May 042012

The San Francisco 49ers have an incredible track record when it comes to hiring head coaches from nearby colleges. Buck Shaw (California), Bill Walsh (Stanford), Steve Mariucci (California) all had winning records with the 49ers, and in only his first year Jim Harbaugh (Stanford) nearly brought the franchise back to the Super Bowl.

NFL Head Coaches Who Were Hired From Nearby Schools

Columns can be sorted by clicking on the titles in the header.

Charles Brickley1921Fordham (NY) ¹New York Brickley Giants
Russell Tollefson1922Minnesota (Assistant)Minneapolis Marines
Jack Depler1929Columbia (NY) (Assistant)Orange Tornadoes
Ralph Jones1930Lake Forest Academy H.S. (IL)Chicago Bears
George Gibson1930Minnesota (Assistant)Minneapolis Marines
Chile Walsh1934St. Louis (MO)St. Louis Gunners
Eddie Casey1935Harvard (MA)Boston Redskins
Gus Dorais1943Detroit (MI)Detroit Lions
Buck Shaw1946CaliforniaSan Francisco 49ers (AAFC)
Lisle Blackbourn1954Marquette (WI) ²Green Bay Packers
Jim Lee Howell1954Wagner (NY) ³New York Giants
Tommy Prothro1971UCLALos Angeles Rams
Bill Peterson1972Rice (TX)Houston Oilers
Bill Walsh1979Stanford (CA)San Francisco 49ers
John Robinson1983Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles Rams
Steve Mariucci1997CaliforniaSan Francisco 49ers
Jim Harbaugh2011Stanford (CA)San Francisco 49ers

¹ In 1921, Charles Brickley remained with Fordham, but as an assistant coach.

² Marquette is located in Milwaukee, WI. The second “home” to the Green Bay Packers.

³ Jim Lee Howell was also an assistant coach with the New York Giants.


Listed below are the coaches that were a NFL head coach and college/prep coach during the same season.

NFL Head Coach and Local College/Prep Coach During the Same Season

CoachYearCollege PositionNFL Head Coach of
Bud Talbott1920-21Head Coach at Dayton (OH) ¹Dayton Triangles
Charles Brickley1921Assistant at Fordham (NY) New York Brickley Giants
Harry Mehre1923Head Coach at St. Thomas (MN)Minneapolis Marines
Joe Brandy1924Head Coach at St. Thomas (MN)Minneapolis Marines
Archie Golembeski1925Head Coach at Providence (RI)Providence Steam Roller
Lenny Sachs1926Head Coach at Loyola Academy H.S. (IL)Louisville Colonels ²
Marty Brill1931Assistant at Columbia (NY)Staten Island Stapletons ³
Aldo Donelli1941Head Coach at Duquesne (PA) ⁴Pittsburgh Steelers

¹ In 1921, Bud Talbott was the head coach at the University of Dayton for only one game; the last game of their season.

² The Louisville Colonels were a “traveling team” based out of Chicago, IL.

³ Marty Brill was the Staten Island Stapletons head coach for the last seven games of the season.

⁴ Aldo Donelli was the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach for games 3-7. After that he officially returned to Duquesne. The NFL didn’t like the idea of Donelli coaching two teams, so he was forced to take a “leave of absence” from Duquesne. Although Donelli attended every Duquesne game from the field.


Sources: List of NFL Head Coaches at, List of College Football Coaches at College Football Data Warehouse, Newspaper Sources

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