List of college football head coaches with non-consecutive tenure

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This is a list of college football head coaches with non-consecutive tenure, meaning that an individual was a head coach at a college or university for a period, departed, and then returned to the same college or university in the same capacity.

This list includes only head coaches. This list does not include head coaches whose break in tenure was due to a temporarily suspended football program for World War I (including the flu pandemic linked to that conflict) or World War II and with no other coach during the break in tenure. It also does not include coaches that left and returned into an administrative capacity in the title of "head coach" but did not coach any games, such as when Tom Osborne temporarily named himself head coach while athletic director for the Nebraska Cornhuskers until Bo Pelini was hired in 2007.[1]

Several College Football Hall of Fame coaches have made the list, accenting not only their return to the same program but the success their return brought to the program.[2] Critics have pointed out that returning coaches appear to be less successful at producing winning teams and programs during their second tenure[3] and make comparisons to previous records of coaches attempting to return to a prior coaching job.[4]

Head Coach School/Team Tenure Notes
Abbott, EliEli Abbott[5] Alabama 1893–1895, 1902
Abraham, A. A.A. A. Abraham[6] Alcorn State 1936, 1938, 1941–1942
Adams, HobbsHobbs Adams[7] Kansas State 1940–1941, 1946
Allen, George E.George E. Allen[8] Maine 1941, 1946–1948
Allen, WilliamWilliam Allen[9] Washington State 1900, 1902
Alvarez, BarryBarry Alvarez Wisconsin 1990–2005, 2012 Alvarez, who stepped down from coaching after the 2005 season to concentrate on his second role as athletic director and entered the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010, was the interim coach for Wisconsin's final game of the 2012 season (the 2013 Rose Bowl) after Bret Bielema left to take the head coaching vacancy at Arkansas.[10]
Anderson, Carl "Swede"Carl "Swede" Anderson Western Kentucky 1929, 1934–1937
Anderson, EddieEddie Anderson Holy Cross 1933–1938, 1950–1964 Member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Coached six years at Holy Cross in the 1930s, moved on to Iowa which he interrupted to serve in the U.S. Army. He then returned first to Iowa then to Holy Cross for 13 seasons.[2]
Iowa 1939–1942, 1946–1949
Arbuckle, PhillipPhillip Arbuckle Rice 1912–1917, 1919–1923
Ault, ChrisChris Ault Nevada 1976–1992, 1994–1995, 2004–2012 Stepped down and returned twice during his tenure at Nevada, each time to focus on his (now-relinquished) second role as athletics director.[2] Ault was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002, during his second break in tenure.
Balliet, D. M.D. M. Balliet Purdue 1893–1895, 1901
Bankart, LaurenceLaurence Bankart Colgate 1910, 1913–1916
Bayne, T. L.T. L. Bayne Tulane 1893, 1895
Bell, MattyMatty Bell Southern Methodist 1935–1941, 1945–1949
Bender, John R.John R. Bender Washington State 1906–1907, 1912–1914
Benet, ChristieChristie Benet South Carolina 1904–1905, 1908–1909
Bennett, CurtCurt Bennett Sterling 1966–1973, 1980, 1997–2000
Bezdek, HugoHugo Bezdek Oregon 1906, 1913–1917
Bierman, BernieBernie Bierman Minnesota 1932–1941, 1945–1950
Bloss, BillBill Bloss Oregon State 1893, 1897
Bocock, BranchBranch Bocock Virginia Tech 1909–1910, 1912–1915
William & Mary 1928–1930, 1936–1938
Borleske, StanleyStanley Borleske North Dakota State 1919–1921, 1923–1924, 1928 Co-head coach with Casey Finnegan in 1928
Bradshaw, JimmyJimmy Bradshaw Fresno State 1936–1942, 1946 Fresno State did not play in 1943, but resumed in 1944.[11]
Brewer, ChesterChester Brewer Michigan State 1903–1910, 1917, 1919 Michigan State played its 1918 season.
