No. 2 Michigan – Jim Harbaugh
Head coaching record
57-32 as an FBS head coach
44-19-1 as an NFL head coach
2010 Woody Hayes Trophy recipient
2011 NFL Coach of the Year
It’s hard to look at Harbaugh’s accomplishments and not put him in this conversation. After a successful three season in charge of the San Diego program, Harbaugh accumulated a 29-6 record. It was an accomplishment that would set him up for the opportunity in the FBS with Stanford. In three seasons as the head coach of Stanford, he was able to flip the program to a 4-8 record his first season to a 12-1 record in his last.
He changed the narrative of the Stanford football program, eventually reaching as high as fourth in the AP Poll.
Seen as a leader, the Niners were ready to test his skills in the NFL. In the long run, it’s hard to say that it wasn’t a success. Harbaugh’s first season resulted in a 13-3 regular-season record and a trip to the NFC Championship game.
The next season he was able to take it even further. The 2012 season brought an 11-4-1 regular-season record and an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII. Harbaugh eventually lost in the Super Bowl to the Baltimore Ravens — coached by his brother, John Harbaugh.
Harbaugh’s final season with the Niners was an 8-8 finish in 2014 and set up his next coaching opportunity with Michigan. Quickly he found success in the Big Ten with two consecutive 10-3 seasons. An impressive win in the Citrus Bowl moved the Wolverines into 12th in the final AP Poll.
Last season was where things got dicey. At on point being ranked as high as No. 7, Michigan fell apart. Their 8-5 season ended outside of the AP Top 25.
With all of the accomplishments Harbaugh has come away with, it’s difficult to keep him off this list.