Everyone started somewhere – even Power Five college football coaches. In our ongoing lookback at 20 years of Rivals.com, here is a breakdown of where each Power Five coach was in 2001 when the company started.
TOM ALLEN, Indiana
A high school coach for about the first 15 years of his career, Allen was the defensive coordinator at Indianapolis (Ind.) Ben Davis in 2001.
DAVE ARANDA, Baylor
Aranda was a graduate assistant at Texas Tech in 2001. A couple years later, he would become the linebackers coach at Houston.
DINO BABERS, Syracuse
With stops at more than a dozen schools in a coaching career that started in 1984, during 2001 and 2002 Babers was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Texas A&M.
SHANE BEAMER, South Carolina
Beamer’s coaching career started in 2000 as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech and then starting in 2001 for a few seasons he was a graduate assistant for coach Phillip Fulmer at Tennessee.
BRET BIELEMA, Illinois
Bielema was just wrapping up a years-long stretch of being the linebackers coach at Iowa, his alma mater, in 2001 and was about to become the co-DC at Kansas State and then the DC at Wisconsin, which propelled him into the head coaching job with the Badgers in 2006.
JEFF BROHM, Purdue
The year 2001 was incredibly interesting for Brohm, who played with the Orlando Rage in the XFL and then by December was the coach of the Louisville Fire in the arena league. By 2003, Brohm was the quarterbacks coach at Louisville.
MACK BROWN, North Carolina
Brown was four seasons into his extensive run as Texas’ head coach and in 2001 the Longhorns went 11-2 and won the Holiday Bowl.
NEAL BROWN, West Virginia
Brown started his playing career at Kentucky but then transferred to UMass for 2001-2002 where he finished at wide receiver.
MATT CAMPBELL, Iowa State
Campbell was playing along the defensive line in 2001 at Mount Union after transferring there from Pittsburgh.
PAUL CHRYST, Wisconsin
Chryst was at the tail end of his stint as tight ends coach of the San Diego Chargers in 2001 before taking the same position at Wisconsin the following season.
DAVE CLAWSON, Wake Forest
Clawson’s first head coaching opportunity came at Fordham from 1999-03 where he took a winless team to the conference title by the end of his run.
GEOFF COLLINS, Georgia Tech
After two years of being a graduate assistant on George O’Leary’s staff at Georgia Tech, he was promoted to tight ends coach for the Yellow Jackets ahead of the 2001 season.
MARIO CRISTOBAL, Oregon
After a stint as a graduate assistant at Miami following a playing career playing for the Hurricanes, Cristobal became the offensive tackles and tight ends coach at Rutgers from 2001-02. He would become a head coach first in 2007.
DAVID CUTCLIFFE, Duke
Cutcliffe was in his fourth of seven years as Ole Miss’ head coach in 2001, a part of his career that would end after the 2004 season (his only losing year) when he refused to fire assistant coaches and was, in turn, fired with them.
RYAN DAY, Ohio State
Day was in his final season playing quarterback and linebacker at New Hampshire in 2001 where he set records on offense playing under offensive coordinator Chip Kelly during that time.
MANNY DIAZ, Miami
As a GA in the late 1990s working alongside former Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews, Diaz helped the Seminoles to two national title games – a win and a loss. In 2001 he was a GA at NC State before becoming the linebackers coach for the Wolfpack the next year.
DAVE DOEREN, NC State
In 2001, Doeren was the secondary coach at Montana and the Grizzlies won the national title that year. The following season he moved to become the linebackers coach at Kansas.
KARL DORRELL, Colorado
Dorrell was the wide receivers coach for the Denver Broncos from 2000-02 and the following year he would land his first head coaching job at UCLA in 2003. After his time with the Bruins, he was an assistant in the NFL and in college before being hired to be Colorado’s coach in 2020.
ELI DRINKWITZ, Missouri
Drinkwitz was at Arkansas Tech in the early 2000s and received his degree from Arkansas Tech in 2004. His first coaching job was as an assistant at Alma High School in 2005 and then at Springdale, Ark., before going to Auburn as a quality control coach in 2010-2011.
HERM EDWARDS, Arizona State
It was a special year for Edwards since 2001 was his first season as the New York Jets coach, a job that would last through the 2005 campaign. He then coached Kansas City for three seasons before leaving coaching for a decade before coming back to take the Arizona State job.
KIRK FERENTZ, Iowa
In early December 1998, Ferentz was hired to replace Hayden Fry at Iowa, who was retiring. Ferentz has been the coach ever since racking up a record of 168-106.
JEDD FISCH, Arizona
In the late 1990s and leading into 2000, Fisch was a graduate assistant for Steve Spurrier at Florida and then became a quality control coach for the Houston Texans in 2002. Fisch moved around an extraordinary amount even for a college football coach and landed his first head coaching job at Arizona in December.
