12 Actual Head Coach Paths We Want To Recreate In ‘EA Sports College Football 25’ Dynasty Mode

As we get set for the release of EA Sports College Football in just over a week’s time, I have been thinking a lot about what would be fun paths to take with my coach in Dynasty mode. Naturally I want to build my alma mater, Georgia State, into a power, but the thing that has always made the game so fun — and have so much replay value — for me is the ability to bounce from school to school, building a program up and then moving on to the next.

Starting as a coordinator and working your way up the ladder to head coach at a top program is what makes Dynasty mode better than any other franchise/coach/GM mode, and this year they’re adding some new elements to that journey. For one, the coaching carousel is built out to being a five-week process with more chaos being caused when big programs poach a coach away from another, and as head coach you can hire and fire your coordinators. Beyond that, you have to build out your coach’s archetype between the three main categories: Recruiter, Motivator, and Tactician. Those choices will matter to what boosts you get in various areas, and also what schools may be interested in you. Recruiting pipelines also now attach to you as a coach, and schools will consider whether that matches up with their most fertile recruiting areas in the carousel.

While most of us will plot our own path, I got to thinking about what would be some fun actual coaching paths to try and follow in the game and came up with 12 paths that got 11 current (and one recently retired) coaches to where they are now. Some take you all over the country, while others are more regional, but each one offers a coordinator to head coach journey that could be pretty fun to try and replicate.

Nick Saban

The GOAT called it a career this year, and it feels right to put him on the list. The key here is to really augment your experience by mixing in some Madden stops with Cleveland and Miami to get a feel for the full Saban run. This is also obviously a Motivator/Recruiter combo archetype build, with your coordinators being heavy on the X’s and O’s.

DC: Michigan State
HC: Toledo
Play Madden for two weeks as the Browns
HC: Michigan State
Play Madden for another two weeks as the Dolphins
HC: Alabama

Tom Herman

Tom Herman is a pretty great EA CFB pathway, because you get to really grind it out before reaching the top and then start all over again at FAU. It also would make a lot of sense for the increased importance of the pipelines for recruiting, as you’ll build a great base in East Texas. Archetype: Tactician/Recruiter.

OC: Texas State
OC: Rice
OC: Iowa State
OC: Ohio State
HC: Houston
HC: Texas

Mario Cristobal

The key to playing Mario Cristobal Simulator is to only put your coaching points into recruiting. You are, under no circumstances, allowed to upgrade your game management skills, but you will sign the top class in your conference everywhere you go.

OC: Rutgers
OC: Miami
OC: Alabama
OC: Oregon
HC: Oregon
HC: Miami

Mack Brown

I think this might be my favorite one just for the schools and atmospheres you get to be a part of. LSU to Appalachian State is, particularly, a sick back-to-back, and toss in a stop at Tulane before UNC and Texas? Mack Brown’s lived quite the life. Archetype: Motivator/Recruiting.

OC: Iowa State
HC: Appalachian State
OC: Oklahoma
HC: Tulane
HC: Texas

Gus Malzahn

Ride the Gus Bus through the heart of the south, winning a national title along the way until you get tossed to the road by Auburn and have to resurrect your career in Orlando. Archetype: Tactician/Motivator.

OC: Arkansas
OC: Tulsa
OC: Auburn
HC: Arkansas State
HC: Auburn

Sonny Dykes

You’ll never go to a blueblood in the Sonny Dykes path, but you’ll make some stops at some fun programs and I bet you wouldn’t have to try manipulating the coaching carousel too hard to pull this rotation off. Archetype: Motivator/Tactician.

OC: Texas Tech
OC: Arizona
HC: Louisiana Tech
HC: California

Jedd Fisch

If you don’t want to ever have to touch the non-Power Four level, the Jedd Fisch path is the one for you. Archetype: Tactician.

OC: Minnesota
OC: Miami
OC: Michigan
HC: Arizona
HC: Washington

Rich Rodriguez

Rich Rod’s journey will truly take you all over this great nation and play in most every conference. You’d get to hit the AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, Sun Belt, and CUSA. Archetype: Tactician.

OC: Tulane
OC: Clemson
HC: West Virginia
HC: Michigan
HC: Arizona
OC: Ole Miss
OC: UL Monroe
HC: Jacksonville State

Don Brown

When you play Don Brown simulator, all roads lead back to Amherst. You’ll take some big-time defensive coordinator jobs, but the only place you’ll call home as a head coach is UMass. Archetype: Tactician.

DC: UMass
HC: UMass
DC: Maryland
DC: UConn
DC: Boston College
DC: Michigan
DC: Arizona
HC: UMass

Jim McElwain

The McElwain path is one you could probably end up doing by accident in the game. He climbed the ladder from offensive coordinator all the way to Florida head coach before getting dumped out and starting back over in the MAC. Archetype: Tactician/Motivator.

OC: Michigan State
OC: Fresno State
OC: Alabama
HC: Colorado State
HC: Florida
HC: Central Michigan

Kalen DeBoer

Another fun path is that of Saban’s successor at Alabama, as DeBoer will let you hit the MAC, Mountain West, Big Ten (traditional), Big Ten (new flavor), and SEC. Archetype: Tactician/Motivator.

OC: Eastern Michigan
OC: Fresno State
OC: Indiana
HC: Fresno State
HC: Washington
HC: Alabama

Lane Kiffin

I think the best part of the Lane Kiffin experience is it would really give you a great feel for what it’s like to be the golden child who ultimately has to actually make it on his own. You start with nothing but prestigious programs but you’ve exhausted your goodwill as a head coach and have to build it back at FAU and Ole Miss. Archetype: Tactician/Recruiter.

Play Madden For A Week
HC: Tennessee
OC: Alabama
HC: Ole Miss