Best football coach of all time
Meanwhile, Gus Malzahn got paid. The 26-14 win in the Iron Bowl pretty much earned Malzahn a new seven-year, $49 million contract. We know this because an Auburn loss might have gotten him a one-way ticket to Fayetteville.
And, not only did he thrive under that pressure, he blossomed in it, with the 1970 Brazil World Cup team often revered as the greatest of all time. ‘Jogo Bonito’ was forged under his guidance, and Brazil as we know it owe a significant degree of gratitude to the habitual World Cup winner. Two triumphs as a player and two as a manager, Zagallo is the World Cup.
During an 11-year tenure at Nebraska, Devaney’s teams won 101 games, lost only 20 and tied two. His career winning percentage of 80.6% (including his record at Wyoming) ranked him as the winningest active coach at the time of his retirement in 1973. Under his watch, the Cornhuskers won national titles in 1970 and ’71, won or shared eight Big Eight championships and played in nine bowl games.
It used to be that Saban got coaches fired. Now, just beating him has the opposite effect. Dabo Swinney was the toast of the college football world, until he wasn’t. Still, he owns a win over Saban — one of only four active coaches to beat him.
The Herschel Walker trade catalyzed the sudden rebirth of the Cowboys as Johnson’s team. While Johnson used the ransom of extra picks to assemble a supporting cast, he suffered patiently through Troy Aikman’s rookie season and gave Michael Irvin extra time to overcome early-career injuries. Emmitt Smith arrived, the Wowboys achieved critical mass and the rest of the NFL surrendered for a few years.
If all of the coaches of the modern era brought their “family trees” for a parking lot rumble, the Holmgren family would mop up the sidewalks, and it wouldn’t be close. Bill Belichick would have to line up with Sean Payton behind Bill Parcells to even stand a chance. Holmgren was that influential.
Jordan, a three-sport star at Auburn, won more games than any other coach at his alma mater. In 1973, he became the first active college coach to have a stadium named in his honor when Auburn dedicated Jordan-Hare Stadium. In 1957, Jordan guided the Tigers to a 10-0 record and a national championship, allowing only 28 points — and just seven in SEC play. His teams finished in the AP top 25 poll 13 times, four times in the top five.
No manager has ever understood international football quite like Carlos Alberto Parreira, and his record six appearances at the World Cup proves it. The motivational Brazilian often took on near-impossible jobs, in an attempt to bring the world together over a mutual love of football.
Allen was the coach who popularized working around the clock, eating peanut butter dinners in his office and sleeping on a cot. Allen was also a pioneer of coaching paranoia; in fairness, some opponents really were spying on him. Allen was one of the game’s strictest disciplinarians and a fiery motivator. But he wasn’t very disciplined himself. When it came to spending money or frustrating owners and commissioners, few in NFL history can come close to him.
Yes, Yeoman practically built Houston into the successful program it is today, winning 160 games, including four Southwest Conference titles and four top-10 finishes, in 25 seasons. But he has another, perhaps more indelible distinction: He invented the veer formation, which is the bedrock of option-based offenses today.
But if Ewbank’s Colts had laid an egg in front of the New York media and a national television audience in 1958, pro football’s popularity may never have gotten the jump-start that made it what it is today. And if his Jets were hammered by the Colts, the Super Bowl might not be the spectacle it is today, and the NFL-AFL merger would not have been as smooth as it was.