More than 20 percent of current FBS head coaches began their careers as high school football coaches, including Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.
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In 1985, a 22-year-old Urban Meyer joined the staff at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, just seven miles down the road from the University of Cincinnati, where he played one season on the Bearcats' football team and would graduate from in 1986. It was the first step in a Hall of Fame coaching career that, 32 years later, includes 170 career wins at four different programs, six conference championships and three national titles.
Meyer is one of 27 current FBS head coaches (including interim) whose first job was at a high school, eleven of whom are Power Five head coaches. Meyer is one of three such coaches in the Big Ten: Indiana's Tom Allen coached at five different high schools from 1992-2006 before becoming an assistant at Wabash College, and Illinois' Lovie Smith was an assistant at Big Sandy High School in Texas (1980) and Cascia Hall Prep in Oklahoma (1981-82) before joining Tulsa's staff as linebackers coach.
Interactive Map: Where Do College Football Coaches Come From?
In all, the 130 coaches come from 10 different leagues or levels: Six college, three professional and one prep. Here's a breakdown:
|Level||Number of Coaches||Most Notable|
|FBS||59||Dabo Swinney, Gary Patterson and Nick Saban|
|High School||27||Bill Snyder, Gus Malzahn and Urban Meyer|
|FCS||17||Jimbo Fisher, Kirk Ferentz and Mike Leach|
|D2||9||Brian Kelly, David Shaw and James Franklin|
|D3||8||Matt Rhule, Tom Herman and Steve Addazio|
|NAIA||4||Bobby Petrino, Bryan Harsin and Larry Fedora|
|NJCAA||2||Derek Mason and Kalani Sitake|
|NFL||2||Butch Jones and Jim Harbaugh|