NFL owners and college athletic directors are constantly searching for coaching’s next superstar.Most times, their searches end in mediocrity, and they start over a few years later.
But when a young coach turns out to be a star, it can stabilise your team for more than a decade.
We’ve assembled the best under-50 coaching stars on both the college and pro levels.
These are your next JoePas and Belichicks.
Harbaugh turned a 1-11 Stanford team into a national championships contender in just four years.
Now in the pros, he's turned around a historically underachieving San Francisco 49ers franchise.
He plays a hard-nosed style, feuds with other coaches, and has all the qualities you look for in a great football coach.
You ever watch a college football game and marvel at just how spread out and gimmicky the offenses have become?
Well you can owe a lot of that to Chip Kelly -- who nurtured the spread-option attack at New Hampshire before popularizing it at Oregon.
Now, he's in charge of one of the nation's powerhouse programs.
He's led the Steelers to two Super Bowls (winning one), and won his division three of his first four seasons.
At just 39, he's already one of the handful of great coaches in the NFL. With stable ownership that values loyalty in Pittsburgh, he can grow into an coaching icon in the coming decades.
Sarkisian was the offensive mind behind those USC teams that dominated and electrified college football in the mid-00s.
Now, he's in the process of returning the University of Washington to glory.
The Huskies were 0-12 the year before he took over. They improved to 5-7 in his first year, and this year they've broken into the top 25.
People freaked out when Tampa hired the 33-year-old Moore before the 2010 season.
But he made the Bucs the surprise team of the NFL last year -- finishing with a 10-6 record one year after going 3-13.
At just 35, he could compete for Super Bowls for years to come.
Golden built a program from scratch at Temple before bolting to Miami.
Many thought he was going to bide his time and take the job at Penn State when Joe Paterno retired.
But now he has a bigger challenge -- rebuilding a scandal-plagued Miami program.
McCarthy still has some awful clock management issues.
But clock management doesn't matter as much when you have Aaron Rodgers and a great offence to work with.
He's won a Super Bowl before the age of 50, and his team is stacked for the foreseeable future.
Venables has stayed loyal to OU coach Bob Stoops despite being a top candidate for big jobs around the country.
And why not, he's only 40 years old.
But he is mentioned whenever a top program needs a head coach, and it's only a matter of time before he goes to build his own program.
Jerry Jones was so enamoured with Garrett that he help to stop himself from making him head coach until the middle of last year.
He's often cited as an offensive wizard and a quarterbacks guru, and at 45 years old he already has football's most demanding job.
Kiffin is smarmy and generally off-putting. But he knows how to recruit and run an offence.
Al Davis made him an NFL head coach years before he was ready.
Now he's in a more stable environment -- rebuilding his beloved USC after the NCAA cracked down on the program two years ago.
Ryan is a hairier (fatter?) version of his zanny brother Rex.
He's outspoken, funny, and one of the most highly-regarded assistants in the league.
Has he had a lot of on-field success with his defenses?
But sometimes coaching is about force of personality. He has sure has that.
Fewell made headlines last year by turning the Giants D into one of the best units in the league.
This year, he's out-done himself by piecing together a heavily-injured defence and making them competitive.
He briefly served as interim head coach in Buffalo, and he's quickly becoming a 'hot' candidate.
McDaniels crashed and burned in Denver.
But in retrospect, he probably wasn't ready to be an NFL head coach after just three years of coordinator experience with the Patriots.
Now he's back plying his trade with the Rams. And after the memory of the Denver fiasco fades, he'll be a head man again.
He took the job in Houston just three years ago, but fans are already worried that he's going to get poached by a bigtime program.
Sumlin coached offence at Oklahoma, and has turned Houston into a scoring machine.
Schwartz has done the impossible and made the Lions competent since taking over in 2009.
He's changed the culture in Detroit -- stabilizing the franchise and making them a competitor for their first Super Bowl ever.
Alabama has rolled out some of the best defenses in college football since Smart and head coach Nick Saban took over in 2007.
Other programs are hoping to pry Smart away him Bama. The Tide gave him a $100,000 raise before this season to make sure he was content in Tuscaloosa.
But at some point, he's going to look to start his own defensive powerhouse somewhere.
Under John, the Ravens have been one of the toughest, most consistent teams in the NFL.
He has many of the qualities of his brother, and at this point it's a race to see which Harbaugh will win the Super Bowl first.
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