5 Top Coaches Who Went From NFL to College Football

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

It’s been assumed that, for college football coaches, the end-game has always been to coach in the NFL. But, for former San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, it’s “been there, done that,” as he gave up the Bay Area to become the head coach of the University of Michigan.

It was surprising to many that Harbaugh would return to college coaching after already experiencing success at San Diego and Stanford University (not to mention the excellence he’d shown at the pro level). But, he is a Michigan alum, and the thought of coaching at his alma mater was too enticing for Harbaugh. He has done great things everywhere he’s coached, and that tradition continued upon his return, turning around a Michigan program that hasn’t been competitive in years.

If he continues on his current trajectory of success, he’ll join a list of coaches who have maintained success after returning to the collegiate level, and here are the best of those who have accomplished this task.