Thursday, August 16, 2012
Which coaching tree has the best fruit?
By David Ubben
Colleague Brad Edwards had an interesting ESPN Insider post looking at the top coaching trees around the nation , and two from the Big 12 made his list of the top five, with plenty more mentioned.
Oklahoma's Bob Stoops grabbed the top spot in the league at No. 2, behind only Ohio State's Urban Meyer.
No arguing that spot, in theory. Stoops has four former assistants who jumped from OU to become head coaches: Kevin Sumlin (Houston, now at Texas A&M), Mike Leach (Texas Tech, now Washington State) and Kevin Wilson (Indiana).
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini spent 2004 as the co-defensive coordinator before eventually getting the Huskers job in 2008 after three years coordinating LSU's defense.
Not bad, and that's without even mentioning other guys from Stoops' tree who have been fired since becoming head coaches. Mark Mangino is out at Kansas now, and brother Mike Stoops is back as defensive coordinator after nearly a decade as the head man at Arizona.
Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach even gets credit for his own tree. He checked in at No. 4 on the list for spawning Art Briles (Baylor), Sonny Dykes (Louisiana Tech) and West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen.
Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy just missed the list, but may join it soon with former coordinators Larry Fedora (North Carolina), Holgorsen and Tim Beckman (Illinois) in charge of big-time programs.
Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville and Kansas State's Bill Snyder just missed the list. Snyder's tree begat Stoops and Wisconsin's Brett Bielema, which is impressive enough on its own. Without Snyder, plenty of the guys mentioned in this post wouldn't be the coaches they are today.
What other coaches' trees impress you?