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Bowden, not Paterno, now winningest FBS head coach

Joe Paternor, Bobby Bowden AP

When Joe Paterno was unceremoniously dumped by Penn State last November, he exited as the winningest head coach in Div. 1 football history.

Eight months after his dismissal, and seven months after his death, Paterno’s not even the winningest coach in FBS history.

As part of the NCAA’s sanctions against the football program, the Nittany Lions were forced to vacate all wins from 1998 — the first year, according to the Freeh report, that university officials became aware of potentially sexually deviant activity on the part of Jerry Sandusky — through the 2011 season.  That totals 112 victories, 111 of which belonged to Paterno.

That means Paterno’s career total will forever be reflected as 298, not the 409 with which he left the sport.

And, as a result, former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden‘s 377 are the new standard for FBS head football coaches.  Ironically, Bowden was forced to vacate 12 wins from his total by the NCAA as part of the organization’s sanctions against FSU in 2009.  Additionally, Paterno has fallen behind the likes of Alabama’s Bear Bryant and others to seventh on the all-time win list.

Thanks to the NCAA’s decision today to vacate 111 Paterno wins, Grambling’s Eddie Robinson is now Div. 1’s winningest coach with 408 victories.  John Gagliardi of St. Johns University, a Div. III program in Minnesota, is the all-time winningest coach at any level with 484.

The 85-year-old Gagliardi is still St. Johns’ head coach and will have the opportunity to reach 500 wins as early as 2014, Lord willing of course.

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45 Responses to “Bowden, not Paterno, now winningest FBS head coach”
  1. j0esixpack says: Jul 23, 2012 11:55 AM

    That’s fitting.

    Paterno’s obsession with his own legacy seems to be what lead to him turning a blind eye to the abuse of children. Taking away the “all time winningest coach” designation is thus fitting.

    Paterno made a choice to put football and his own legacy ahead of the welfare of children – and now THAT’S his legacy.

  2. jagalag says: Jul 23, 2012 11:57 AM

    Chickens came home to roost. This proves how it is better to be a good man than a great coach.

  3. allmyteamsareterrible says: Jul 23, 2012 11:58 AM

    Looks good to me. He worked so hard for his precious “winningest coach” title and now it’s all gone to dust.

    Reap what you sow Mr. Paterno. Can’t wait to see his family try and spin this dumpster fire.

  4. alligatorsnapper says: Jul 23, 2012 12:03 PM

    Eddie Robinson did more to help young African-American men who grew up in very challenging communities and environments than any man I have ever known. He held his standards high, matured young boys into men, expected of them the greatest leadership and example not only on the field but in every area of their lives. They continued to come back and see coach and visit with him, ask him for personal and professional advice.

    Never any scandal or sanctions or any such thing ever was spoken of Coach Robinson.

    Bobby Bowden is a funny man and though he and his team did suffer 12 forfeits via NCAA sanctions, he remains an inspiration to so many.

  5. Ryan Karhut says: Jul 23, 2012 12:14 PM

    Paterno being dropped down the list was the right move by the NCAA. But was it enough?

  6. jericoc says: Jul 23, 2012 12:19 PM

    The NCAA needs to stop with “vacated victories”. Are they going to “vacate” the corresponding defeats for opponents? Are John Cooper, Joe Tiller and John L. Smith going to have their career winning percentages updated?

  7. dmcgrann says: Jul 23, 2012 12:20 PM

    Does anyone know why Eddie Robinson is shown in these lists as the all-time leader in Division I (which I have no argument with), but when FBS all-time winners are listed, you’ve got Amos Alonzo Stagg and Pop Warner in the top five? Seems to me that since they didn’t coach at a time when there were any NCAA Divisions at all, that it’s sort of a stretch to consider their coaching at places like Springfield and Carlisle to be the modern-day equivalent of FBS. It would make more sense to me to have a “FBS All-time Winning Coaches List” consisting solely of coaches who coached after 1956 at the University, 1-A, or FBS levels.

  8. ladymacesq says: Jul 23, 2012 12:21 PM

    I am a University of Miami fan, which means, by definition, I am NOT an FSU fan.

    Depsite that, I applaud the decision to strip Penn State of it’s victories and make Bobby Bowen the torch-bearer for college football.

    Winning was obviously more important to Penn State than doing the right thing and I totally agree with the stripping of the victories.

    My prayers go out to Coach Sandusky’s victims.

  9. rickrock6661982 says: Jul 23, 2012 12:27 PM

    It is fitting with all the values Paterno preached and how he shoved his nose at other universities, he was revealed to be a fraud in the end.

  10. deadeye says: Jul 23, 2012 12:37 PM

    Complain about vacating 111 games al you want. The botom line is that the all-time wins record was part of the motivation to cover up Sandusky’s crimes. For that reason this is fitting.

  11. psunick says: Jul 23, 2012 12:37 PM

    I have a feeling that, when you look at the 2013 Phil Steele College Football annual, it will still say that Penn State went 9-4 in 2011; etc etc etc

    Just as it did for Ohio State this year.

  12. brianmath1 says: Jul 23, 2012 12:47 PM

    it truly is a shame truly …..