JIMBO FISHER, Texas A&M
Fisher was really just getting started as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at LSU in 2006 and he would stay in that position through 2006. Then he moved to Florida State in the same role and became the Seminoles’ head coach for the 2010 campaign.
PAT FITZGERALD, Northwestern
Fitzgerald’s first season at Northwestern was in 2001 as defensive backs coach. He would then move to linebackers coach until 2006 when he would take over as head coach of the Wildcats.
PJ FLECK, Minnesota
Fleck was in the middle of his career playing wide receiver at Northern Illinois in 2001. After a short NFL career, Fleck started his coaching career in 2006 as a GA at Ohio State.
JAMES FRANKLIN, Penn State
Franklin was hired as receivers coach at Maryland in 2000 and despite a head coaching change, he was one of two assistants retained along with Mike Locksley. He would stay there until taking a job with the Green Bay Packers in 2005.
SCOTT FROST, Nebraska
Frost was in the middle of a short NFL career, originally a third-round NFL Draft pick by the New York Jets and he played for the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers in 2001. He would end his pro career with the Tampa Bay Buns in 2003 and then his first coaching job was as a GA at Nebraska.
JUSTIN FUENTE, Virginia Tech
In May 2001, Fuente left the Oklahoma Wranglers as a backup quarterback to become the quarterbacks coach at Illinois State.
MIKE GUNDY, Oklahoma State
In 2001, Gundy and Les Miles were in the running to take over as Oklahoma State head coach. Miles got the job and Gundy started his tenure in Stillwater as the offensive coordinator.
JEFF HAFLEY, Boston College
After playing wide receiver at Siena, Hafley took his first job as running backs coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2001.
JIM HARBAUGH, Michigan
In his final NFL season, Harbaugh signed with Detroit prior to the 2001 season, was cut and he landed with the Carolina Panthers where he dressed for six games but did not play. In 2002, he was the Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach.
BRYAN HARSIN, Auburn
Harsin started his coaching career in 2000 as the running backs/wide receivers coach at Eastern Oregon and then in 2001 he was a graduate assistant at Boise State. Over nearly the next decade, he would stay on Boise State’s staff in different roles including offensive coordinator.
CLAY HELTON, USC
From 2000-02, Helton was the running backs coach at Memphis and he would stay with that program until 2010 when he became the quarterbacks coach at USC. He has stayed with the Trojans since that time.
JOSH HEUPEL, Tennessee
Heupel was a sixth-round draft pick by the Miami Dolphins in the 2001 NFL Draft but did not make the team mainly because of shoulder issues. He was signed by the Green Bay Packers for 2002 but was cut and stopped pursuing a pro career. His coaching career started in 2004 as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma, his alma mater.
BRIAN KELLY, Notre Dame
Kelly was at the tail end of his head coaching career at Grand Valley State and in 2001 his team averaged more than 58 points per game. Two years later, he was the coach at Central Michigan.
CHIP KELLY, UCLA
From 1999-06, Kelly was the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire. The following year he would take the same position at Oregon before becoming head coach for the 2009 season.
LANE KIFFIN, Ole Miss
Kiffin was the tight ends coach at USC in 2001 and then became the following season. A few years later while still with the Trojans, he became offensive coordinator. His first head coaching job famously came for the 2007 season with the Oakland Raiders.
CHRIS KLIEMAN, Kansas State
From 2001-05, Klieman was a coach at Div. III Loras College serving as defensive coordinator for a few years and head coach for one season before leaving to become the defensive backs coach at Northern Iowa.
JIMMY LAKE, Washington
Lake was the defensive backs coach at Eastern Washington from 2000-03 before taking the same position at Washington in 2004. He would bounce around to a few other places including the NFL and then returned to the Huskies in 2014 and was named head coach for the 2020 season.
CLARK LEA, Vanderbilt
In 2001, Lea was playing baseball at Birmingham-Southern and then he transferred to Belmont to also play baseball the following year. Lea then transferred to Vanderbilt to play football for two years. His coaching career started in 2006 as a graduate assistant at UCLA.
MIKE LEACH, Mississippi State
Leach was named the Texas Tech coach for the 2000 season so he was in his second year in Lubbock in 2001, a coaching job that lasted nearly through the 2009 season but ended in controversy. Leach never had a losing season with the Red Raiders.
LANCE LEIPOLD, Kansas
Leipold was an assistant coach at Nebraska from 2001-03, a stop in Lincoln sandwiched between jobs as an assistant coach and the offensive coordinator at Nebraska-Omaha. He would get to Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2007.
MIKE LOCKSLEY, New Mexico
From 1998-02, Locksley was on the Maryland staff as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator. When Ron Vanderlinden was fired, Ralph Friedgen decided to keep Locksley and James Franklin as assistants.
BRONCO MENDENHALL, Virginia
From 1998-02, Mendenhall served as the defensive coordinator at New Mexico where he helped develop a 3-3-5 defense and coached Brian Urlacher.
