List of Vanderbilt Commodores head football coaches
The Vanderbilt Commodores college football team represents Vanderbilt University in the East Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Commodores compete as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The program has had 28 head coaches since it began play during the 1890 season.
The team has played 1,250 games over 126 seasons of Vanderbilt football. In that time, six coaches have led the Commodores to postseason bowl games: Arthur Guepe, Steve Sloan, George MacIntyre, Bobby Johnson, James Franklin and Derek Mason. Four other coaches won conference championships: R. G. Acton, Walter H. Watkins, James H. Henry and Dan McGugin. Between them, the coaches won eleven Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships; McGugin led the team to an additional two titles as a member of the Southern Conference.
McGugin is the leader in seasons coached and games won, with 198 victories during his 30 years at Vanderbilt. E. H. Alley has the highest winning percentage with 1.000. Robbie Caldwell has the lowest winning percentage with .167. Of the 28 different head coaches who have led the Commodores, McGugin, Ray Morrison, Henry Russell Sanders, and Bill Edwards have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana.
|No.||Order of coaches[A 2]||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 3]||C%||Conference winning percentage|
|Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame||O%||Overall winning percentage[A 4]|
|1||Jones, ElliottElliott Jones||1890–1892||13||8||5||0||.615||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||0||0||—|
|2||Keller, W. J.W. J. Keller||1893||7||6||1||0||.857||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||0||0||—|
|3||Thornton, Henry WorthHenry Worth Thornton||1894||8||7||1||0||.875||2||0||0||1.000||—||—||—||—||0||0||—|
|4||Upton, C. L.C. L. Upton||1895||9||5||3||1||.611||3||1||0||.750||—||—||—||—||0||0||—|
|5||Acton, R. G.R. G. Acton||1896–1898||20||10||7||3||.575||5||2||0||.714||—||—||—||—||1||0||—|
|6||Crane, James L.James L. Crane||1899–1900||18||11||6||1||.639||6||3||1||.650||—||—||—||—||0||0||—|
|7||Watkins, Walter H.Walter H. Watkins||1901–1902||17||14||2||1||.853||8||1||1||.850||—||—||—||—||1||0||—|
|8||Henry, James H.James H. Henry||1903||8||6||1||1||.813||5||1||1||.786||—||—||—||—||1||0||—|
|9||McGugin, DanDan McGugin||1904–1917
|10||Morrison, RayRay Morrison||1918
|53||29||22||2||.566||18||15||1||.544||0||0||0||—||0||0||SEC Coach of the Year (1937)|
|11||Sanders, Henry RussellHenry Russell Sanders||1940–1942
|60||36||22||2||.617||15||20||2||.432||0||0||0||—||0||0||SEC Coach of the Year (1941)|
|12||Alley, E. H.E. H. Alley||1943||5||5||0||0||1.000||0||0||0||.000||0||0||0||—||0||0||—|
|13||Bartling, DobyDoby Bartling||1944–1945||13||6||6||1||.500||2||4||0||.333||0||0||0||—||0||0||—|
|14||Edwards, BillBill Edwards||1949–1952||42||21||19||2||.524||11||17||1||.397||0||0||0||—||0||0||—|
|15||Guepe, ArthurArthur Guepe||1953–1962||100||39||54||7||.425||19||43||6||.324||1||0||0||—||0||0||SEC Coach of the Year (1955)|
|16||Green, JohnJohn Green||1963–1966||40||7||29||4||.225||2||19||3||.146||0||0||0||—||0||0||—|
|17||Pace, BillBill Pace||1967–1972||63||22||38||3||.373||5||27||1||.167||0||0||0||—||0||0||—|
|18||Sloan, SteveSteve Sloan||1973–1974||23||12||9||2||.565||3||8||1||.292||0||0||1||—||0||0||—|
|19||Pancoast, FredFred Pancoast||1975–1978||44||13||31||0||.295||2||22||0||.083||0||0||0||—||0||0||—|
|20||MacIntyre, GeorgeGeorge MacIntyre||1979–1985||78||25||52||1||.327||8||33||1||.202||0||1||0||—||0||0||UPI SEC Coach of the Year (1982)
SEC Coach of the Year (1982)
|21||Brown, WatsonWatson Brown||1986–1990||55||10||45||0||.182||4||29||0||.121||0||0||0||—||0||0||—|
|22||DiNardo, GerryGerry DiNardo||1991–1994||44||19||25||0||.432||9||22||0||.290||0||0||0||0||0||0||—|
|23||Dowhower, RodRod Dowhower||1995–1996||22||4||18||0||.182||1||15||0||.063||0||0||0||0||0||0||—|
|24||Widenhofer, WoodyWoody Widenhofer||1997–2001||55||15||40||—||.273||4||36||—||.100||0||0||—||0||0||0||—|
|25||Johnson, BobbyBobby Johnson||2002–2009||95||29||66||—||.305||12||52||—||.188||1||0||—||0||0||0||SEC Coach of the Year (2008)|
|26||Caldwell, RobbieRobbie Caldwell||2010||12||2||10||—||.167||1||7||—||.125||0||0||—||0||0||0||—|
|27||Franklin, JamesJames Franklin||2011–2013||39||24||15||—||.615||11||13||—||.458||2||1||—||0||0||0||—|
|28||Mason, DerekDerek Mason||2014–present||36||13||23||—||.361||5||19||—||.208||0||0||—||0||0||0||—|
- 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.
- Statistics correct as of the end of the 2016 college football season.
- Divisional champions have advanced to the SEC Championship Game since the institution of divisional play beginning in the 1992 season. Since that time, Vanderbilt has competed as a member of the East Division of the SEC.
- Staff (2015). "Vanderbilt Coaching Records". Vanderbilt History. College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on January 11, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
- "Commodore History" (PDF). 2011 Football Fact Book. Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt Athletic Communications Office. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
- 2011 Football Fact Book, p. 109
- 2011 Football Fact Book, pp. 128–129
- "Kickoff return TD sparks Cincinnati past Vanderbilt in Liberty Bowl". ESPN.com. Associated Press. December 31, 2011. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
- 2011 Football Fact Book, pp. 110–117
- "Member Biography: Dan McGugin". College Football Hall of Fame. National Football Foundation. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
- "Member Biography: Ray Morrison". College Football Hall of Fame. National Football Foundation. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
- "Member Biography: Red Sanders". College Football Hall of Fame. National Football Foundation. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
- "Member Biography: Bill Edwards". College Football Hall of Fame. National Football Foundation. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
- 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.
- Whiteside, Kelly (August 25, 2006). "Overtime system still excites coaches". USA Today. McLean, Virginia. Archived from the original on November 24, 2009. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
- 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.
- Harwell, Hoyt (November 30, 1990). "SEC sets division lineups". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 1C. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
- 2011 Football Fact Book, p. 129