Monday, July 9, 2012
Big East all-time winningest coaches
By Andrea Adelson
Today, we begin a weeklong series looking at college coaching -- from the longest-tenured head coaches, to the best jobs, to up-and-coming assistants.
First up is a look at the all-time winningest coaches at each Big East school, and whether each program has been defined by its most successful coach. It is no secret that the Big East has had a difficult time retaining high-profile, winning coaches in recent years. It also is no secret that coaches rarely stay in one place for more than 10 years no matter which conference they're in. In fact, there are only 13 coaches in all of FBS that have been at their respective schools for 10-plus seasons; none in the Big East after the departure of Greg Schiano.
Simply put, the pressure to win immediately is much greater than it was 50 years ago.
Given these two factors, then, it should not come as much of a shock to find that the winningest coaches at nearly every Big East school come from an earlier era. Only one coached into this decade -- UConn coach Randy Edsall, who went 74-70 from 2000-10 with the Huskies, with one BCS appearance.
Randy Edsall led UConn to a 74-70 record and five bowl game appearances, but left under controversial circumstances.
While his overall record is just above .500, the overall winning percentage for the program is below .500 without him in charge. That includes a 5-7 season under Paul Pasqualoni a season ago. UConn has not been an FBS member for very long, but Edsall was able to direct this team to five bowl games and at least a share of two Big East titles during his tenure.
But the messy and classless way in which he left the school means you are not going to find too many Huskies fans with warm and fuzzy feelings for Edsall, despite his status as the winningest coach in program history.
Perhaps more than any of the other winningest coaches in the Big East, Jim Leavitt essentially defined USF. He built the program from scratch, took it from I-AA to the Big East and went 95-57 from 1997-2009. In the two years since Leavitt was fired, Skip Holtz has gone 13-12.
The only winningest coach on the list with a losing record -- Rick Minter at Cincinnati. He compiled a 53-63-1 record from 1994-03, with one Conference USA championship. The two men who came right after him -- Mark Dantonio and Brian Kelly -- left after only a few years on the job. Butch Jones just won a share of a Big East title in his second year.
Here is a look at each of the all-time winningest coaches across the Big East. Do any of these coaches define your program?
Cincinnati: Rick Minter, 53-63-1, 1994-2003. Four bowl appearances, 2002 C-USA title.
UConn: Randy Edsall, 74-70, 2000-10. Five bowl games, BCS appearance 2010.
Louisville: Frank Camp, 118-95-2, 1946-68. Brought the program back after it was suspended three years because of World War II, went 7-0-1 in 1947.
Pitt: Jock Sutherland, 111-20-12, 1924-38. Won five national championships, four Rose Bowls and selected Eastern football champs seven times.
Rutgers: Frank R. Burns, 78-43-1, 1973-83. Took Rutgers to its first bowl game.
USF: Jim Leavitt, 95-57, 1997-2009. Took Bulls to five bowl games.
Syracuse: Ben Schwartzwalder, 153-91-3, 1949-73. Won Syracuse's only national championship, in 1959.
Temple: Wayne Hardin, 80-52-3, 1970-82. Took Temple to its best ever season, 10-2 in 1979.