Jimmy Johnson, Jackie Sherrill, Kevin Steele, and David Cutcliffe worked for college coaching legend Johnny Majors while he was at Iowa State, Pittsburgh and Tennessee. When Johnson landed head-coaching jobs at Oklahoma State and Miami, he hired Pat Jones, Tommy Tuberville, Butch Davis and Larry Coker. They in turn helped launch the careers of Ed Orgeron, Greg Schiano, Gene Chizik and Will Muschamp. Every great college head coach has a good-looking line of coaches who he's taught to have success on the field. But what about those coaches who have mentored this generation of expert recruiters? Do those recruiting trees exist the same way?
You better believe it, say many of the top minds on the business.
Coaches from all over the country were asked whether coaching trees existed with recruiting. Almost all of the responses were of the affirmative. Florida State recruiting coordinator Tim Brewster, widely considered one of the best recruiters in the game today, said the best head coaches know they can't just out-coach other teams on Saturdays. They have to be able to go out and get the future talent.
"As Darrell Royal used to say, 'It's not the X's and the O's but the Jimmys and the Joes,'" Brewster said. "You have to out-hustle everybody else on the recruiting trail as a head coach and also teach your assistants to be effective." Here's a look at what many recruiters today believe are some of the best recruiting trees of all time.
Head-coaching stops: Iowa State (1968-1972), Pittsburgh (1973-1976, 1993-1996), Tennessee (1977-1992)