There are some quality coaches in the ACC, no doubt. But, there is the reality that it’s a significant step down from the level of head coaches in the SEC. And, there’s a possibility some of the coaches at the top of this list will be taking pay raises and heading to the Big Ten or SEC.
13. Brent Pry – Virginia Tech
Not a great introduction for Pry with a loss to Old Dominion.
12. Mike Elko – Duke
There are not many defensive coordinators that get head coaching opportunities recently. Duke hired great coordinator. Will it work out as a head coach?
11. Tony Elliott – Virginia
Elliott patiently waited for his head coaching opportunity and found a program that has had some recent success.
10. Dino Babers – Syracuse
Babers passed on big offers from other schools after his 10-3 season in 2018. Those offers have washed up and the seat is getting warmer.
9. Scott Satterfield – Louisville
Satterfield’s failures at Louisville have been exaggerated. But, he may not get much more time at Louisville to prove how good of a coach he is.
8. Pat Narduzzi – Pitt
Narduzzi is reigning conference champion. Losing Kenny Pickett to the NFL and Jordan Addison to USC will move Pitt back to their middle-of-the-conference position.
7. Mike Norvell – Florida State
This is a make-or-break year for Norvell with Florida State boosters keeping an eye on alum, Deion Sanders.
6. Mario Cristobal – Miami
Cristobal didn’t get over the hump during his time at Oregon. Many anticipate a big jump from Miami under Cristobal.
5. Jeff Hafley – Boston College
Hafley’s record at Boston College isn’t great, but you can see what he is building there.
4. Dave Clawson – Wake Forest
Many miss the fact that Clawson has put together a solid tenure at Wake Forest since 2014 including an ACC championship game appearance in 2021.
3. Dave Doeren – North Carolina State
Doeren is one of the more underappreciated coaches. It could be argued he should be in the #2 spot on this list.
2. Mack Brown – North Carolina
It’s been an impressive career. His second and current act at North Carolina has gone better than expected.
1. Dabo Swinney – Clemson
He’s accomplished more than any other current coach in the ACC and it’s not close.