Briggs, ArthurArthur Briggs Missouri State 1912, 1914–1917, 1919–1933 Missouri State, then known as the Fourth District Normal School, played in 1918.[12]
Bronson, ReubenReuben Bronson Idaho State 1915–1916, 1919 Idaho State played in 1917, but not in 1918.[13]
Brown, JohnJohn Brown Alabama State 1943, 1945–1948 Alabama State played in 1944.[14]
Bullock, MatthewMatthew Bullock Massachusetts 1904, 1907–1908
Butova, HenryHenry Butova American International 1948, 1952–1955
Busbee, PerrinPerrin Busbee North Carolina State 1892, 1896–1897
Cain, JohnnyJohnny Cain Louisiana–Lafayette 1937–1941, 1946
Camp, WalterWalter Camp Stanford 1892, 1894–1895
Campbell, V. M.V. M. Campbell Memphis 1917, 1919 Memphis, then the West Tennessee Normal School, played in 1918.[15]
Cannell, JackJack Cannell Dartmouth 1921–1922, 1929–1933
Carson, GilbertGilbert Carson Eastern Illinois 1936–1937, 1939–1941
Church, BillBill Church Georgetown 1899, 1901
Clark, GeorgeGeorge Clark Nebraska 1945, 1948
Clark, LouisLouis Clark Dayton 1913, 1917–1918
Clark, TomTom Clark Catholic 1994–2000, 2004–2005
Cromwell, DeanDean Cromwell Southern California 1909–1910, 1916–1918
Cross, H. P.H. P. Cross Stanford 1896, 1898
Daly, Charles DudleyCharles Dudley Daly Army 1913–1916, 1919–1922
Dean, MarkMark Dean Indiana State 1951–1954, 1956
DeHart, JamesJames DeHart Washington & Lee 1922–1925, 1931–1932
Devore, HughHugh Devore Notre Dame 1945, 1963
Dickinson, Marvin D.Marvin D. Dickinson Georgia 1903, 1905
Dillon, ChetChet Dillon Samford 1919, 1927–1928
Jacksonville State 1938–1939, 1945
Donahue, MikeMike Donahue Auburn 1904–1906, 1908–1922
Ducote, MoonMoon Ducote Spring Hill 1919, 1921–1922, 1933–1934
Duggins, E. C.E. C. Duggins Appalachian State 1947–1950, 1952–1955
Dunlop, JohnJohn Dunlop Boston College 1897–1899, 1901
Dupree, RonRon Dupree Kansas Wesleyan 1979–1980, 1996
Dyche, Schubert R.Schubert R. Dyche Montana State 1928–1935, 1938–1941
Eck, ThomasThomas Eck Massachusetts 1945, 1947–1951
Edwards, George R.George R. Edwards Kansas Wesleyan 1914, 1917
Ely, HarryHarry Ely Fordham 1892, 1903
Enright, RexRex Enright South Carolina 1938–1942, 1946–1955
Erickson, DennisDennis Erickson Idaho 1982–1985, 2006 21 years between coaching periods[2]
Faber, JackJack Faber Maryland 1935, 1940–1941
Fagg, DaveDave Fagg Davidson 1970–1973, 1990–1992
Fambrough, DonDon Fambrough Kansas 1971–1974, 1979–1982
Farley, WellsWells Farley Maine 1901, 1903
Faurot, DonDon Faurot Missouri 1935–1942, 1946–1956
Fessenden, DougDoug Fessenden Montana 1935–1941, 1946–1948
Folsom, FredFred Folsom Colorado 1895–1899, 1901–1902, 1908–1915
Forbes, TedTed Forbes UC Davis 1949–1953, 1955
Foster, DixonDixon Foster South Carolina 1917, 1919
Floyd, RedRed Floyd Middle Tennessee 1917, 1935–1938
Franchione, DennisDennis Franchione Texas State 1990–91, 2011–present 20 years between coaching periods[16]
Fulmer, PhillipPhillip Fulmer Tennessee 1992, 1993–2008 Fulmer was named interim head coach for the first three games of the 1992 season in Johnny Majors' absence. He returned to his position as offensive coordinator upon Majors' return. Following Majors' resignation after the season, Fulmer was promoted to head coach.
