clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Miami Hurricanes Coaches and College Football Fashion Through the Years

Mark Richt is the best dressed coach in college football, but the ‘Canes coaches haven’t always looked so good

University of Miami Introduces Mark Richt Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images

Mark Richt always looks good. That’s his thing. He looked sharp in a black suit at his initial press conference. He always looks sharp on the sidelines, too. Coach wears his trademark black on the sidelines at Miami that he started wearing at Georgia. But coaching wasn’t all solid colors and wicked materials. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, once most coaches stopped wearing suits and started wearing polos, things got tacky.

Miami v Georgia Tech Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Wide Right

Before being hired by University of Georgia and subsequently the University of Miami, Mark Richt was the Offensive Coordinator at Florida State. You can see below, Coach Richt channeled his mentor Bobby Bowden back in his Seminole days, and let’s face it, the man looks better in black, orange and green.

Coaching had notoriously bad outfits for quite a while back in the 80’s and 90’s and Bobby Bowden led the way. I personally like this old school pullover. But most of his outfits weren’t this simple as we will dissect later in this post. I had to post this for his awe shucks face. CLASSIC BOWDEN.

The Classics

If we’re going to the beginning of the Miami Hurricanes’ legitimacy, it start with Coach Howard Schnellenberger. Schnelly grew under the tutelage of Bear Bryant and Don Shula- two legendary coaches. Schnellenberger went suit and tie as he was of an old school era.

Below, see Schnelly’s influence Bear Bryant while head coach of the Crimson Tide.

Joe Paterno, the Brown graduate and poetry reading Penn State icon, enjoyed his suit and tie too. Below, Joe Pa looks pretty damn sharp in a wool jacket and what’s probably a wool tie. He always fit in school colors, sharp shades, and a look of a guy that knew where the bodies were buried.*

*Not pictured- Jerry Sandusky

The transition started in the Jimmy Johnson era. Coach Johnson wore those little Bike brand shorts to practice but he looked sharp in his ‘Canes knit sweater for the 1987 Fiesta Bowl fiasco.

But JJ did wear the old school coaches shirt and pants straight from the catalogue. Jimmy wears a lot of Starter jackets while head coach of the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL.

Lou Holtz always looked like he borrowed his dad’s clothes, but the starter era pullover always looked sharp. This was a phase out of dressy and into comfort.

Flashy 90’s

Take a look at Coach Erickson, posing with Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta, sporting the 90’s coaching pants and a shirt that would be see-through after he sweat off a couple of pre-game adult beverages.

Similar photo with Bobby and Charlie Ward. I’m not sure what happened to Bobby’s shirt, did the printer put the logo on crooked? Is that supposed to be slimming? Even Charlie can’t help but laugh.

These two men put on some great shows from 1989-1994, a time when fashion went stupid. Hammer, those two kids going wiggidy wack, Vanilla Ice. Both coaches are wearing stupid outfits here. Dennis has more pleats than Bobby has liver spots.

For all the whack clothes worn in the 90’s, Vanilla Ice went with the classic #Canes crewneck in the “Ice Ice Baby” video.

Fly Patterns

This style of polo actually came back and my staff wore one back in 2013. Buffs head coach Bill McCartney looks pretty sleek here around 1990.

Ah, the shark tooth era. Tom Osborne loved some shark tooth polos in the 90’s and that circle logo hat, I had a ‘Canes one back then too.

“Beamer Ball,” aka scoring 13 points and hoping you block a kick, came with the Hokies weird color combos and some strange armpit striping. Another circle logo hat.

You can’t spell Citrus without UT. The Florida-Tennessee rivalry brought on some crazy polo shirts from The Ol’ Ball Coach Steve Spurrier and the guy that couldn’t win with Peyton Manning aka Phil Fulmer. SOS in his classic visor.

Just wow at the Garth Brooks inspired checker polo on Fulmer. I didn’t remember him ever being this thin. Also, orange.

Butch and the Plain Era

The late 90’s saw the shift to khaki pants being the trend around the nation. Polos got a little baggy and a little bland for a while with coaches.

Butch Davis looks like a dad at his kid’s little league game here in the late 90’s. His job was to “clean up” the Miami image of sanctions, arrests and personal fouls. Guys like Luther Campbell didn’t care much for Butch Davis and his milquetoast persona.

Larry Coker is clapping his hands off in a striped polo in the early 2000’s. Coach Coker always looked more ‘guy golfing with your dad’ than football coach of The U.

Bill Snyder, below, is wearing one of his old windbreakers before the Big 12 “Snyder Rule” went into effect. Snyder has an Uncle Junior sort of vibe with his sideline wardrobe. What’s so bad about repping Beef O’Brady’s?

Guys got back to basics in the mid to late 2000’s. Randy Shannon showing off his figure but I don’t dig the super long sleeves on the polo. Coach Bowden really sold out to his inner fashionista self by toning down his jackets and hats.

Jim Tressel made boring cool when he and ultra-boring QB Craig Krenzel upset Miami* in the Fiesta Bowl in 2003. Jim was referred to as “The Pastor” and “Teflon Don” but eventually his Urban Meyer approach to discipline earned him a show-cause penalty and a pink slip.

*We all know that call was total complete utter BS.

Back in Time

Coaches went with old school styles as we progressed into the 2010’s.

As we all know too well, Al Golden went with the Paterno look, the dress shirt and tie. Golden was far too sweaty to wear white, as they often became see through and his attire was more together than his coaching. Nice watch though, Al.

Talk about back to classics, Coach Malzahn wears the Ditka sweater vest. Gus always looks like he’s about to send around the offering plate. He has a nice mix of modern with the UnderArmor, classic with the Ditka look, and Spurrier 90’s with the visor.

Jim Harbaugh wears $8 Walmart pants and a plain sweatshirt. There’s nothing wrong with a crewneck, I personally coach in one out here in freezing Oregon. But I prefer flat front pants and love going with grey pants if my sweatshirt is black, khaki if my sweatshirt is grey.

Of course there’s Mike Leach aka the anti-Mark Richt. Leach repping the generic old dude sneakers, plain polo, and the cargos. What’s in all those extra pockets? Maybe Intermediate Spanish flashcards? Maybe the Starbucks menu? Maybe a pocket guide to running mesh? Directions home in case he’s lost?

And then there’s the model. Kliff Kingsbury can’t coach a team with defense but he sure can dress. He employs a modern, sleek look with flat front pants and fitted 14 zip pullovers. Kliff loves his shades and watches, too.

Derek Dooley channeling his inner Jimmy Johnson, or a frat dude at a tailgate. He’s also wearing those shoes every coach wears at the AFCA Convention.

Let’s send you off to Ebay to purchase some Bike coaches shorts or orange pants with the legend Nick Saban who just does whatever the hell he wants. Mixing a gardening hat with a sleeveless 14 zip pullover and some... cotton?... ‘Bama shorts.

Coach Saban has many styles, below he channels Bear Bryant and looks sharp doing so.

The white on khaki gives him a southern cult leader look. I doubt he spills on himself so no fear of stains from Coach Saban.

CFP National Championship Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images