  13. txstatebobcats1868 says: Jul 23, 2012 12:54 PM

    Phi Phi Bobby Bowden

  14. stoutfiles says: Jul 23, 2012 1:04 PM


    If it does, then because Penn State is on probation they should get additional peanlaties.

  15. usmutts says: Jul 23, 2012 1:08 PM

    Rickrock has it right. One lesson for all of us is that when people and organizations ( coach, politician, political party, preacher, priest, religious groups, churches, corporations, etc ) throw the cloak of morality around them and claims that it’s others who lack ethics, you can can be dead certain that they are in fact the ones who have a rotten core. Be very wary of anyone, anywhere, anytime who claims moral superiority.

    It’s also a fact of human nature that moral hypocrisy is contagious. It infects organizations from top down and from bottom to top. It spreads geometrically through all who embrace the concept that we’re better and purer than others. This is a lesson America itself needs to heed.

  16. spankygreen says: Jul 23, 2012 1:21 PM

    Grambling’s Eddie Robinson……………..Did it the right way!!!!!!!!

  17. tommy57 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:24 PM

    Not for nothing, but I’m not sure Bowden wants the title this way. To be fair, PSU won the games. Yes, JS committed the crimes and yes, four of the PSU leaders failed (in horrific manner) to act and all but one will be punished legally (the other died before justice could be rendered).

    A more important consideration is the impact major college athletics has on a university. The money that is associated with big-time college athletic programs is an incredibly corrupting influence and creates the conditions where cover-ups of wrongdoing is/can be a consideration. The penalties for PSU will serve as much as a warning to other schools as to PSU itself.

  18. gfj7000 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:31 PM

    This is a BIG JOKE! Regardless of the NCAA sanctions, Paterno did what he did, and earned all of his wins, so, everyone will know this. (Sandustky wasn’t even on the field those 14 years (except 1998). So Bowden being ‘next in line’ by default, is worthless information as he didn’t win 409, nor did Paterno molest ANY boys – give credit where credit is due – Paterno – 409 and Sadusky minus 12 (or so) for the amount of pedophile rapes he did.

  19. horses721 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:34 PM

    Joe Pedophile protector never deserved the record to begin with. The last several years all he did was sit upstairs, watch the game, take naps, drool on himself and “soil” his depends. The record was a joke and now he is a joke. Enjoy your legacy Penn State cult members. You and your school are a joke. :)

  20. rickrock6661982 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:35 PM

    The wins were removed to help enforce the following:

    Rape > Football

  21. heathater4lifeson says: Jul 23, 2012 1:38 PM

    Paterno makes Pete carrol turnig a blind eye to Reggie bush look like child’s play. Can’t to hear the families response

  22. cubano76 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:40 PM

    Daggumit! Everything is right with the world again.

  23. sssjim7 says: Jul 23, 2012 2:00 PM

    Does Bowdens 377 wins reflect the change from the 2006 Orange Bowl? Or should he be at 378 now?

  24. jdsj691 says: Jul 23, 2012 2:14 PM

    The NCAA is not god… A win is a win, regardless on what the corrupt NCAA says or does… The NCAA is all about greed and money, everything else is secondary…. It is too big to fail…

  25. guinsrule says: Jul 23, 2012 2:16 PM

    Too bad we don’t all live it the ncaa’s world…it would great if we could vacate the national debt like it never happened either.

  26. bringingthepain says: Jul 23, 2012 2:28 PM

    The vacated wins are a joke. Come down harder on the school. Just because you take wins off the book, doesn’t change that fact that they were wins. Everyone will remember who truly won the games. Give them bigger fine, take them off TV. The money is what will get their attention. Do you think Bobby Bowden wants to have the record because of a forfeit? Doubt it.

  27. bringbacktheflex says: Jul 23, 2012 2:34 PM

    The vacated wins penalty is stupid. Those players and those coaches beat those other teams. The horrible actions of the actual offenders notwithstanding. Any of those coaches now ranked ahead of Paterno should be ashamed of themselves if they somehow feel vindicated.

    If the coaches or players were accused of using PEDs or stealing plays, then you could say they did not win those games fairly. Everything else is just the NCAA posturing.

    Make the punishment fit the “crime”.

  28. savethisname says: Jul 23, 2012 2:57 PM

    I agree the vacated win penalty is ridiculous, what does it really mean, a big NOTHING….
    I have never seen so many haters in one blog, maybe people should put their anger to work and get involved in victim’s support groups and help with campaigns to stop sex crimes against children.
    This punishment has absolutely nothing to do with the crime. Once again the NCAA (Nothing Concerning Athletic Conduct) has issued a meaningless self-serving penalty to get the public off their backs….what a bunch of cowards.

  29. stevem7 says: Jul 23, 2012 3:00 PM

    The NCAA can put whatever asterisks it wants on the situation but they can’t, with an illegal and unfair indictment, change the fact that Joe Pa and all those kids won all those games. I’m not saying Joe Pa is innocent mind you, only that what the NCAA did this morning was illegal and changes nothing in the minds of anyone, Bobby Bowden included, who all know who has the most wins. Since there was no facing witnesses, the Freeh Report was a one sided indictment that the NCAA chose to act on. Funny how one coach, who could have stopped it or reported it to the police didn’t and he still has a job while another coach, who forwarded it up the chain of command is vilified.

