Five College Coaches With Longest Tenures

by on August 9th, 2010
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Joe Paterno is no longer the football coach at Penn State. The man who patrolled the Penn State sidelines since 1966 was fired amid a major scandal at Penn State. There will always be major questions about the legacy of Joe Paterno. However, at the end of the day one of the most storied college coaching careers is over. Among all NCAA head coaches, Paterno’s reign at Penn State lasted 46 years. It is the longest tenure in Division 1 history and the fourth longest in all of college football. Here are the five coaches that spent the most years on the sidelines.

1. John Gagliardi

Gagliardi is still coaching at Division III St. John’s in Minnesota. Gagliardi began his head coaching career in 1949 at Carroll in Montana and remained there until 1952. In 1953, he took the job at St. John’s. His coaching career stands at 63 years and counting. Gagliardi has 483 wins in his coaching career and just 133 losses.

2. Amos Alonzo Stagg

The legendary Stagg coached in college football for 57 years. He coached from 1890 through 1946. Most of his tenure took place at the University of Chicago where he coached from 1892 through 1932. Stagg won 314 games in his career and lost 199 of them. He also coached at Springfield and the University of the Pacific.

3. Eddie Robinson

Robinson won 408 career games, a Division 1 record that stood until Paterno broke it on October 29. Robinson remained at Grambling for 55 years, thought it was split over two different tenures. He coached Grambling in 1941 and 1942 and then again from 1945 through 1997.

4. Joe Paterno

Paterno joined the Penn State staff in 1950. He took over for Rip Engle as the head coach in 1966 and helped build a successful program. Now that his career is over, Paterno’s tenure will end at 46 years. He won 409 games and lost 136 during his career.

5. Fred Long

Long coached a total of 45 years at various colleges during his career. Most of his career took place at Wiley College, a small school that Long coached from 1923 through 1947 and again from 1956 through 1965. His overall career lasted from 1921 through 1965. Long won 227 games in his career.


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