How would the average ND "fan" rank Elmer Layden, Dan Devine and Lou Holtz as head coaches for ND?...
My guess is that they would be described as close to failure; a little better; and ALL TIME GREAT. What was their winning % at ND? (incidentally, I am following the standard measurement where a tie is counted a one half win and one half loss)
Layden was .770; Devine was .764; Lou was .765.
Knute Rockne is #1 All Time for winning percentage as a college coach, at .881. Leahy is #2, at .855.
Where do they rank at ND!!
Knute is #4 and Frank is #7!
How can that be?
Here is the record of our short-time coaches:
John L. Marks 13-0-2
Thomas Barry 12-1-1
Victor Place 8-1-0
Jesse Harper 34-5-1
Frank Longman 11-1-2
Their combined record was 76-8-6, or .886. Thus………Knute Rockne LOWERED ND’s winning percentage from his five immediate predecessors!
ND is a very close #2 (to Michigan) in all time winning percentage. Both of us are just short of 75%.
Of the 29 Head Coaches we have had in our history (there were no coaches before 1894), 15 were at .750 or above. Brian Kelly has moved into 16th place during this season. Brian will have one more game this year and (hopefully) 13 games next year. If he wins 11 of these next 14, he will be at .750 for his career, putting him right behind Devine, Holtz, and Layden on ND’s All Time list.
By the way, Notre Dame has had only one losing coach in its history. Joe Kuharich (who was the first person to win Coach of the Year in College AND the NFL) is our only losing Head Coach, with a record of 17-33 (.433). Historically, Kansas State has had the lowest winning percentage of all football teams. They are just below .450. Until Bill Snyder came along with a special formula (redshirt EVERYONE the first year; schedule weak non-conference opponents; build a “winning” mentality; and bring in JUCO’s), Kansas State University had a winning percentage below ND’s losingest coach.