Gammons, J. A.J. A. Gammons Brown 1902, 1908–1909
Gardner, MikeMike Gardner Tabor 2004–2005, 2010–present
Gargan, FrankFrank Gargan Fordham 1916, 1922–1926
Gilbert, RufusRufus Gilbert Kalamazoo 1905, 1907–1908
Graham, OttoOtto Graham Coast Guard 1959–1965, 1974–1975
Graham, RalphRalph Graham Wichita State 1942, 1946–1947
Graves, Sr., ErnestErnest Graves, Sr. Army 1906, 1912
Green, RobRob Green Missouri Southern 1997, 2003 Green had no wins in nine games as head coach.
Griffin Sr., JamesJames Griffin Sr. Hampton 1941–1942, 1947–1948
Griffith, John G.John G. Griffith Idaho 1902–1906, 1910–1914
Hamilton, TomTom Hamilton Navy 1934–1936, 1946–1947
Pittsburgh 1951, 1954
Harbaugh, A. G.A. G. Harbaugh Montana State 1901, 1905
Harding, JackJack Harding Miami (Fla.) 1937–1942, 1945–1947
Hargesheirner, WalterWalter Hargesheirner Massachusetts 1941–1942, 1946
Harman, HarveyHarvey Harman Rutgers 1938–1941, 1946–1955
Hare, Lyle W.Lyle W. Hare Black Hills State 1906, 1911–1919
Harris, L.L. Harris Alcorn State 1937, 1939–1940
Harlow, DickDick Harlow Harvard 1935–1942, 1945–1947
Hartsell, HarryHarry Hartsell North Carolina State 1917, 1921–1923
Hess, FredFred Hess Wyoming 1892, 1894, 1898 Hess was co-head coach with Justus Soule in 1894.
Hinch, Nick E.Nick E. Hinch Eastern Washington 1908, 1912
Hinkle, TonyTony Hinkle Butler 1926, 1935–1941, 1946–1969
Hollenback, BillBill Hollenback Penn State 1909, 1911–1914
Hoskins, GeorgeGeorge Hoskins Bucknell 1899–1906, 1909
Hucles, Henry B.Henry B. Hucles Virginia Union 1919–1920, 1926–1942
Hughes, Harry W.Harry W. Hughes Colorado State 1911–1941, 1946
Hunt, Claude J.Claude J. Hunt Washington 1917, 1919 Washington played in 1918.[17]
Hunthausen, JohnJohn Hunthausen Carroll (MT) 1957, 1959–1961 [18]
Jackson, EdwardEdward Jackson Delaware State 1933–1936, 1939, 1941–1942, 1945, 1953–1956
Kennedy, A. R.A. R. Kennedy Washburn 1903, 1916–1917
Kenyon, William C.William C. Kenyon Maine 1942, 1944–1945
Kern, BillBill Kern West Virginia 1940–1942, 1946–1947
Kimball, EddieEddie Kimball Brigham Young 1937–1941, 1946–1948
King, PhilipPhilip King Wisconsin 1896–1902, 1905
Kitts, JamesJames Kitts Virginia Tech 1941, 1946–1947
Lahar, HarlHarl Lahar Colgate 1952–1956, 1962–1967
Lantz, CharlesCharles Lantz Eastern Illinois 1911–1934, 1944 No season in 1918.[19]
Leahy, FrankFrank Leahy Notre Dame 1941–1943, 1946–1953
Lee, JohnJohn Lee Fordham 1891, 1893
Little, GeorgeGeorge Little Miami (Ohio) 1916, 1919–1921
Lotter, WillWill Lotter California–Davis 1954, 1956–1957, 1959–1963
Majors, JohnnyJohnny Majors Pittsburgh 1973–1976, 1993–1996 Won a national title at Pittsburgh in his first tenure.[2]
Mann, OliverOliver Mann Rutgers 1903, 1905
Marks, WallyWally Marks Indiana State 1927–1930, 1933–1941, 1946–1948
Mayser, CharlesCharles Mayser Franklin & Marshall 1919–1914
1924–1925
1944–1945
McAvoy, WilliamWilliam McAvoy Delaware 1908–1916, 1922–1924
McBirney, Sam P.Sam P. McBirney Tulsa 1908, 1914–1916
McCann, DanDan McCann Duquesne 1970–1983, 1988–1992
McClairen, JackJack McClairen Bethune–Cookman 1961–1972, 1994–1997
McCorkle, SamSam McCorkle Livingston/West Alabama 1985–1990, 2004–2005
McGugin, DanDan McGugin Vanderbilt 1904–1917, 1919–1934
McLaughry, TussTuss McLaughry Dartmouth 1941–1942, 1945–1954
Westminster College 1915–1916, 1918, 1921 Co-head coach with Park in 1915
McKay, JackJack McKay Butler 1907–1908, 1910
Michie, DennisDennis Michie Army 1890, 1892
