NAIA coach passes Bear Bryant on all-time wins list

By David Kenyon
football on grass field at night with spot lighting

When Kevin Donley began coaching football, his goal was to surpass Bear Bryant on the all-time wins list. Saturday, he achieved that target.

Donley earned the 324th win of his career when the University of Saint Francis upended Taylor University 40-20, edging past Bryant’s total of 323.

The longtime head coach at the NAIA school in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Donley has built a powerhouse from the ground up. He accepted the position in 1997, oversaw the inaugural season a year later and has coached there ever since.

And that 1998 campaign is the only losing season in program history.

USF is currently enjoying its greatest success under the veteran coach. Saturday’s triumph gave the Cougars an 8-2 record heading into the postseason, where they’ll be seeking a third consecutive NAIA national title.

Donley now sits at No. 8 on the all-time wins list with his 324. In 2019, he could leap past longtime Mount Union boss Larry Kehres, who racked up 332 victories.

Donley’s coaching tree includes New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher and Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Michael Yurcich.