New Bucs head coach Greg Schiano is trying to do something that very few have been able to do – successfully make the leap from the college ranks to the NFL and be a consistent winner. Pewter Report analyzes a list of some big-name coaches that have tried and failed, with one exception – Jim Harbaugh.
With the Buccaneers hiring Rutgers’ Greg Schiano as the franchise’s ninth head coach, Tampa Bay hopes his path to the NFL goes smoother than other coaches who tried to make the leap from college to the pros, but failed. Former Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh has had the most recent success, taking San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game in his first season as an NFL head coach.
Here’s a look at some of the most recent college coaches that have tried to find success in the NFL. Most have not had much luck, and the Bucs are banking on Schiano following in Harbaugh’s footsteps rather than become one of the litany of others that have failed to win in the NFL.Jim Harbaugh
Stanford Cardinal to San Francisco 49ers in 2011
Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback in Chicago and Indianapolis, left Stanford to make the jump to the pros as a head coach this season where he led the 49ers to a 13-3 record and an appearance in the NFC Championship Game. Harbaugh was 29-21 for the Cardinal and turned the Pac-10 doormat into a top 5 team in just four years.Pete Carroll
Southern Cal Trojans to Seattle Seahawks in 2010
Carroll compiled a 7-9 record and won the NFC West in his first year as the Seahawks head coach. Carroll has been an NFL head coach two other times in addition to his position in Seattle. He went 6-10 with the New York Jets (1994) and 27-21 with the New England Patriots (1997-99). Carroll is currently 14-18 in two years in Seattle.Bobby Petrino
Louisville to Atlanta in 2007
Petrino disgracefully quit the Falcons in his first season after compiling a 3-10 record in 13 games. He abruptly left Atlanta to take the head coaching position at Arkansas where he has remained since the 2007 season. Petrino’s 2011 Razorbacks team only lost to national championship game members Alabama and LSU and finished in the top 5.
USC Trojans (offensive coordinator) to Oakland Raiders in 2007-08
Kiffin was a horrible failure with the Raiders, publicly clashing with owner Al Davis and compiling a 5-15 record before being fired during his second season in Oakland. After one year in Tennessee in 2009, Kiffin returned to USC in 2010 to become the school’s head coach where he has been successful.Nick Saban
LSU Tigers to Miami Dolphins in 2005
Saban left LSU to take over the Dolphins, but went a dismal 15-17 in two seasons before resigning. Saban’s abrasive personality didn’t sit well with NFL players. He took over as Alabama’s head coach in 2007 and has won two national titles, including one this past season. Dennis Erickson
Oregon State Beavers to San Francisco 49ers in 2003
Erickson is a long-time college coach who dabbled a bit in the NFL with the 49ers, going 9-23 before being fired after just two years. The San Francisco stint was his second NFL job, after a previous stop with Seattle. After leaving the 49ers, Erickson went to Idaho for a year in 2006 before becoming the head coach at Arizona State from 2007-11. Steve Spurrier
Florida Gators to Washington Redskins in 2002
Spurrier left the University of Florida to replace Marty Schottenheimer as the Redskins coach in 2002. He lasted just two seasons before realizing that the successful passing attack he had with the Gators wouldn’t work in the NFL. Spurrier resigned after going 12-20 in two years. He has since been successful at South Carolina.Mike Riley
Oregon State Beavers to San Diego Chargers in 1999
Riley left Oregon State after a two-year stint as the Beavers head coach in 1997-98 to lead the Chargers. Riley lasted just three years in San Diego before being fired after compiling a 14-34 record. After one year as an assistant in New Orleans, Riley returned to Oregon State in 2003 where he has led the Beavers to five bowl victories in six opportunities over the past nine years.
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