Ranking the SEC football head coaches from worst to first

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·6 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The SEC is loaded with some of the best coaches in the entire country right now, from national title winners such as Nick Saban and kirby smart to fiery competitors that everyone in college football loves like Lane Kiffin and mike leach.

Over the last 16 years, the conference has won twelve of those national titles. The stakes are high and if you don’t win you will you not be around for long. Ed Orgeron, former head coach of LSU, won a national title on Jan. 13, 2020, and “parted ways” on Oct. 27, 2021.

While guys like Saban, Smart, and Jimbo Fisher are here, who have won national titles, the conference still has a few guys trying to turn things around.

Clark Lea (Vanderbilt)

Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone that is the head coach of Vanderbilt is likely going to be sitting in this position, so this one really isn’t on Clark Lea. How do you turn this program around? Anytime anyone has any success they are hired elsewhere immediately, so bless Clark Lea’s heart. Good luck, pal.

Bryan Harsin (Auburn)

Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

While as an Alabama writer it is my job to gig Auburn, but even they know this one isn’t a joke. Auburn was 6-7 under Bryan Harsin during his first year with the Tigers in 2021. However, the larger issue at hand was that 18 players have entered the transfer portal and five assistant coaches have left the program under his tenure. With things looking bleak headed into 2022, Auburn may be looking for a new coach ahead of their 2023 campaign.

Eli Drinkwitz (Missouri)

Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Drinkwitz remains mostly unproven through his tenure with Missouri, but he is not off to a super hot start. Through two seasons he is 11-12, which won’t keep him around for long, but he did have an outstanding 12-1 season in his lone year as the head coach of Appalachian State. 2022 is a very make-or-break year for the head man of the Missouri Tigers.

Billy Napier (Florida)

(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

Billy Napier will be making his debut for the Florida Gators this season, however, from what he showed at Louisiana, he is very promising. During his four years with Louisiana, he was 40-12 and competed for the conference title each year. He picks up a very talented roster that Dan Mullen left behind and could make noise in year one.

Shane Beamer (South Carolina)

Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Shane Beamer took over South Carolina as his first head coaching position in 2021 and he handled it very well. The Gamecocks were bad before Beamer’s arrival, but they improved to 7-6 in a division that had the eventual national champion Georgia Bulldogs. Beamer also won the Football Writers Association of America award for First-Year Coach of the Year.

Josh Heupel (Tennessee)

Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

[autotag]Josh Heupel[/autotag] inherited a Tennessee program that was in complete shambles (4-6 in 2020), and is slowly trying to put the pieces back together.  During his first year, the Volunteers went 7-6 and made the Music City Bowl as well as earned a commitment from five-star QB prospect Nico Iamaleavea. Heupel took UCF to NY6 bowls, and would love to do the same with Tennessee in 2022.

Sam Pittman (Arkansas)

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

After being a position coach for over 30 years, Arkansas finally made Sam Pittman a head coach, and so far he has not let them down. In 2019, the year before Pittman’s arrival, the Razorbacks were 2-10 and didn’t win a game in the conference. In year one, Pittman was 3-7 with a bad roster amid covid, but in 2021 the Hogs were 9-4 and made the Outback bowl. Pittman returns one of the best QB’s in the SEC and they will be a real contender this year.

Mike Leach (Mississippi State)


Syndication The Montgomery Advertiser

There is nobody quite like Mike Leach from his Twitter memes to insanely pass-happy offenses. Leach has won Coach of the Year in both the Big-12 and Pac-12 (twice). He has a career coaching record of 150-103 and has coached some collegiate greats such as Michael Crabtree and Gardner Minshew.

Mark Stoops (Kentucky)

Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Stoops is far and away the most underrated coach on this list, and never truly gets the credit he deserves. After a rough start to his career going 2-10, 5-7, and 5-7, he has won 10 games twice and has a 4-2 bowl record for the Kentucky Wildcats. Stoops runs in college football royalty as he is the brother to Oklahoma legend Bob Stoops.

Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss)

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Lane Kiffin is undeniably one of the best personalities in college football, but behind the act is a football savant. You don’t become the head coach of the USC Trojans or Oakland Raiders on accident. Kiffin was an instrumental piece behind the Crimson Tide’s offense for a few years, and has turned Ole Miss into a really dangerous team, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

Brian Kelly (LSU)

Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Like Billy Napier, Brian Kelly will be making his SEC debut this year for the LSU Tigers. Unlike Napier, Kelly has played for national titles and coached college football at the highest level during his time at Notre Dame. Kelly leads the Irish to 10 win seasons annually, and it can not be understated how impressive that is. He appeared in the 2012 national title vs Alabama where they were ultimately defeated. Kelly looks to utilize all the resources of the south to finally get over the hump and win a national title.

Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M)

Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Now we get to the national title-winning coaches, and we start with [autotag]Jimbo Fisher[/autotag] of Texas A&M. During three years with the Seminoles, Fisher was 39-3 with one BCS national title victory and one College Football Playoff appearance. So far with the Aggies, Fisher is 34-14, however, he did get a marquee victory over Alabama and his former mentor, Nick Saban.

Kirby Smart (Georgia)


News Joshua L Jones

Kirby Smart is on his way to being one of the greatest coaches the collegiate game has ever seen. During his time at Alabama as a coordinator, he was a defensive savant. Since taking over the Bulldogs, Smart is 66-15 and just secured his first national title in 2021. Georgia also appeared in the 2017 national title game which was just Smart’s second year with the program. The Bulldogs have been recruiting at record place and will not be going anywhere anytime soon.

 

Nick Saban (Alabama)

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The mentor to Fisher, Smart, Kiffin, and so many more, the greatest coach to ever live, Nick Saban. Saban took over the reins to Alabama in 2007, and since then he has posted a record of 178-25 with four Heisman trophy winners and six national titles. Saban served as head coach of the Miami Dolphins in the NFL for a few years and also won a national title as head coach at LSU. From national titles, to draft picks, to awards, to anything you can think of, Coach Saban probably holds the record for that too.

1

1

1

1

1

1