- Head Coaching Record: 176-54-1 at Arizona State 1958-79
- Closest He Came to a National Championship: 1975; 12-0 Fiesta Bowl Champions, No. 2 final ranking
- Notable: Nine Conference Championships (1959, 1961 Border Champions, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 WAC Championships), 1975 AFCA and Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award, College Football Hall of Fame (1995)
Had Arizona State played in a stronger conference in the 1970s, Frank Kush may not be eligible for this list. Unfortunately for Kush and the Sun Devils, Arizona State was a member of the WAC from 1962 to 1977, and much like Boise State and TCU in the 2000s, were kept out of the national championship picture largely because the competition they faced in the league wasn’t enough to earn respect on a national level.
Kush led the Sun Devils to close calls in 1970 (11-0, No. 6 final ranking), 1971 (11-1, No. 8) and 1973 (11-1, No. 9), but the closest Kush came to leading Arizona State to a national title was the 1975 squad that finished a perfect 12-0, including wins over Washington in the season opener and Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl. After beating the No. 5 Cornhuskers, Arizona State rose from No. 6 and finished No. 2 in the country. It remains the highest final ranking in school history. The Associated Press voted an 11-1 Oklahoma team as national champions.
More unfortunate was Kush’s abrupt dismissal from Arizona State during the 1979 season in the wake of allegations of harassment by a player. Though Kush was ultimately found not liable in the case, he never coached college football again. Kush spent five seasons in professional football as a head coach in the CFL, NFL and USFL, and returned to Arizona State in 1996 when his name was added to the field at Sun Devil Stadium.
Next: Frank Beamer