DAN MULLEN, Florida
After graduate assistant roles at Syracuse and Notre Dame, in 2001 Mullen was named the quarterbacks coach at Bowling Green by Urban Meyer. He would then follow Meyer to Utah and Florida before landing his first head coaching job at Mississippi State for the 2009 season.
PAT NARDUZZI, Pitt
Narduzzi was the linebackers coach at Northern Illinois in 2001. Two years later, he would leave to become the defensive coordinator at Miami (Ohio), Cincinnati and Michigan State before getting the Pitt job.
MIKE NORVELL, Florida State
Norvell had just started his college career as a receiver at Central Arkansas in 2001. He would end up breaking the school record for receptions.
ED ORGERON, LSU
When Paul Hackett was fired and Pete Carroll got the USC job, Orgeron was retained on the new staff and had numerous duties in his first stint in 2001 and beyond as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. He would later return to USC years later to be on Lane Kiffin’s USC staff.
GARY PATTERSON, TCU
Patterson has been TCU’s head coach since 2000. He’s had more double-digit win seasons than losing seasons.
SAM PITTMAN, Arkansas
An offensive line coach in one fashion or another for nearly his entire career before landing the Arkansas job for the 2020 season, Pittman was the offensive line coach at Kansas in 2001.
LINCOLN RILEY, Oklahoma
Twenty years ago, Riley was still in high school in Muleshoe, Texas, where he played quarterback in his junior and senior seasons. He walked-on at Texas Tech in 2002 before becoming a student assistant to Mike Leach.
NICK ROLOVICH, Washington State
Rolovich started his college career in the late 1990s at City College of San Francisco and then transferred to Hawaii and then in 2000-01 he replaced Timmy Chang there and led the team to an 8-1 record. In 2002, he became an assistant at San Marin, Calif.
NICK SABAN, Alabama
Saban was in his second season at LSU in 2001 where he led the Tigers to the SEC Championship and a Sugar Bowl victory. With seven national titles, Saban has never had a losing season in his college coaching career. Alabama has not lost more than two games in a season in a decade.
STEVE SARKISIAN, Texas
Sarkisian was hired in 2001 as USC’s quarterback coach, a position he would hold for a few seasons before joining the Oakland Raiders in the same role. His coaching career started in 2000 as the QB coach at El Camino College.
SCOTT SATTERFIELD, Louisville
Satterfield played quarterback at Appalachian State and then starting in 1998, he became a position coach there where he coached quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. In 2001, Satterfield was in charge of the running backs.
GREG SCHIANO, Rutgers
On Dec. 1, 2000, Schiano was hired as the Rutgers football coach and 2001 was his first season in that position. He made the Scarlet Knights nationally reputable and even won 11 games in 2006.
DAVID SHAW, Stanford
In 2001, Shaw was the quarterbacks coach of the Oakland Raiders. He would not rejoin the college coaching ranks until 2006 when he went to San Diego for one season before finally settling down at Stanford, first as an assistant and then the head coach.
KIRBY SMART, Georgia
Smart played at Georgia and then was an administrative assistant there in 1999 before becoming the defensive backs coach at Valdosta State in 2000. The following year in 2001 he was the defensive coordinator there before moving to Florida State as a GA in 2002.
JONATHAN SMITH, Oregon State
Smith was in his senior season playing quarterback for Oregon State in 2001, a spot he took over as a redshirt freshman and never looked back. He would become a GA for the Beavers before becoming the quarterbacks coach at Idaho in 2004.
MARK STOOPS, Kentucky
Stoops was named the defensive backs coach at Miami in February 2001 after a coaching stint at Houston the season before. He was with the Hurricanes for a few seasons until his brother, Mike, landed the Arizona job and Mark Stoops joined him in Tucson.
DABO SWINNEY, Clemson
It was a potential life-changing situation for Swinney as early in 2001 he was fired as part of Mike Dubose’s staff at Alabama, sat out the college football season that fall and from April 2001-February 2003 Swinney worked for a real estate company on projects in Alabama.
MEL TUCKER, Michigan State
Tucker was the defensive backs coach at Ohio State starting in 2001 through 2003. He came to Columbus after one season in the same position at LSU.
MATT WELLS, Texas Tech
Wells had a variety of duties at Navy from 1997-01, his first coaching stint, which included coaching the quarterbacks, fullbacks and receivers and also heading up the junior varsity squad while in Annapolis.
KYLE WHITTINGHAM, Utah
Whittingham started his coaching career in the mid-1980s and got to Utah in 1994. By 2001, he was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Utes and landed the head coaching position for the 2005 season after Urban Meyer left for Florida.
JUSTIN WILCOX, Cal
After finishing his playing career as a defensive back at Oregon, Wilcox became a graduate assistant at Boise State in 2001-2002. He became the Cal linebackers coach from 2003-05.