Miller, John O.John O. Miller New Mexico State 1899, 1901–1907
Miles, AlfredAlfred Miles Middle Tennessee 1913–1916, 1919–1923
Mobley, T. R.T. R. Mobley Louisiana–Lafayette 1916, 1919, 1921–1930
Moore, JimJim Moore Murray State 1941, 1946–1947
Morrison, EdwardEdward Morrison Howard 1920–1924, 1928
Morrison, RayRay Morrison Southern Methodist 1915–1916, 1924–1934
Vanderbilt 1918, 1935–1939
Morrow, David C.David C. Morrow Washington & Jefferson 1908–11, 1919–20, 1924–25 [20]
Mullins, MoonMoon Mullins Saint Ambrose 1940, 1947–1950 [21]
Murray, FrankFrank Murray Marquette 1922–1936, 1946–1949
Myers, DennyDenny Myers Boston College 1941–1942, 1946–1950
Myers, HowdyHowdy Myers Johns Hopkins 1946–1949, 1979 Myers had a 30-year break in tenure at Johns Hopkins[22]
Nielson, BobBob Nielson Minnesota–Duluth 1999–2003, 2008–2012 Won two Division II national titles in his second tenure.
Neyland, RobertRobert Neyland Tennessee 1926–1934, 1936–1940, 1946–1952 Interrupted his coaching twice to serve in the U.S. Army[2]
Nichols, RalphRalph Nichols Washington 1895–1896, 1898
Obrien, HarveyHarvey O'Brien The Citadel 1916–1918, 1920–1921
Obrien, MaynardMaynard O'Brien Eastern Illinois 1946–1950, 1952–1955
Odaniels, HowieHowie O'Daniels Cal Poly 1933–1941, 1946–1947
Oneill, FrankFrank "Buck" O'Neill Colgate 1902, 1904–1905
Syracuse 1906–1907, 1913–1915, 1917–1919
Oliver, TexTex Oliver Oregon 1938–1941, 1945–1946
Wallace Parker Central Michigan 1921–1923, 1926–1928
Willie Parker Alabama State 1973–1975, 1984, 1986
Mike Pecarovich Loyola Marymount 1928, 1939
Pelini, BoBo Pelini Nebraska 2003, 2008–present Pelini coached the final game (the Alamo Bowl) of the 2003 season after Frank Solich was fired.
Marty Peters Benedictine 1937–1941, 1946–1947
Petrino, BobbyBobby Petrino Louisville 2003–2006, 2014–present
Alvin Pierson Fresno State 1945, 1949
Boozer Pitts Auburn 1923–1924, 1927
Frank Potts Colorado 1940, 1944–1945
Irving Pray Louisiana State 1916, 1919, 1922
Percy S. Prince Louisiana Tech 1909–1915, 1919
Eddie Reed Loyola (LA) 1926, 1935–1936
Red Reese Eastern Washington 1930–1941, 1946
William Reid Harvard 1901, 1905–1906
John Richards Wisconsin 1911, 1917, 1919–1922
Walter Riggs Clemson 1896, 1899
Mike Riley Oregon State 1997–1998, 2003–present Returned to Oregon State after coaching in the NFL[4]
Eddie "Robbie" Robinson Brown 1898–1901, 1904–1907, 1910–1925
John Robinson Southern California[23] 1976–1982, 1993–1997 Won a national title in his first tenure[2]
Merton Robinson Howard 1908, 1918–1919
Harry Rockafeller Rutgers 1927–1930, 1942–1945
Ira Rodgers West Virginia 1925–1930, 1943–1945
George Rogers The Citadel 1913–1915, 1919
Bill Roper Princeton 1906–1908, 1910–1911, 1919–1930 Three undefeated seasons and four national championships at Princeton[2]
Frederick Bushnell "Jack" Ryder Ohio State 1892–1895, 1898
Elton Rynearson Eastern Michigan ("Michigan State Normal College" at the time) 1917, 1919–1920, 1925–1948 No season in 1944. He is considered the most successful coach in the program, leading the team to several undefeated seasons.[24]
Henry Russell Sanders Vanderbilt 1940–1942, 1946–1948
Don Salls Jacksonville State 1946–1952, 1954–1964
Herb Schmalenberger California–Davis 1958, 1964–1969
Clark Shaughnessy Maryland 1942, 1946
Tulane 1915–1920, 1922–1926
Clarence A. Short Delaware 1902, 1906
Fred Smith Fordham 1901, 1904, 1906–1907 Smith was co-head coach with Maurice McCarthy in 1901.