  30. woebegong says: Jul 23, 2012 3:14 PM

    Does that come with an asterisk now?

  31. commentsaredumb says: Jul 23, 2012 3:23 PM

    It doesn’t matter that Paterno is stripped of the wins. Penn State football team still won the games. Who counts losses???

  32. mightymike1250 says: Jul 23, 2012 3:28 PM

    Joe Paterno is the winningest coach in college football and everybody knows it. Vacating Paterno’s wins is like vacating Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon — it doesn’t matter what the record books say. We all know he did it.

  33. kozbee says: Jul 23, 2012 3:38 PM

    Well Bobby Bowden 377,you Da Man.

  34. savethisname says: Jul 23, 2012 4:34 PM

    Besides do you think anyone really respects the title by default? I doubt Bowden even wants to be involved in this mess, what an embarrassment by the NCAA (correction: Nothing Concerning Athletic Actions). Hopefully they will end up like the BCS committee and everyone will realize they’re a bunch useless has beens trying to place their lame rulings on the whole community of college football but failing miserably.

  35. florida727 says: Jul 23, 2012 5:24 PM

    I might be lumped in with the Paterno apologists here, and I really don’t want to be, but the vacating wins thing is a joke. I understand it, and I understand why it’s being done. But if you take the emotion out of the equation, think about it, what Paterno did, did NOT affect play on the field. He won those games. He didn’t win them BECAUSE Sandusky raped children. You have to separate the emotion from the reality. I’m NOT defending his record. They could wipe his name out of the record books for all I care. My point is, his inactions regarding Sandusky do NOT change the fact he won a lot of football games. Symbolic gesture? Fine. I have no problem with that. But don’t try selling me on the idea that this makes Sandusky’s victims “feel better”. That’s delusional. If you separate what he did from 1:30p ET to about 4p ET every Saturday from the rest of his life, even his harshest critics would have to admit he was a pretty good football coach. It’s just impossible (as it should be) to overlook what he enabled Sandusky to do.

  36. gatordad says: Jul 23, 2012 5:27 PM

    Are we counting total wins? Then it’s still Eddie Robinson. Also, FYI…Bowden had a lot of wins at a D2 school…Stamford in Alabama. Do those count as D1 wins or what? Can’t have it both ways.

  37. gatordad says: Jul 23, 2012 5:30 PM

    Oh, I forgot to add that Mr. Paterno, once my hero, is dead to me. He was an accessory to child abuse. He knew and allowed it to continue. There is nothing more heinous than that for a defenseless child to be abused and Paterno let it knowingly happen. I cannot believe it…

  38. scalper44 says: Jul 23, 2012 5:34 PM

    I think the point is, had Joe Pa dealt with this properly when it happened, the program would have taken a hit and not won as many games. Lost some it’s prestige, etc, etc.

    Who knows, but i think everyone can agree it would have negatively affected the program in some way. Less wins is one way to look at it.

  39. sasquash20 says: Jul 23, 2012 6:18 PM

    This is a joke. Joe is dead how anyone gains anything from this is insane to me.

    They should have gotten the death penalty!

  40. jjdstl01 says: Jul 23, 2012 6:32 PM

    Take away 111 wins?
    You can’t hurt a dead man.
    But you sure can hurt those kids who worked for those victories and had nothing to do with this.

  41. omniusprime says: Jul 23, 2012 8:03 PM

    A shame that JoePa didn’t live long enough to see his record taken away or his program punished. Or face trial and some real proper punishment.

    Pedophile State bribed their way out of the death penalty with that $6o million sanction when it should have been administered the death penalty.

    Mark Emmert has proven that he and his fellow corrupt NCAA execs weren’t interested in proper punishment but wanted only a big bribe to do the wrong thing. Someone needs to audit the money PSU pays to ensure that the corrupt NCAA execs don’t pay themselves underserved huge financial performance bonuses.

  42. agc99 says: Jul 23, 2012 8:30 PM

    Bobby’s number 1.

  43. handsofsweed says: Jul 23, 2012 9:33 PM

    Joe Pa coached 409 victories. That will never change. I could care less what the NCAA says.

    And I’m NOT/never have been a PSU fan or a Joe Pa fan. Just a fan of history that doesn’t believe you when you tell me that OSU went 1-12 in 2010, that USC didn’t win those games that Bush played in or that Michigan didn’t go to the NCAA hoops final twice in a row. We don’t HAVE to accept your revision of history, NCAA. You changed nothing.

  44. handsofsweed says: Jul 23, 2012 9:34 PM

    But to be fair, it doesn’t excuse the stupid stuff those programs did and the OTHER penalties they all got were fair.

  45. brenenostler says: Jul 24, 2012 12:09 AM

    How stupid….. I’m for Penn State removing the statue and all, but the only reason Bowden is the winningest head coach is because of default. He didnt earn it. It would be like the NFL taking away the Saints SB title and giving it to the Colts because of the bounty system.

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