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8. Don Coryell, 127-24-3 (.834) at Whittier and San Diego State, 1957-1972.
9. Percy Haughton, 96-17-6 (.832) at Cornell, Harvard and Columbia, 1899-1924.
10. Barry Switzer, 131-25-4 (.831) at Oklahoma, 1973-1986.
The charm of this list is the scads of great coaches who don't make it. For openers, where's Bear Bryant? Because of a few poor teams early on, he ended up with only a .780 winning percentage over a 38-year career. Where's Joe Paterno? How about Amos Alonzo Stagg, Walter Camp, Darrell Royal, Bobby Dodd, Frank Broyles, Red Blaik, John Vaught, Bud Wilkinson, Bob Neyland, Fielding Yost, Eddie Robinson, Pop Warner?
All this means is that when you figure out greatness with your head, as Van Valkenburg did, and not with your heart, Chuck Klausing and Vernon McCain were a helluva lot better coaches than Woody Hayes and Ara Parseghian. That's absolutely wonderful.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
Could it be that, hidden among Colorado's legendary mountains and hard by its legendary trout streams, a football legend is in the making? Say hello to Cory Davis, a junior running back for South Park High in Fairplay, which, in case your geography is weak, is near Alma, Garo and Como. As a sophomore, he ran for 1,904 yards on 104 carries for a whopping 18.3-yard average on his eight-man team.
Earlier this month, he galloped for 567 yards (on 33 carries for a 17.2-yard average and six touchdowns) in a single game. That's thought to be the third-highest total in schoolboy history; eight-man records are spotty. The record is held by John Bunch of Elkins, Ark., who had 608 yards in 1974. Next is 599 by Rudy Rudison of Houston in 1978. In fact, Davis might have all but set the mark in concrete had he not had runs of 80, 87 and 52 yards nullified by penalties. But record, schmecord—neither the 180-pound, 5'7¾" Davis, nor his coach, Tom Thorne, knew anything about either mark. "Really," says Davis, "we're just trying to win games." The Burros are now only 4-3, despite Davis's heroics.
But Davis can spin your head. In one game this fall he carried only nine times—for 263 yards. That meant he averaged 29.2 yards each time he handled the ball. Oh yes, he scored on six of those attempts. Davis does have bad games. For example, against Aurora Christian he had a sprained ankle, which is why he gained only 363 yards and scored only three TDs. Saturday was just another day at the office for Davis, who rushed for 350 yards on 12 carries and had six TDs as South Park mopped up Kiowa 50-30.
"I don't know what it is about him," says Thorne, "except he just explodes right through people." Davis modestly suggests that playing in an eight-man league helps because "there are three fewer guys to tackle me." He does not point out that it also means he has three fewer guys to block for him. What it really means is that college recruiters will soon be checking their maps and their snow tires.