Making the jump from college football head coach to the NFL is not an easy one. For every Pete Carroll and Jimmy Johnson, there are several disasters like Steve Spurrier, Bobby Petrino and Mike Riley. There are plenty of great college coaches, but only several have what it takes to also succeed in the NFL.
There are several quality coaches that just missed out on the list. Coaches like Urban Meyer, Mark Dantonio, Les Miles and even former NFL coaches like Jim Mora and Nick Saban could all be quality NFL head coaches. But we narrowed down the list to only the Top 5. With that in mind, here are five college football head coaches that would make great NFL head coaches.
5. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
Stoops has been at Oklahoma since 1999, doing a wonderful job. A sharp defensive mind, Stoops' job status with the Sooners seems secured for at least a few more years. He's been linked to the NFL in the past, and he could eventually make the jump to the NFL. Just 55 years old, Stoops has plenty of years left in the coaching world if he decides to take on a new challenge.
4. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Kelly has flirted with leaving for the NFL, but is still at Notre Dame. He might not be willing to give up the personnel control to make the leap, something previous college coaches like Nick Saban and Chip Kelly proved should be done. But if Kelly were to let a general manager do his job, he could be a great NFL coach. He's won everywhere he's gone and that will appeal to NFL teams.
3. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
Fisher, like the previous three coaches on here, lacks NFL experience. But that doesn't mean NFL teams aren't interested in Fisher, who has heard from an NFL team recently. Fisher said he'd "never say never" to an NFL gig, but there's a reason he's passed on chances before. Fisher had to replace a legend at FSU, and already has one national title on his resume. If he ever decides to make the leap, Fisher could have real success.
2. David Shaw, Stanford
Shaw has made it very clear he doesn't plan on leaving on Stanford. But Shaw would still make a wonderful NFL head coach. He's proven himself at Stanford, leading the Cardinal to four BCS Bowl Games and winning at least 11 games in all but one of his five seasons. He also has some NFL experience, coaching from 1998-2005 with the Raiders and Ravens. Although it seems unlikely Shaw will make the jump to the NFL, there's a reason his name consistently comes up in coaching rumors.
1. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
This one is almost too obvious. While Harbaugh might never return to the NFL, there's no doubt he'd make for a great NFL head coach. He's already proven that, posting a 44-19-1 record with the San Francisco 49ers and nearly winning a Super Bowl. Harbaugh is building something special at Michigan, but if he ever wants to return to the NFL, several teams would be interested.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed