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The top non-FBS head coaching destinations: NAIA

Everyone in the coaching community has different coaching dreams and aspirations, but nearly everyone shares the same goal of someday becoming a head football coach and using the experiences as an assistant or coordinator to run your own program.

It's an overused phrase at introductory press conferences, but we've all sat down among our coaching buddies and talked about our "dream job." For a lot of guys it's leading an SEC or Big Ten program, or the local program they grew up watching on Saturdays with their family.

But what about quality non-FBS programs? Those don't get nearly as much attention. So today we're starting a new series where we examine the top non-FBS head coaching destinations in college football.

How did decide on these programs? Valid question. We took the following factors into consideration during our process; tradition, location, administrative and community support, potential, and one other category we'll simply refer to as momentum.

After much debate following a process that combined our knowledge and perspective of jobs across college football with some inside knowledge from coaches we reached out to, we feel good about our top five (or so).

First up will be the NAIA level, where there are a handful of contenders worth considering. A good amount of NAIA programs are located in the midwest, including a bulk of the top 25. Here are some of the NAIA's top contenders, including some we've heard about from coaches at the small college level. Starting tomorrow, we'll rank the top 5, releasing one per day, and sharing some of the thought process behind why.

The schools in the running:

  • Marian (Indianpolis, IN)
  • Morningside (Sioux City, IA)
  • Indiana Wesleyan (Marion, IN)
  • Grandview (Des Moines, IA)
  • Southeastern (Lakeland, FL)
  • Keiser (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • Lindsey Wilson (Columbia, KY)
  • Kansas Wesleyan (Salina, KS)
  • Ottawa University (AZ)
  • St. Francis (Fort Wayne, IN)
  • St. Xavier (Chicago, IL)
  • Concordia Ann Arbor (MI)
  • Reinhardt (Waleska, GA)
  • Southern Oregon (Ashland, OR)

If you want to make a case for one of these programs, and help me narrow the list down (or include one not currently listed), reach out to me on Twitter @CoachSamz or via email at