BYU football coaches ranked by winning percentage

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  • AZ Ute Scottsdale, AZ
    Jan. 30, 2012 1:52 p.m.

    Hudspeth is LDS? Long time ago I heard one of the reasons he was canned was that he discouraged the best players from going on missions. Of course, that was from a fellow Ute fan so consider the source.

  • RaininTime Orem, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 11:47 p.m.

    This is talking winning percentages, no?

    I think when one considers the competition, BYU is playing a much tougher schedule than before. The U wasn't even relevant for most of Edward's career and most recruits hated Utah, let alone playing in their stadium, which still has below average locker rooms.

    Obviously Mendenhall wins and wins a lot. The problem is thinking BYU and Mendenhall must win every game. That is just crazy talk. Mendenhall is in an era of minute-to-minute media and social networks and hence under 24/7 scrutiny, that was never the case in all of the other coaches reigns. I will say the same for most high-profile programs. The fans and the media are almost childish in their "cheering," or whatever they think they're doing

    @ Truth avenger: grow up! I think its great that my home teacher and bishop root for the Utes, but not because they hate BYU, but because they are true loyal fans, not fly by night social media fans.

    Whittingham will always get the benefit of the doubt from media and fans that Mendenhall won't ever get and football will always be priority 5 on my list.

  • truth_avenger Lehi, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    I agree with Dan the Fan, Bronco can't win big games. If Cougar fans can get excited about beating losing teams then enjoy mediocrity. Nobody forced BYU to go independent and in going independent they lost any credibility the program had. Bronco's fake humility and arrogant piety make it nearly impossible to endure listening to him. Kyle Whittingham manages to sound more confident and more humble at the same time and has more accomplishments than Mendenhall. In any neighborhood the kid who picks on the little guys is a bully, if Provo he's a great coach!? My new favorite color is crimson.

  • Dan the Fan PROVO, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 9:45 a.m.

    I look at W/L record under Bronco. Byu vs Utah = 3-4 vs TCU = 2-5. Winning percentage is important, sure, but if you can't beat the big dogs you won't be around long. How did that work out for Lloyd Carr? 122-40 with a national title but lost his last 7 to rival Ohio St and got canned! Bronco almost never wins the big game, which drives me crazy.
    2011 marquee win = Utah St, 2010 = 7-6 UW, 2009 = 8-5 Oklahoma, 2008 = 8-5 Air Force, 2007 = 9-4 Utah, 2006 11-2 TCU(finally), 2005 = 4-7 Air Force
    Is Bronco the right guy for the job, maybe. He gets us 10 wins against weaker competition, but I think in order to get over that hump and win the big one we need someone else!

  • Osgrath Provo, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    The thing to remember is that prior to about 1965, football was just an afterthought at BYU, where basketball was king. Once the administration started showing more support, the winning started.

  • Osgrath Provo, UT
    Nov. 23, 2011 8:43 a.m.

    Why are people getting so emotional about this. The article doesn't so much rank the coaches as gives a straight-forward report of winning percentages through history. Putting the lowest first and the highest last is a sort of logical extension of that. None of the text if the article made a judgment about the quality of the coach.

    You can't compare one coach to another anyway. Prior to Tommy Hudspeth, the stadium was where the Richards P.E. building stands now with the stands on the side of the hill. During the Hudspeth tenure they built the current stadium and won their first ever conference championship. Chicken and egg question: what came first, institutional support or coaching success?

    Again, was Lavell just a unique coaching genius or did he get a lot more institutional support than Tally Stevens did - or was it a little of both? Once he started winning the institution nearly doubled the capacity of Cougar Stadium.

    The only comparison to be made between LaVell and Bronco is that Bronco got off to a quicker start - not a fair comparison. We would need at least 10 years if not more to draw conclusions.

  • Mike in Texas Cedar City, Utah
    Nov. 23, 2011 7:43 a.m.

    Too soon to make Bronco number one. Until he has kind of career that Edwards had he shouldn't even be ranked.

    Nov. 23, 2011 6:26 a.m.

    More Spin and Hype. How did the spin work out for BYU with the "better than every previous QB - freshman year stats -Jake Heaps"? Bronco is not in the same league as Lavell.

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Nov. 22, 2011 8:49 p.m.

    This article should be renamed, "WAC winning percentages"

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 22, 2011 8:40 p.m.

    A Utah fan perspective.

    LaVell Edwards was and always will be the best. He is one of the greatest Utahns of all.

    Although I find Bronco to be somewhat smug, he is the right man for the BYU job, and he has done well despite all of the naysayers.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 22, 2011 5:46 p.m.

    Actually, I believe Coach Mendenhall is justified in being at the head of the list. Coach Edwards had allowed the program to becomre barely competitive by the end of his tenure leaving with a 6-6 record and losing consistently in the rivalry game to Utah. Coach Crowton enjoyed one great year and then the program took a real dive. Coach Mendenhall revive the program and made it competitive again. It is true that the team is not dominate as it was in the early 80's under Coach Edwards. But, it plays much better competition including over the past several years a very, very good TCU team and the occasional stellar Utah team. It will be interesting to see if Coach Mendenhall can keep the Y relevant now that it is independent with no BCS, no conference championships, and all the challenges to scheduling independence brings.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 22, 2011 5:35 p.m.

