College football coaches are far from the richest people in sports, but they could be the most powerful. That might seem far-fetched, but not to the disciples of Bear Bryant, Woody Hayes, and Tom Osborne, among others, who rose to become almost spiritual leaders at their schools.
At University of Michigan President James Duderstadt’s retirement banquet in 1996, he said being president wasn’t easy, but it came with some nice perks. He even got to meet the man thousands of people considered God. “No,” he said, “not Bo Schembechler, but the Dalai Lama.”