November, a question mark arose above my head with the question, "I wonder where some other active coaches stand in their respective school's record books." In the months since, that question has rolled around in the brain like a marble. So I decided to find out. 

We originally narrowed down a list of 25 or so coaches that have put in a significant amount of time at their current posts and figured to be, at least, within striking distance of their respective schools' coaching Mount Rushmore. That figure felt like a lot, but whenever over half of the 125 FBS head coaches have put in three seasons or fewer, narrowing down a list became pretty simple. 

Our research tells us nine coaches hold the school record at their current posts, and five more could get there by the conclusion of the 2014 season. 

Without further ado, here is the rundown: 


1. Chris Petersen - 84 wins
2. Tony Knap - 71 wins

Petersen needed just 78 games to best Tony Knap's 71 wins. Now the only question is exactly how far out of reach Petersen wants to put the record.

1. Bill Snyder - 170 wins
2. Mike Ahearn - 39 wins

Ahearn was Kansas State's all-time wins leader until Synder reached 40 wins in 1995. Ahearn left Kansas State in 1910. It only feels like Snyder followed shortly thereafter. 

1. Pat Fitzgerald - 50 wins
2. Lynn Waldorf - 49 wins

The Wildcats' Gator Bowl victory not only snapped an NCAA-longest bowl losing streak, it also made Fitzgerald the first Northwestern coach to reach the half-century mark. Like Petersen at Boise State, it's now a question of how far Fitzgerald runs away from the pack. 

1. Mike Gundy - 67 wins
2. Pat Jones - 62 wins

How many figures beside Gundy can arguably hold the claim to be the best player and coach in their alma mater's history?

1. Mike Riley - 81 wins
2. Lon Stiner - 74 wins

Gundy and Riley fall in the same club as Petersen and Fitzgerald. Riley looks like the youngest 59-year-old in the country. 

1. Steve Spurrier - 66 wins
2. Rex Enright - 64 wins

Spurrier is the active only coach to hold the all-time wins record at two FBS schools. 

1. Gary Patterson - 116 wins
2. Dutch Meyer - 109 wins

Patterson has helped TCU traverse from the WAC (as an assistant), Conference USA, the Mountain West, the Big East (briefly) and the Big 12, climbing the school's record book in the process. 

1. Larry Blakeney - 169 wins
2. Billy Atkins - 44 wins

Blakeney may be the most underrated coach in the country in terms of where he stands in his school's history. 

1. Frank Beamer - 216 wins
2. Bill Dooley - 64 wins

What we speculated earlier about what the likes of Petersen, Fitzgerald, Gundy and Riley could do to their respective record books is exactly what Beamer has done at Virginia Tech. 


1. Don Faurot - 101 wins
2. Dan Devine - 93 wins
3. Gary Pinkel - 90 wins

Faurot and Devine both occupy spots in the College Football Hall of Fame. Pinkel should best both of them by the end of the 2014 season. 

1. George Welsh - 55 wins
2. Eddie Erdelatz - 50 wins
3. Paul Johnson - 45 wins
4. Ken Niumatalolo - 40 wins

Niumatalolo has won eight or more games in four of his five seasons at Navy. Two more years like that and he'll own the Navy record. 

1. Barry Switzer - 157 wins
2. Bob Stoops - 149 wins
3. Bud Wilkinson - 145 wins
4. Bennie Owens - 122 wins

Stoops has overtaken two College Football Hall of Famers in recent years, and will pass another this fall. At the only school in major college football to produce four coaches with more than 100 wins, Stoops could stand far and away as the record holder when all is said and done. 

1. Darrell Royal - 167 wins
2. Mack Brown - 150 wins

Royal has long been one of Brown's coaching idols. Brown will surpass his idol with two more successful seasons. 

1. D.C. Walker - 78 wins
2. Jim Grobe - 73 wins

Walker set Wake Forest's wins record in 14 seasons. Six Demon Deacons victories next fall and Grobe will break Walker's record in his 13th season in Winston-Salem. 


1. Fisher DeBerry - 169 wins
2. Ben Martin - 96 wins
3. Troy Calhoun - 47 wins

Calhoun will become Air Force's third coach with more than 50 wins this season. Not bad for a program that started in 1955. 

1. Paul "Bear" Bryant - 232 wins
2. Frank Thomas - 115 wins
3. Nick Saban - 63 wins
4. Gene Stallings - 62 wins
5. Wallace Wade - 61 wins 

The Bear's record will remain safe for a long, long time, but Saban, in his fifth head coaching stop lest we forget, could conceivably pass Frank Thomas for second place if he so chooses. In just six seasons in Tuscaloosa, Saban has passed College Football Hall of Famers Gene Stallings and Wallace Wade - and needed fewer games than his predecessors to do so.

1. Grant Teaff - 128 wins
2. Morley Jennings - 83 wins
3. John D. Bridgers - 49 wins
4. George Sauer - 38 wins
5. Frank Bridges - 35 wins
6. Art Briles - 33 wins

In only five seasons, Briles has jumped to number six and, with a successful 2013, will move securely into fourth place. Grant Teaff's record is probably out of reach, but Briles could retire as Baylor's second-winningest head coach. The best thing to say about Briles tenure may be that it's now hard to remember a time when two Big 12 wins was a successful season in Waco. 

1. LaVell Edwards - 257 wins
2. Bronco Mendenhall - 74 wins
3. G. Ott Romney - 42 wins

Mendenhall likely has no shot at the BYU record, but he's been running up the score for second place since 2009. 

1. Gene McDowell - 86 wins
2. George O'Leary - 60 wins

The Knights have only been playing football since 1979, but O'Leary beat out six other coaches for the No. 2 spot in UCF history. 

1. Frank Howard - 165 wins
2. Danny Ford - 96 wins
3. Dabo Swinney - 40 wins

More than anything, this shines a spotlight on the success Swinney has achieved in a short time at Clemson.

1. Vince Dooley - 201 wins
2. Wallace Butts - 140 wins
3. Mark Richt - 118 wins

At 52, Richt still seems like a young coach with plenty of time to reel in Dooley's mark. Dooley was 56 when he retired from coaching. 

1. Hayden Fry - 143 wins
2. Kirk Ferentz - 100 wins

Surely Ferentz will be able to pass Fry by the time his famed contract expires in 2020.

1. Charles McClendon - 137 wins
2. Les Miles - 85 wins
3. Bernie Moore - 83 wins

At his current pace, Miles will become LSU's all-time wins leader in 2017.

1. Charles Murphy - 155 wins
2. Boots Donnelly - 140 wins
3. Rick Stockstill - 43 wins

Nos. 1 and 2 may be out of reach, but reaching the No. 3 spot in seven seasons is still an accomplishment. 

1. Don Peden - 129 wins
2. Bill Hess - 108 wins
3. Frank Solich - 59 wins

He may never catch Peden and Hess, but Solich's presence on this list is impressive on its own considering he didn't even debut at Ohio until age 60.

1. Ike Armstrong - 141 wins
2. Ron McBride - 88 wins
3. Kyle Whittingham - 71 wins

Like many others on this list, Whittingham may never break the school record but can settle comfortably into the proverbial silver medal by the time he hangs it up. 

Note: South Alabama's Joey Jones and UTSA's Larry Coker technically hold the records at both schools, but since they launched football in 2009 and 2011, respectively, they were not included in this list. Additionally, Carl Pelini, 3-9 in his first season at Florida Atlantic, is the second-winningest coach at a program that played its first game in 2001.