While college football and the NFL are basically the same sport, there are still differences in terms of the level of competition. There are some coaches who succeed at the college level but fail to translate their success into the NFL. On the other hand, there are coaches who are better off coaching at the NFL scene. However, there are some coaches who implemented a system that worked for both. For this piece, let’s take a look at 10 coaches who succeeded in college and the NFL.

Pete Carroll

Pete Carroll’s coaching philosophy is summarized by the words “Win Forever.” This proved to be successful in the NFL as we witnessed Carroll stir the Seattle Seahawks to a 43-8 victory at Super Bowl XLVIII despite being underdogs against the Denver Broncos. But even before coaching the Seahawks, his coaching philosophy was already working when he guided the University of Southern California football team to back-to-back national championships.

Paul Brown

Winning a championship in football is already a herculean task. However, becoming a champion at all levels of football is nearly impossible. Nevertheless, Paul Brown did it during his coaching days. Brown remains the only football coach to win at a state level, national level, and at the NFL. He initially guided the Massillon Washington High School football team to a state championship before coaching Ohio State to a national championship in 1942. Later on, Brown’s success would translate to the NFL level after leading the Cleveland Browns to three NFL championships. Furthermore, he also received a string of Coach of the Year honors.

Barry Switzer

Running a formidable wishbone offense, Barry Switzer established himself at the collegiate level after guiding the Oklahoma Sooners to three national championships, earning Coach of the Year honors in the process. But after staying over a decade with the Sooners, Switzer tried his hand in the NFL by coaching the Dallas Cowboys. With Switzer at the helm, the Cowboys finished with a 12-4 record and completed a 27-17 victory over the Steelers to take Super Bowl XXX.

Jimmy Johnson

Throughout his coaching career, Jimmy Johnson pretty much hovered around the college football scene. After several years working as an assistant coach, he was elevated to the head coaching position at Oklahoma State. Afterwards, he coached the University of Miami, guiding the Hurricanes to a national championship. Johnson proceeded to coach in the NFL after getting hired by the Dallas Cowboys. With Johnson manning the sidelines, the Cowboys would win back-to-back Super Bowls. Johnson then coached the Miami Dolphins before calling it a career. He finished with a 80-64 overall record in the NFL.

Tom Coughlin

Tom Coughlin wasn’t a championship coach at the college level. However, he did turn the Boston College Eagles into a contender. During his tenure as head coach, Boston College posted an overall record of 21-13-1, highlighted by an upset against Notre Dame. Coughlin would go on to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Giants in the NFL. Although he didn’t become a champion at the collegiate level, Coughlin guided the Giants to two remarkable Super Bowl victories with Eli Manning as his best quarterback.

John Robinson

At the college level, John Robinson was a decorated football coach. He guided University of South Carolina football to four Rose Bowl championships and one national championship. Although Robinson never won a championship in the NFL, he still gave a good account of himself after the Los Angeles Rams posted a 75-68 overall record with Robinson taking the coaching reins.

Bobby Ross

Like Robinson, Bobby Ross was also a champion coach at the collegiate level. He played a critical role in turning around the football program of Georgia Tech. Under Ross, the Yellow Jackets finished the season with an 11-0-1 record enroute to a national championship. With success at the collegiate level, Ross also coached in the NFL. He had stints with the San Diego Chargers and the Detroit Lions to compile a respectable overall record of 74-63.

Dan Devine

After leading the Missouri Tigers to two Big Eight Championships, Dan Devine coached the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. In the 1972 season, the Packers tallied a 10-4 record to unseat the Minnesota Vikings and to end the franchise’s five year playoff drought. Eventually, Devine returned to the college scene by coaching University of Notre Dame’s football squad. He led them to a national championship in 1977.

Jim Harbaugh

Becoming a coach after your playing years is certainly a wise choice. With professional playing experience, it’s not a surprise that Jim Harbaugh can relate to his players at a deeper level. Harbaugh initially made an impact as a coach for the University of San Diego, leading them to two Pioneer League championships. In 2011, Harbaugh tried coaching in the NFL by joining the San Francisco 49ers. He guided them to an NFC Championship, which marked the end of the franchise’s eight-year playoff drought. After compiling a 44-19-1 overall NFL coaching record, Harbaugh returned to the college football scene with the University of Michigan. He led the Wolverines to two Big Ten Championships.

Mike Holmgren

Speaking of players turned coach, Mike Holmgren played college football for USC before becoming a practice player in the NFL. After he never made the roster, Holmgren settled with coaching football instead. As the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, Holmgren led the team to a 35-21 victory at Super Bowl XXXI. While he was never a head coach at the collegiate level, Holmgren won a national championship with the BYU Cougars as quarterbacks coach.