    Is this an attempt to save bronco's job? Hmmm, who would have ever thought the dnews as pandering.

  • Noblepromise PROVO, UT
    Nov. 22, 2011 2:59 p.m.

    Interesting comparison of BYU head coaches; Lavell Edwards is the leader in BYU Head Coach history when it comes to winning Conference championships, team playing in post season bowl games, number of seasons finishing as Division I-A top 25 team, and winning national championship. These measurements as well as number of bowl wins mean more than winning percentage.

    How much influence does the Head Coach have on football scheduling? Is their consultation and if so, is the Coach asking to play teams that are not from conferences that are competing in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS)? Outside of BYU's current coach, all the previous head coaches were affiliated to a Conference and did these Head coaches have input on scheduling of non-conference opponents?

    If one compares Coach Mendenhall (BYU) and Coach Whittingham (UofU) on the parameters mentioned above, UofU would have hired a more successful head coach for the same time period.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    Nov. 22, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    You can't rate the current coach with much left to prove better than a legendary previous coach like Edwards. It's unfair to both of them. Bad form, DesNews, bad form.

    Edwards is clearly the better coach as it stands now. In another 10-15 years, who knows? But for now, you can't even begin to compare Bronco's body of work to LaVell's. Edwards put BYU on the map in the world of college football. Bronco has won some games against a less-than-stellar schedule, but doesn't have much to show for it in terms of keeping BYU in the national football conversation (no, interconference drama doesn't count as the national football conversation). Until he does that with BCS appearances/wins, wins against marquee programs, winning records against at least a semi-challenging schedule, etc, then you can't even mention them in the same conversation. Bronco may or may not become a better coach than Edwards was, but to compare them now is laughable.

    Nov. 22, 2011 11:07 a.m.

    @ Provo4life. I like your point, but you are mistaken. LaVell did not coach in 19 bowl games, he won 19 Conference Championships. He actually coached in 22 bowl games, with a 7-14-1 record.

  • Levin Hightstown, NJ
    Nov. 22, 2011 10:01 a.m.

    @BYUfanInWashSt: I don't see a real difference in the scheduling between LaVell era and Bronco era. For every Pitt, there was a UTEP. For every Miami, there was a UTEP. For every Texas A&M, there was an Arkansas State.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Nov. 22, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    Provo4Life | 7:36 a.m. Nov. 22, 2011
    "Winning percentage is often overblown."


    Winning is way over-rated.

    Give me a coach with a high losing percentage anyday...

    ("As for me and my house, we will take LaVell..."
    I don't let my house make those kind of choices...)

  • doc24 PROVO, UT
    Nov. 22, 2011 8:16 a.m.

    Creating a ranking system where Bronco is above Lavell is a disgrace. The two should not even be compared.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Nov. 22, 2011 8:15 a.m.


    Bronco isn't done.

    Beating teams with winning records isn't necessarily a divine sign. Utah beat us. Ironic that BYU is discounted because of the competition we've played, yet the same folks are eager to count us as a quality win.

    LaVell was the greatest. Bronco has gotten off to a faster start.

  • defibman Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 22, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    @ rlsintx

    Uhhh, look at the story headline. It was about "football". Why would they bring up anything about wrestling or anyother sport when the article is about Football?

    Please people read the story headlines, then the article and then if you have a ligit comment, write.

  • jackstraw Manti, UT
    Nov. 22, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    Ok now I go back and look closer at the title. Don't post on messages until the caffiene has kicked in and you are fully awake. My mistake.

  • jackstraw Manti, UT
    Nov. 22, 2011 7:57 a.m.

    This article was ranked great until the very end. There is no way that you can put Bronco above what Lavell did. Bronco is a great coach and great for this team, but there is no way that he is the best coach BYU has had. That is Coach Edwards. You can't even begin to compare the two.

  • BYUfaninWashSt Everett, WA
    Nov. 22, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    Never has a coach had such lopsided competition during his tenure (far more cupcakes than any other coach, as compared to his teams' talent, on paper). With fair competition, Bronco would likely have a losing record. We know that ... and thus the article.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Nov. 22, 2011 7:44 a.m.

    Congrats to Gary Crowton for coming in 4th. Imagine where he may have landed if the Cougars had been more patient.

  • Provo4Life PROVO, UT
    Nov. 22, 2011 7:36 a.m.

    Winning percentage is often overblown. I want to know how the coaches peform against ranked teams or teams with a winning record. That shows true greatness because it allows us to see how they prepare a team and how they adjust during close games. Take this season for example, we are 8-3 and still not happy with the outcome of the season. We beat up on bad teams and play close with average teams and lose to teams equal to our level. Lavell lost his share of games to poor competition, but his body of work and where he took this program was phenomenal. Even his bowl record stunk though, 7 bowl victories when he played in 19? Bronco may have the highest winning percentage, but is far from the greatest coach. As for me and my house, we will take LaVell

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Nov. 22, 2011 7:32 a.m.

    "Kopp was the only head coach in BYU history that was not LDS".

    That may be true for football, but the (men's) wrestling coach in the late 70's was also not LDS. Fred Davis - coached almost 20 years I think