List of Cincinnati Bearcats head football coaches
The Cincinnati Bearcats football team represents the University of Cincinnati in the East Division of the American Athletic Conference (AAC), competing as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The program has had 39 head coaches and three interim coaches during its existence, as well as one stint with no coach and two periods with the program on hiatus. The Bearcats have been participating in college football since the 1885 season and were one of the first schools currently in the FBS to sponsor a football program. Luke Fickell is the current head coach; he replaced Tommy Tuberville following the latter's resignation at the end of the 2016 season.
The program's current nickname, "Bearcats", was first used in 1914 and was formally adopted in 1919. Prior to then, common terms like "Varsity" or "Red and Black" (the team's colors) had been used to refer to the football team. The Bearcats have played in more than 1200 games during the program's 129 seasons (through the 2017 regular season). In that time, nine coaches have led the Bearcats in a post-season bowl game, eight have won a conference championship, and four have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Rick Minter currently holds several records among Cincinnati coaches, including most games coached (117), seasons coached (10), games won (53), games lost (63), conference wins (23), and conference losses (30). Minter also holds, along with Tuberville and Brian Kelly, the record for most bowl games coached (3).[A 1][A 2] Sid Gillman guided the Bearcats to three Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships, the most of any Cincinnati coach in any conference. Gillman also has the best conference win percentage of any coach (.929); Tom Fennell's .864 is the best regular season percentage, while Kelly's .850 leads among multi-season coaches. Only one interim coach, Steve Stripling, has won a game in that position.
|No.||Order of coaches[A 4]||GC||Games coached||CW||Conference wins||PW||Postseason wins|
|DC||Division championships||OW||Overall wins||CL||Conference losses||PL||Postseason losses|
|CC||Conference championships||OL||Overall losses||CT||Conference ties||PT||Postseason ties|
|NC||National championships||OT||Overall ties[A 5]||C%||Conference winning percentage|
|Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame||O%||Overall winning percentage[A 6]|
|1||W. Durant Berry||1894–95||12||6||6||0||0.500||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||0||—|
|2||William A. Reynolds||1896||8||4||3||1||0.563||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||0||—|
|5||Daniel A. Reed||1899–1900||16||8||7||1||0.531||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||0||—|
|6||Henry S. Pratt||1901||6||1||4||1||0.250||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||0||—|
|X||No team[A 9]||1907||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|16||Boyd Chambers[A 10]||1918–21||30||12||15||3||0.468||4||9||3||0.344||0||0||0||—||0||0||—|
|19||Dana M. King||1931–34||36||25||10||1||0.708||9||4||1||0.679||0||0||0||—||2||0||—|
|20||Russ Cohen[A 11]||1935–37||22||8||11||3||0.432||2||2||0||0.500||0||0||0||—||0||0||—|
|Int||Wade Woodworth[A 11]||1937||6||0||6||0||.000||—||—||—||—||0||0||0||—||—||0||—|
|21||Joseph A. Meyer||1938–42||46||27||16||3||0.620||—||—||—||—||0||0||0||—||—||0||—|
|X||No team[A 12]||1943–44||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|35||Mark Dantonio[A 1]||2004–06||36||18||17||—||0.514||11||11||—||0.500||1||0||—||—||0||0||—|
|36||Brian Kelly[A 1][A 2]||2006–09||40||34||6||—||0.850||17||4||—||0.810||2||1||—||—||2||0||Home Depot Coach of the Year Award (2009)|
Big East Coach of the Year (2007, 2008, 2009)
|Int||Jeff Quinn[A 2]||2009||1||0||1||—||.000||—||—||—||—||0||1||—||—||0||0||—|
|37||Butch Jones[A 13]||2010–12||37||23||14||—||0.622||14||7||—||0.667||1||0||—||—||2||0||Big East Coach of the Year (2011)|
|Int||Steve Stripling[A 13]||2012||1||1||0||—||1.000||—||—||—||—||1||0||—||—||0||0||—|
|39||Luke Fickell||2017–present||12||4||8||—||0.333||2||6||—||0.250||0||0||—||0||0||0||—||AAC Coach of the Year (2018)|
- Mark Dantonio coached the Bearcats for the 2006 regular season before leaving to take the head coach position at Michigan State. Brian Kelly was hired to replace Dantonio and lead Cincinnati in the 2007 International Bowl, to finish out the season.
- Brian Kelly coached Cincinnati through the 2009 regular season and left to take over Notre Dame before the 2010 Sugar Bowl. Assistant coach Jeff Quinn was promoted to interim head coach for the bowl game.
- Although the first Rose Bowl Game was played in 1902, it has been continuously played since the 1916 game, and is recognized as the oldest bowl game by the NCAA. "—" indicates any season prior to 1916 when postseason games were not played.
