Chart: Top 20 red zone play-callers over the last 4 years

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday June 12, 2017


It’s one thing to move an offense up and down the field, but can the offense finish drives in the end zone? Here are the top play-callers in the red zone over the last four years.

- First, it’s clear that the triple-option is king in the red zone. Navy, Georgia Tech, Army and New Mexico make up four of the top five, and Air Force is not far behind. That also makes Florida State and Jimbo Fisher even more impressive.

- Ivin Jasper’s Navy offense has led the nation in the red zone for two straight years. Their 79.7 percentage in 2016 was the highest in FBS since 2013 Ohio State. 

- There are 10 head coaches on the list: Paul Johnson, Fisher, Brohm (who will continue at Purdue), Riley (who will continue after taking over for Bob Stoops), Mike Bobo, Paul Chryst, Mike Leach, Scott Frost, Dan Mullen and Kliff Kingsbury.

- Matt Canada and Brohm are the only two on the list calling plays for a new team in 2017. Canada is now LSU’s offensive coordinator, and Brohm is now the head coach at Purdue.

- Jay Johnson is an analyst at Georgia in 2017 after Minnesota’s staff was let go in January.

- Several schools are not listed due to multiple play-callers, including Ohio State (No. 3 at 71.5 percent), Rice (69.4 percent), USC (69.1 percent), Nebraska (67.9 percent) and North Carolina (67.7 percent).

- Coaches on this list also among the top scoring offensive play-callers include Brohm, Riley, Frost, Kingsbury, Fisher, Legg, Yurcich, Bobo, Jasper, Leach and Dimel.

- Philip Montgomery is the top-scoring play-caller over the last four years, but his offenses have scored touchdowns on 63.4 percent of red zone trips.

- The schools on this list that return their play-caller and starting QB in 2017 include Florida State, Army, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Air Force, Marshall, Colorado State, Wisconsin, K-State, Washington State, UCF, Oklahoma State and Mississippi State.

See CoachingSearch’s 2017 offseason studies

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.