Warren W. Smith Oregon 1901, 1903
Carl Snavely North Carolina 1934–1935, 1945–1952
Norm Snead Apprentice 1977–1984, 1988–1989
Snyder, BillBill Snyder[25] Kansas State 1989–2005, 2009–present
Frank Spaziani Boston College 2006, 2009–2012 Spaziani coached the final game of the 2006 season (the Meineke Car Care Bowl) after Tom O'Brien left.
J. W. Stephenson Jacksonville State 1920–1921, 1929–1930
Roy Stewart Murray State 1932–1940, 1942–1945 No season in 1943.[26]
Tony Storti Montana State 1952–1953, 1956–1957
Arthur Strum Indiana State 1923–1926, 1932, 1942
Fred Sullivan Ohio 1899, 1903
Jim Sweeney Fresno State 1976–1977, 1980–1996
Charles Tambling Central Michigan 1902–1905, 1918
Jim Tatum North Carolina 1942, 1956–1958
Teevens, BuddyBuddy Teevens Dartmouth 1987–1991, 2005–present
Thomas, JesseJesse Thomas Western Kentucky 1933, 1946–1947
Thompson, JohnJohn Thompson Arkansas State 2012, 2013 Thompson has been an interim head coach for two Arkansas State appearances in the GoDaddy Bowl. He was first named interim coach after the 2012 regular season when Gus Malzahn left to take the head coaching vacancy at Auburn, and coached in the 2013 game. Thompson again became interim coach after the 2013 regular season when Bryan Harsin left for Boise State, and coached in the 2014 game.[27]
Toop, MikeMike Toop Davidson 2001–2004, 2008
Merchant Marine 2005–2007, 2009–present
Thomas Trenchard North Carolina 1895, 1913–1915
Washington & Lee 1899, 1902
Otto D. Unruh Bethel Threshers 1919–1942, 1967–1969 25 years and nine other head coaches held the post between times of service, including his son David Unruh[28]
Johnny Vaught Mississippi 1947–1970, 1973
Wallace Wade Duke 1931–1941, 1946–1950
Bill Walsh[29] Stanford 1977–1978, 1992–1994
W. Rice Warren Virginia 1913, 1920–1921
Glenn Scobey "Pop" Warner Cornell 1897–1898, 1904–1906
Carlisle 1899–1903, 1907–1914
Whipple, MarkMark Whipple Massachusetts 1998–2003, 2014–present Whipple won a Division I-AA (FCS) national title in the first year of his first tenure.
Bob Williams Clemson 1906, 1909, 1913–1915
C. H. Williams Hampton 1914–1917, 1919–1920
Jimmy Wilson Buffalo 1932–1933, 1950–1951
Edgar Wingard Susquehanna 1916–1917, 1919, 1924–1925
Frank N. Wolf Waynesburg 1921–1922, 1928–1941
James J. Yeager Colorado 1941–1943, 1946–1947
Louis Yeager West Virginia 1899, 1901–1902
Donzell Young Arkansas–Pine Bluff 1973–1975, 1984–1986
Fielding H. Yost Michigan 1901–1923, 1925–1926
Don Young Black Hills State 1948–1950, 1953–1958, 1967

References[edit]

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  25. ^ "Snyder to attempt second 'miracle' turnaround for Kansas State". ESPN.com. November 24, 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 
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  29. ^ Associated Press (January 17, 1992). "Walsh returning to Stanford, not San Francisco". TimesDaily. p. 3B. Retrieved October 9, 2012.