College football coaches are judged primarily on whether or not they can coach — a fair metric that seems reasonable. However, there are other ways to evaluate a coach as well, including whether or not they know how to buy (and wear) a suit well.
For the fifth year in a row, TNIAAM is ranking ACC football coaches by whether they know how to buy and wear a suit. In the first edition, we judged khaki fit, and in iterations since, we’ve looked at slacks, more slacks and finally, the full suit.
Now that the ACC has posted photos of both the Atlantic and Coastal coaches in attendance at media days, we can finally know this year’s answer:
Does your coach know how to buy (and wear) a suit?
This year, the ACC took photos of just the coaches again, so that’s a relief.
And the Coastal:
And now onto the rankings:
1. Willie Taggart, Florida State Seminoles (LY: 1)
Taggs started strong last year, and came back to defend his title in year two. The all-black suit is a strong statement, and it contrasts well with the patterned tie. It’s a slimming, clean look that makes up for what appears to be some bunching at the bottom of the pants.
2. Dave Doeren, N.C. State Wolfpack (LY: 8)
Doeren’s moved up over the years, and brings his A-game this time around with a subtly pinstriped dark (is that blue?) suit and a white pocket square that may not seem all that impactful at first, but actually adds some class to the whole affair. Brown shoes with it is also a quality touch.
3. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest Demon Deacons (LY: 10)
Clawson rarely tries to do too much at these events. He always wears a slim-fitting suit that plays off Wake’s general shade of gold in the tie, and this year’s no different. The gray suit allows the tie to pop this time around.
4. Dave Cutcliffe, Duke Blue Devils (LY: 5)
Another mover over the years, Cutcliffe started off wearing old guy suits, and has since upped his game considerably. In 2019, he leads the Coastal with a dark black suit and a patterned blue tie that stands out even more against the dark backdrop.
5. Dino Babers, Syracuse Orange (LY: 4)
Admittedly, Dino took a bit of a risk this year, with a plaid light blue suit jacket, gray pant and a patterned tie — plus brown shoes (with white soles no less). Yet, this combination exudes some confidence and plays loud while not being glow in the dark.
6. Scott Satterfield, Louisville Cardinals (LY: NR)
In his first ACC Football Kickoff appearance, Satterfield’s already done a far better job than Bobby Petrino, though that’s also not saying much. His suit’s a good black, with a nice sheen to it. And wearing the red tie for the Cardinals is just sensible in year one.
7. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia Cavaliers (LY: 12)
Still don’t get why Bronco straddles the chair in these photos or why he keeps the jacket buttoned while seated. But in any case, the suit fits reasonably well — though maybe lacks some arm length. It’s tough to tell in this photo, but certainly seems like it could use another inch on the sleeve.
8. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech Hokies (LY: 13)
The maroon tie gets a nice pop against the blue — a unique shade itself. Overall, it looks authoritative but not harshly. It’s a good suit that doesn’t try to do too much and seems well-tailored.
9. Steve Addazio, Boston College Eagles (LY: 3)
Will commend Addazio for some well-fitting pants. No bunching, look like a slim fit — definitely a positive. Just don’t know about the red jacket, which looks too long and also stands as too much of a contrast to the pants. It’s a look some coaches can pull off. He just may not be one of them.
10. Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh Panthers (LY: 7)
Narduzzi’s done worse. But the wide leg looks TOO wide, and there’s a decent amount of bunching going on at the bottom of the pants. Going light tie and light-colored suit also seems like a mistake that washes him out significantly.
11. Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (LY: NR)
Dammit, Geoff. This had so much potential, and the blue/gold contrast is great. But... you didn’t wear socks, taking the torch from Larry Fedora in that department. Honestly, this might have been the top-ranked look if not for that and the fact that maybe the jacket needs a bit more length in the sleeves.
12. Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers (LY: 14)
At least he’s not last this year. While the orange/blue combo works here, Dabo still doesn’t appear to know how to get a pair of tailored pants. I don’t think it’s just the way he’s seated, either. They simply look like they’re too wide given that he’s a slimmer guy.
13. Mack Brown, North Carolina Tar Heels (LY: NR)
Mack’s jacket looks a bit small (sleeves and across the front) — perhaps in part because he left it buttoned. Also, the gray pants look a bit wrinkled and the sneakers don’t necessarily match the rest of it either. If Mack prefers the sneaker sole for comfort, that’s fine. But there are better ways to pull that off (see: Dino).
14. Manny Diaz, Miami Hurricanes (LY: NR)
The jacket’s mostly fine, but Manny, the pants... wrinkled, too long, bunching at the bottom, pleats for days. There’s something extremely unfortunate about the bottom half of this suit that makes it look like he bought off the sale rack at JoS. A. Bank and didn’t even bother to have them take measurements.