The Top 5 Oldest Coaches in College Football

Nick Saban, one of the oldest coaches in college football

Coaching in college football is becoming a young man’s game. Athletic director’s are looking for the next young offensive-minded genius to lead their programs. The rapid changes in college football — recruiting, transfers, NIL — are pushing older coaches out of the game.

Who are the top 5 oldest coaches in college football?

There have been some recent changes to this list. Frank Solich recently retired from Ohio. He lead the Bobcats since 1995. He previously topped this list at 77 years old. Other recent departures from this list over the past few seasons include, Butch Davis (Florida International, 70 years old), David Cutcliffe (Duke, 67 years old), and Les Miles (Kansas, 68 years old).

Here are the top 5 oldest coaches in college football heading into the 2022 season.

  1. Mack Brown, North Carolina – 71 years old
    A surprise second stint at North Carolina (1988-1997, 2019-present) keeps chugging along. Brown has the Tar Heels in a better spot than he found it, but how long will it continue. It would be a surprise if his coaching career lasted another 3+ seasons.
  2. Nick Saban, Alabama – 70 years old
    Fans and coaches of SEC teams not named Alabama having been crossing their fingers for years that a Saban retirement was near. Disappointment continues for these folks as Saban recently agreed to an extension through the 2030 season. It’s unlikely he coaches for another 8 seasons. But, the only person that will decide when Nick Saban is done is Nick Saban.
  3. Herm Edwards, Arizona State – 68 years old
    An interesting hire 3 seasons ago has produced an even more interesting tenure at Arizona State. His record as Arizona State is decent, but off-the-field issues has landed Edwards on the hot seat.
  4. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa – 68 years old
    Ferentz is as steady as they come. Leading Iowa since 1999, you know what you are going to get with a Ferentz lead team — a team that may not have enough talent to compete for championships, but enough discipline to go toe-to-toe with talent superior teams. Ferentz also leads our list of longest tenured head coaches in college football.
  5. Terry Bowden, Louisiana-Monroe – 66 years old
    Terry Bowden, the son of coaching legend, Bobby Bowden (Florida State), found his way back into college football coaching after resigning from Auburn and a short stint in broadcasting. Since Auburn, Bowden had lead North Alabama, Akron and his current employment, Louisiana-Monroe.

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