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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Ranking the Pac-12 conference head football coaches

Rebecca Noble

Coach Rich Rodriguez walks the field during the Wildcats’ game against OSU this past Saturday, Oct. 10. The Wildcats defeated OSU 44-7.

No. 1 Todd Graham, ASU

Salary: $3,002,960

Record at ASU: 32-14

As Sun Devil Athletics puts it, Graham is a “visionary.” Named the 2013 Pac-12 Conference Coach of the Year, Graham brought the program to new heights since taking over for the Sun Devils. Even this season when ASU fell into a slump and lost badly against USC and Texas A&M, he was able to calm his team down and have them back on track. Now the Sun Devils are riding a two game winning streak, but face Utah this week.

No. 2 Rich Rodriguez, Arizona

Salary: $3,238,844

Record at Arizona: 30-16

Rodriguez is known for his facial expressions on the sidelines and his jokes during his postgame press conferences. With Rodriguez at the helm for Arizona, he has taken the Wildcats all the way to the top of the conference, something that could not be said under former head coach Mike Stoops. He and Graham are almost always fighting, but still remain good friends. That’s why we have them share the top two coaches on this list.

No. 3 Jim Mora, UCLA

Salary: $3,350,000

Record at UCLA: 33-12

Mora is one of the biggest vocal leaders for the Bruins. When they lose, he blames himself. He never seems to get carried away, even following big wins as displayed by his commanding victory over Arizona this season. Mora truly has the respect of the rest of his coaches and players.

No. 4 Kyle Whittingham, Utah

Salary: $2,600,000

Record at Utah: 90-43

Whittingham’s patience and perseverance has finally paid off. He has turned the Utah Utes in his 11th season with the program into a top-five program in the country. At least at the moment. Whittingham has so much experience with the program and is the longest tenured coach on this list in the conference.

No. 5 David Shaw, Stanford

Salary: $2,224,435

Record at Stanford: 46-13

Shaw has been the mastermind of Stanford football over the past couple of seasons. Shaw graduated from the Cardinal himself and is the fifth football coach to have the role for Stanford. In his first three years, Shaw led his team to three BCS bowls in three years—an impressive feat. He preaches academics and finds ways for his program to win big football games.

No. 6 Chris Petersen, Washington

Salary: $3,402,940

Record at Washington: 11-8

Petersen is in his first year coaching for the Huskies and previously carried the Boise State football program. He became the fastest FBS coach to reach 100 career victories. Peterson is an offensive legend and for that we rank him at number six.

No. 7 Mark Helfrich, Oregon

Salary: $3,150,000

Record at Oregon: 27-7

Without the heralded Marcus Mariota, Helfrich and the Oregon Ducks are struggling this season. The Ducks have an overall record of 3-3. The record comes as a surprise as Helfrich had previously boasted a 24-4 record and had we made this list during the preseason, he may have ranked much higher. He knows the Oregon offense well, previously holding the position of offensive coordinator before Chip Kelly left for the Philadelphia Eagles.

No. 8 Gary Andersen, Oregon State

Salary: $2,450,000

Record at Oregon State: 2-3

Many were surprised when Andersen left a successful Wisconsin football program for the Beavers. The move really hasn’t gone his way thus far. Andersen and his program were dismantled against the Arizona Wildcats last week 44-7 and boast just a 2-3 record. He has quite a bit of coaching experience under his belt, and maybe would have been ranked higher had he got off to a better start at OSU.

No. 9 Sonny Dykes, California

Salary: $2,008,000

Record at California: 11-19

Sonny Dykes has not had much success at California before this season. In fact, I was surprised to see him still holding the position following his record. But finally, Jared Goff and his system clicked as he has his team at a record of 5-1 this season. Dykes didn’t have much to go on and needs a few more years to build his program. He is also our first coach with a losing record in the Pac-12.

No. 10 Mike Leach, Washington State

Salary: $2,750,000

Record at Washington State: 15-27

Another head football coach with a losing record. Leach and Washington State are starting to click in his fourth year. Yet, he has had a tough road since Texas Tech and his glory days, where he spent 10 years. Leach ranks No. 10 on our list and will continue to rank low until he can prove himself. Facing Arizona during their homecoming could be just that opportunity.

No. 11 Mike MacIntyre, Colorado

Salary: $2,010,353

Record at Colorado: 9-21

The Colorado Buffaloes have truly struggled under MacIntyre, which shouldn’t come as too much as a surprise. He didn’t have much to work with and came from a San Jose State program that also had a losing record. We didn’t have much of a choice but to rank him at No. 11.

No. 12 Clay Helton, USC interim

Salary: Unknown

Career Record: 0-0

Following the termination of USC football head coach Steve Sarkisian this week, we honestly don’t know much about the man taking the reigns for the Trojans. Helton started the season as offensive coordinator, but hasn’t coached a game yet. Until he is able to prove himself as the “Head Ball Coach,” I’m not sure we can put him any higher than No. 12 on the list.

Follow Matt Wall on Twitter.

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