Top 5 Michigan Football Coaches of All Time

Top 5 Michigan Football Coaches of All Time. Find out if Jim Harbaugh has done enough to crack what is an ELITE list of head coaches.

Top 5 Michigan Football Coaches of All Time

Michigan Football has been shaped by many great coaches throughout its history, but a few stand out for their remarkable achievements and enduring legacies. This list of the top 5 coaches in Michigan's storied football program highlights their significant contributions, championship victories, and the indelible marks they have left on the team. Current coach Jim Harbaugh now ranks among these legendary figures.

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  1. Fielding H. Yost (1901-23, 1925-26)
    • Record: 165-29-10 (.851)
    • Achievements: Known for his “Point-a-Minute” teams, Yost's Michigan squads were dominant in the early 20th century. His teams won national championships, and he is remembered for a 555-0 cumulative score against opponents in his first season. Yost also served as Michigan's athletics director and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951.
  2. Bo Schembechler (1969-89)
    • Record: 194-48-5 (.801)
    • Achievements: Schembechler holds the record for the most victories by any Michigan coach. He led the team to numerous Rose Bowl appearances, won 13 Big Ten championships, and was named the league's coach of the year six times. His loyalty and success made him a revered figure in Michigan football history.
  3. Lloyd Carr (1995-2007)
    • Record: 122-40 (.753)
    • Achievements: Carr led Michigan to a bowl appearance every season during his tenure, including a victory in the 1997 Rose Bowl, which capped a perfect 12-0 season and secured a share of the national championship. He won five Big Ten titles and was the first Michigan coach to win four consecutive bowl games.
  4. Fritz Crisler (1938-47)
    • Record: 71-16-3 (.816)
    • Achievements: Crisler was known for developing the “two-platoon football” system and introducing the iconic winged helmet design. He led Michigan to its first Big Ten championship in 10 seasons in 1943 and his final team in 1947, known as the “Mad Magicians,” won a national championship after a perfect season and a Rose Bowl victory.
  5. Jim Harbaugh (2015-Present)
    • Record: 87-25 (.777)
    • Achievements: Harbaugh has led Michigan to three consecutive Big Ten Championships and a 38-3 record over the past three seasons. Under his leadership, Michigan has made multiple College Football Playoff appearances, re-establishing the program as a national contender.
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Bottom Line

These coaches are not only the best in Michigan Football history but also some of the most influential figures in college football. Their strategies, leadership, and ability to win crucial games have profoundly impacted the program, setting high standards and leaving a legacy that continues to influence the sport today.