Election Day always brings out strong opinions across the United States, especially when it comes to choosing a president. College football coaches aren't going to run for the Oval Office anytime soon but what if they did? Athlon examined the coaching ranks in college football and found a handful of candidates that could make a run at the White House. And just like when it comes to choosing a president or any other representative, it's perfectly fine to disagree with our choices.
8 College Football Coaches Who Could Run for President
Al Golden, Miami
When it comes to appearing "presidential", no other college football coach can match Golden. The 43-year-old Miami coach was also born on July 4 – doesn’t that count for something?
Golden’s overall record at Miami isn’t great (11-10), but he didn’t exactly inherit a full cupboard in Coral Gables. The New Jersey native seems to have the Hurricanes going in the right direction, especially since the program could make its first appearance in the ACC title game this year. Also, Golden’s previous body of work at Temple is strong, resurrecting one of the worst college football programs into a winner during his last two years.
And it’s never a bad idea to have a candidate from a swing state (Florida) on the board.
Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
Any coach that downs Red Bull and coffee like its water automatically has our interest. Holgorsen’s penchant for chugging on a Red Bull before a game makes us confident he would have no trouble burning the midnight oil required in the Oval Office.
The Iowa native spent most of his time in the Midwest, but his stop at West Virginia has added some East Coast experience to his resume. Holgorsen’s high-scoring offense is innovative and exciting, which leads us to believe he can help deliver some fresh ideas on how to jumpstart the economy.
Holgorsen is a bit of a wild card and was reportedly escorted from a casino in May of 2011. However, it’s hard to ignore one of the top offensive minds in the nation. And let's be honest - there would probably never be a dull day with Holgorsen in charge.
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Kelly has some political experience in his background, so making a run at the White House is a logical move. The Massachusetts native has gathered experience as a head coach at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Notre Dame, with a solid record of 196-66-2.
In addition to his excellent overall record, Kelly has the personality to work with boosters or students, which would translate well to working with both sides of the political spectrum.
Kelly’s teams at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati thrived on offense. However, Notre Dame’s defense ranks as one of the best in college football this season. This clearly shows Kelly is willing to adapt to whatever is necessary to succeed.
Nick Saban, Alabama
College football’s No. 1 coach is really a no-brainer when it comes to this opportunity. Saban is 64-12 in six seasons with Alabama and has won two national championships during his time in Tuscaloosa. The West Virginia native’s success isn’t just limited to Alabama, as Saban went 48-16 in five years at LSU and was 34-24-1 during his time at Michigan State.
Considering Saban’s ability to coordinate some of the nation’s best defenses, there’s no question national defense would be a strength under his watch. Saban is demanding, but he’s also the best of the best.
Even if some people may have SEC fatigue, Saban is capable of producing instant results. That’s all that really matters right?
Bill Snyder, Kansas State
Considering everything Snyder touches seems to turn to gold, why not make a run at Washington, D.C.? In 21 seasons at Kansas State, Snyder has recorded an impressive 168-83-1 record. His winning mark is even more impressive when you consider how difficult it was for a coach to win at Kansas State before his arrival.
The only thing that works against Snyder? His age. At 73 years old, Snyder is the oldest candidate on this list. However, the Missouri native is known as a relentless worker and has a clear plan for how to govern: 16 goals for success. And that plan just happens to be more than most politicians propose throughout their career.
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
Sumlin is a rising star in the coaching ranks and could rank among the nation's best by 2016. The Alabama native has working experience in all parts of the country, making stops as an assistant at Washington State, Wyoming, Minnesota, Purdue, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. Sumlin has worked for five years as a head coach (Houston, Texas A&M) and has compiled a 42-19 record.
If you are looking for something new and exciting, Sumlin is your man. He’s got experience from all parts of the nation and his offense would be entertaining, leading to a boost in the stands, which will only help the local economy.
Urban Meyer, Ohio State
When it comes to producing results, it’s hard to find a coach with the track record of Urban Meyer. The Ohio native went 17-6 in two years at Bowling Green, 22-2 in two years at Utah, 65-15 in six years at Florida an 10-0 in his only season at Ohio State. Meyer also won a national title during his time with the Gators and has experience as an assistant at Notre Dame, Bowling Green and Illinois State.
Meyer’s offenses have been some of the best in college football, so if you are looking for a candidate with innovation and creativity, the Buckeyes’ coach is the right choice.
Considering Meyer got burned out during his time at Florida, he would need to surround himself with the best possible staff to help manage his tenure in the Oval Office.
Mack Brown, Texas
Is there really any doubt Brown is the perfect candidate to run for political office? The Tennessee native is the ultimate CEO of a college football program, knows how to lobby and never has a problem recruiting top-notch talent.
Brown has experience from all across the nation, as he has spent time as an assistant at Florida State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, LSU and Appalachian State.
Although Brown has had a few down years at Texas, he’s still capable of building a winner and would have no trouble winning the press conference or working the room with fellow politicians.
Others to Consider:
Bill O’Brien, head coach, Penn State – O’Brien inherited a difficult situation at Penn State and has quickly resurrected the Nittany Lions’ passing offense into one of the best in the Big Ten.
Pat Fitzgerald, head coach, Northwestern – Just like Bill O’Brien, Fitzgerald inherited a difficult situation at Northwestern. The Illinois native is 47-38 in his seven years with the Wildcats and has led Northwestern to four consecutive bowl games. Considering what Fitzgerald has done at Northwestern, he’s well-prepared for any opportunity on a bigger stage.
Chip Kelly, Oregon - Kelly's up-tempo offense is definitely innovative, so expect the former New Hampshire native to bring some fresh ideas to the nation.
Chris Petersen, head coach, Boise State – Considering his success at Boise State, imagine what Petersen could do on a larger scale with more resources.
by Steven Lassan
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