Vanderbilt has had 24 head football coaches since 1890. Woody Widenhofer is currently ranked 10th in all-time wins among those coaches. Dan McGugin is the leader with 197 wins.
With a 6-5 season in 2001, Widenhofer could move into a tie for 8th place with Gerry DiNardo (1991-94, 19 wins). DiNardo would still have a higher winning percentage than Widenhofer because he got his 19 wins in just four seasons. However, Widenhofer would have the satisfaction of garnering that abominable sixth win that has been so hard to come up with since George McIntyre's 1982 squad did it.
Here are some facts about Commodore head coaches since 1904
Dan McGugin 1904-34
Won/Loss Record- 197-55-19 overall, 6-5-2 SEC.
Greatest Teams- Teams won the Southern Intercollegiate Conference (forerunner of the SEC) championships in 1904, 1905, 1906, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1915, 1921, 1922 and 1923. The 1906 and 1911 teams have been rated as those season's best in the nation by at least one NCAA recognized college football rating system Richard Billingsley.
Best Games- Scoreless ties with Yale (1910) and Michigan (1922). Big wins against early powers Carlisle, Minnesota and Texas. 51-7 victory against the Vols in 1923.
Notes- Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951. 15-8-3 vs Tennessee
Ray Morrison 1935-39
Won/Loss Record- 29-22-2 overall, 15-15-1 SEC.
Greatest Teams- 1937 team just missed a Rose Bowl bid when Alabama kicked a late FG to win 9-7. The 1937 team finished 7-2. 1935 team finished 7-3 and beat Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia Tech and Mississippi State.
Best games- 1937 7-6 win over LSU in which Vandy utilized the "hidden ball trick" to pull out the win late in the game.
Notes- Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. Played football for Vanderbilt from 1908-11. Played quarterback and was Vanderbilt's first All-American.
Red Sanders 1940-48
Won/Loss Record- 36-22-2 overall, 10-9 SEC
Greatest Teams- 1948 team. After a 0-2-1 start, won it's final eight games to finish 8-2-1. Was ranked as high as 12th in the nation.
Best Games- Beat Tennessee 28-6. Also defeated Auburn 48-0 and LSU 48-7.
Notes- Sanders left Vandy after the 1948 season for UCLA where he won a national title. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
Bill Edwards 1949-52
Won/Loss Record- 21-19-2 overall, 11-17-1 SEC
Greatest Teams- 1950 team finished 7-4 and defeated Ole Miss, Auburn and Alabama.
Best Games- 20-14 win over Ole Miss in 1950. 14-7 win over Alabama in 1949.
Notes- Resigned in 1952. Later led Wittenberg College to two College National Titles. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
Art Guepe- 1953-62
Won/Loss Record- 39-54-7 overall, 17-43-6 SEC
Greatest Teams- 1955 team finished 8-3 and won the Gator Bowl.
Best Games- Shutout Tennessee 26-0 in 1954, beat Auburn 25-13 in 1955 Gator Bowl.
Notes- Coached Vandy to it's first bowl game and first bowl win. Made the statement "Vanderbilt is trying to be Harvard on Sunday through Friday and Alabama on Saturday".
Jack Green- 1963-66
Won/Loss Record- 7-29-4 overall, 2-20-3 SEC
Greatest Teams- The 1964 team defeated Tennessee for one of it's three wins.
Best Games- 1964 win over Tennessee.
Notes- Coach Green never made excuses. He sure could have given the lack of support he received from the University as an excuse.
Bill Pace- 1967-72
Won/Loss Record- 22-38-3 overall, 11-17-1 SEC
Greatest Teams- 1968 team finished 5-4-1.
Best Games- A 1969 14-10 win over Bear Bryant's Alabama team gave Coach Pace a permanent spot in Vanderbilt football lore.
Notes- Came very close to turning corner.
Steve Sloan- 1973-74
Won/Loss Record- 12-9-2 overall, 3-8-1 SEC
Greatest Teams- 1974 team finished 7-3-2.
Best Games- 1973 18-14 stunning win over Georgia. 1974 upset win over nationally ranked Florida (24-10). Peach Bowl tie with Texas Tech.
Notes Left Vandy for Texas Tech the day after Vandy tied Tech in the Peach Bowl. Later admitted he regretted leaving Vandy.
Fred Pancoast- 1975-78
Won/Loss Record- 13-31 overall, 2-22 SEC
Greatest Teams- 1975 team finished 7-4.
Best Games- 17-14 win over Tennessee in 1975. 25-23 loss at Oklahoma in 1977.
Notes Came to Vandy from Memphis State. Left coaching after Vandy.
George McIntyre- 1979-84
Won/Loss Record- 25-52-1 overall, 8-33-1 SEC
Greatest Teams- The 1982 team finished 8-4 and played in the Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, Ala.
Best Games- 1981 win at Ole Miss, 1981 win vs Maryland (23-17), 1982 wins over Florida, Tennessee and Ole Miss. 1984 win at Alabama.
Notes Came to Vandy from Ole Miss where he was the defensive coordinator. Left coaching after Vandy.
Watson Brown- 1985-90
Won/Loss Record- 10-45 overall, 4-29 SEC.
Greatest Teams- 1987 team finished 4-7.
Best Games- 1988 win over Florida.
Notes- Current coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Gerry DiNardo- 1991-94
Won/Loss Record- 19-25 overall, 10-21 SEC.
Greatest Teams- The 1991 and 1994 teams finished 5-6.
Best Games- Upset wins over Georgia in 1991 and 1994. 31-9 win over nationally ranked Ole Miss in 1992.
Notes- Left Vandy for LSU.
Rod Dowhower- 1995-96
Won/Loss Record- 4-18 overall, 1-15 SEC.
Greatest Teams- NA
Best Games- A 14-10 win over Kentucky in 1995. 14-7 loss to Notre Dame in 1996.
Notes- Returned to assistant coaching in the NFL after.
Woody Widenhofer- 1997-Present
Won/Loss Record- 13-31 overall, 4-28 SEC.
Greatest Teams- 1999 team finished 5-6.
Best Games- 1999 37-34 win at Ole Miss. 1998 17-14 win over South Carolina.
Notes- What will 2001 hold?