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Which College Coaches Have Produced the Most NFL Draft Picks?

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This is a big year for Steve Spurrier. Not only does the Head Ball Coach turn 70, he’ll also see his 100th player picked in the NFL Draft.

During his time as a head coach at South Carolina, Florida and Duke, Spurrier has coached 99 players who were selected in the following NFL Draft, the most among active coaches.

Many outlets will count how many NFL Draft picks a particular school or conference can call their own, but we haven’t seen the tally yet for head coaches.

This, hopefully, will remedy that. Using Pro Football Reference as a resource, we charted every draft pick for active coaches in FBS.

The data wasn’t totally surprising — coaches who have been around for a while have churned out the most draft picks. Frank Beamer has coached long enough to watch multiple players of his drafted in the 12th round.

A few disclaimers:

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• This exercise is looking merely at head coaches, mainly because it’s the most interesting and most easily quantifiable look. Coordinators and position coaches play as much of a role for these future pros as head coaches, if not more. At the same time, some of these guys would be drafted if they were coached by Vince Lombardi or Vince Gill.

• This is an inexact science. We assigned players to their most recent coach before the draft. For example, Urban Meyer coached Ohio State’s draft classes since 2013 and Florida’s NFL draft classes from 2006 to 2011 (he coached at Florida from 2005-10). In other words, a draftee may have played his first three seasons for Coach A and his senior season for Coach B. In that case, the tally goes to Coach B.

And on to the charts:

Total NFL Draft Picks, By Coach

 

Coach

Total Picks

Picks at Current School

1.

Steve Spurrier, South Carolina

99

31

2.

Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech

92

90

3.

Nick Saban, Alabama

82

41

4.

Mark Richt, Georgia

74

74

5.

Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

70

70

6.

Les Miles, LSU

67

60

7.

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

55

55

8.

Bill Snyder, Kansas State

50

7*

9.

Larry Coker, UTSA

47

0

10.

Urban Meyer, Ohio State

44

9

11.

Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati

40

0

T12.

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

36

19

T12.

Frank Solich, Ohio

36

6

14.

Gary Patterson, TCU

34

34

T15.

Mike Riley, Nebraska

32

0

T15.

Dennis Franchione, Texas State

32

0*

17.

Gary Pinkel, Missouri

31

27

T18.

George O'Leary, UCF

29

14

T18.

Bret Bielema, Arkansas

29

4

20.

Dabo Swinney, Clemson

28

28

*in his current stint with this team

Total First-Round Picks, By Coach

 

Coach

Total Picks

Picks at Current School

1.

Nick Saban, Alabama

21

16

2.

Larry Coker, UTSA

20

0

3.

Steve Spurrier, South Carolina

17

4

4.

Les Miles, LSU

15

13

5.

Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

13

13

T6.

Mark Richt, Georgia

11

11

T6.

Urban Meyer, Ohio State

11

2

8.

Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech

8

8

T9.

Gary Pinkel, Missouri

7

6

T9.

Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati

7

0

Draft Picks for Recently Retired/Inactive Coaches

Coach

Total Picks

Joe Paterno

251

Bobby Bowden

182

Mack Brown

101

Phillip Fulmer

92

Dennis Erickson%

74

Jim Tressel

69

Lloyd Carr

62

Pete Carroll

60

Mike Bellotti

46

Butch Davis

45

%still active as a position coach in college