- A running total of the number of head coaches, with coaches who served separate tenures being counted only once. Interim head coaches are represented with "Int" and are not counted in the running total. "—" indicates the team played but either without a coach or no coach is on record. "X" indicates an interim year without play.
- Overtime rules in college football were introduced in 1996, making ties impossible in the period since.
- When computing the win–loss percentage, a tie counts as half a win and half a loss.
- From 1885 through 1909, Cincinnati competed as an independent. Between 1910 and 1924, the program was a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference. It then competed in the Buckeye Conference from 1925 through 1935, which was followed by another period of independence. The Bearcats joined the Mid-American Conference in 1946, which they left for the Missouri Valley Conference in 1957. Between 1970 and 1995, Cincinnati again competed as an independent. The Bearcats have competed within conferences since 1996; the first was Conference USA, which they left for the Big East Conference, and then transitioned into the Big East's successor, the American Athletic Conference, starting in 2013. The American Athletic Conference began divisional play in 2015 following the addition of the Navy Midshipmen, which brought the total number of teams in the conference to twelve. Cincinnati had not been a member of a conference division at any time prior to this.
- Statistics correct as of the end of the 2017 college football season.
- Cincinnati athletic records state that no football games were played in 1907. However, the College Football Data Warehouse records the Bearcats as having played two games that year, both of which were loses, under the leadership of a "Coach Clancey".
- The College Football Data Warehouse includes an additional game and win for Chambers in the 1921 season, which is not recorded in Cincinnati's records.
- Russ Cohen voluntarily resigned on October 14, 1937, after losing the first four games of the 1937 season. Offensive line coach Wade Woodworth was hired to succeed him, at Cohen's suggestion.
- Cincinnati did not field a team during the 1943 or 1944 seasons due to World War II.
- Butch Jones coached the Bearcats through the 2012 regular season before leaving to take the head coach position at Tennessee. Assistant coach Steve Stripling was promoted to interim head coach for the 2012 Belk Bowl.
- Staff (2014). "Cincinnati Coaching Records". Cincinnati History. College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
- University of Cincinnati Athletics Communications Office (2015). "Cincinnati Bearcats 2015 Football Media Guide" (PDF). 2015 University of Cincinnati Football. University of Cincinnati Department of Athletics. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 8, 2016. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
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- Cincinnati Coaching Records (2014).
- Cincinnati Bearcats 2015 Football Media Guide, "History" and "Records".
- National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (2011). Bowl/All-Star Game Records (PDF). Indianapolis, Indiana: NCAA. pp. 5–10. Archived from the original on August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
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- Finder, Chuck (September 6, 1987). "Big plays help Paterno to 200th". The New York Times. New York City. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
- Cincinnati Bearcats 2015 Football Media Guide, p. 107.
- Bahl, Andrew (May 30, 2014). "Navy football will be in West Division when it joins American Athletic Conference in 2015". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore. College Football. ISSN 2165-1752. Archived from the original on October 2, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- Staff (2016). "Member Biography: Frank "The Iron Major" Cavanaugh". National Football Foundation. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- Cincinnati Bearcats 2015 Football Media Guide, p. 110.
- Staff (2014). "Coach Clancey Records by Year". All-Time Coaching Records. College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- Staff (2016). "Member Biography: George Little". National Football Foundation. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- Staff (2014). "Boyd B. Chambers Records by Year". All-Time Coaching Records. College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- Staff (2016). "Member Biography: George "Tank" McLaren". National Football Foundation. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- "Cohen Resigns At Cincinnati: Succeeded by Woodworth, Assistant Coach". The Mansfield News Journal. Mansfield, OH. Associated Press. October 14, 1937. p. 3. OCLC 12717004. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Cincinnati Bearcats 2015 Football Media Guide, p. 112.
- Staff (2016). "Member Biography: Sid Gillman". National Football Foundation. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- "Michigan State hires former Cincy coach Dantonio". ESPN.com. Bristol, Connecticut. Associated Press. November 27, 2006. NCAA Football. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- "International Bowl: Bearcats claw past Broncos". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. Associated Press. January 7, 2007. Sports. ISSN 0745-4724. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- Hamilton, Brian (December 11, 2009). "It's official: Brian Kelly is Notre Dame's new football coach: Proven winner to assume helm at storied but listing program". Chicago Tribune. Chicago. Sports. ISSN 1085-6706. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- "Cincinnati's interim coach Quinn has been there before". USA Today. McLean, Virginia. Associated Press. December 15, 2009. College Football. ISSN 0734-7456. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- Wells, Adam (December 5, 2012). "Notre Dame's Brian Kelly Wins Second Home Depot Coach of the Year Award". Bleacher Report. San Francisco. College Football. Archived from the original on January 4, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
- Staff (2018). "Big East Coach of the Year Winners". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on March 10, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
- Mitchell, Houston (December 7, 2012). "Tennessee hires Butch Jones as its new coach". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. Tennessee. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on October 12, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
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