American Football Database
Gerry DiNardo
Biographical details
Born (1952-11-10) November 10, 1952 (age 69)
Queens, New York
Playing career
1972–1974Notre Dame
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Maine (assistant)
Colorado (assistant)
Birmingham Thunderbolts
Head coaching record
Overall59–76–1 (college)
2–8 (XFL)
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
2 SEC Western Division (1996–1997)
All-American, 1974
SEC Coach of the Year (1991)

Gerard DiNardo (born November 10, 1952) is a former American football player and coach. He played college football as a guard for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish where he was selected as an All-American in 1974. DiNardo served as the head football coach at Vanderbilt University (1991–1994), Louisiana State University (1995–1999), and Indiana University (2002–2004), compiling a career college football record of 59–76–1. In 2001, he was the head coach of the Birmingham Thunderbolts of the XFL.

Playing career

DiNardo went to college at the University of Notre Dame, where he played guard from 1972 to 1974 for coach Ara Parseghian. DiNardo was a member of the school's 1973 national championship team, and an All-American in 1974.[1] Incidentally, DiNardo honed his blocking skills against Rudy Ruettiger, a member of the scout team during DiNardo's time at Notre Dame. DiNardo's older brother, Larry, was also an All-American at Notre Dame from 1968–70.

Coaching career

DiNardo began his coaching career at the University of Maine in 1975. In 1982, he joined the coaching staff at the University of Colorado under head coach Bill McCartney. DiNardo was the offensive coordinator when Colorado won the national championship in 1990.[2] The Buffaloes' offensive line coach from 1982 through 1986 was Les Miles, who became LSU's head coach in 2005 and still holds that position.


In December 1990, DiNardo took the head coach job at Vanderbilt University, starting in the 1991 season.[2] During 1988, 1989, and 1990, Vanderbilt finished 3–8, 1–10, and 1–10. DiNardo took over and went 5–6, 4–7, 5–6, and 5–6 from 1991 to 1994.[3] DiNardo's two biggest wins were when he led the Commodores to victory over #17 Georgia on October 19, 1991 and #25 Ole Miss on September 19, 1992.


After 1994, DiNardo left Vanderbilt and took the head coach position at LSU.[4] He took over a program that had six straight losing seasons and that had not been ranked in the AP Poll since 1989.

DiNardo promised "to bring back the magic", and for his first three seasons, he had considerable success, including a 1996 victory in the Peach Bowl.[5]As the team's fortunes improved,[6] DiNardo brought back the tradition of wearing white jerseys during home games.[7]

In his first season at LSU in 1995, the Tigers opened with a loss at #3 Texas A&M on September 2, 1995. However, during LSU's first home game on September 16, 1995, DiNardo led LSU to a 12–6 upset victory over #5 Auburn,[8][9] a game which went down to the last play.[10] Following the victory, LSU spent the next three weeks in the AP Poll before losing to #3 Florida on October 7, 1995. LSU's next losses were to unranked Kentucky on October 14, 1995 and #16 Alabama on November 4, 1995. LSU finished the season by beating #14 Arkansas on November 18, 1995. The Tigers then went to the Independence Bowl, where they beat unranked Michigan State, 45–26,[8][9] coached by Nick Saban, who replaced DiNardo at LSU in 1999.

In 1996, LSU began the season with a preseason ranking of #19. After LSU defeated #14 Auburn, the Tigers lost to #1 Florida, and #10 Alabama, finishing the regular season at 9–2. LSU went to the Peach Bowl where they beat unranked Clemson, by a score of 10–7. LSU finished the season ranked #12.[11]

In 1997, LSU started the season with a preseason ranking of #10. After losing to #12 Auburn, LSU faced off against #1 Florida at Tiger Stadium.[8][12] LSU upset the Gators, 28–21, on October 11,[8] making the cover of Sports Illustrated.[13] The next week LSU lost to unranked Ole Miss. LSU's only other loss of the season was to unranked Notre Dame on November 15, which the Tigers avenged by beating the Fighting Irish, 27–9, in a rematch in the Independence Bowl. LSU finished the season ranked #13.[8][12]

In 1998, LSU started the season with a preseason ranking of #9. They climbed to #6 before losing to #12 Georgia on October 3. The next week the #11-ranked Tigers lost to the #6 Florida. After the defeat by the Gators, LSU dropped 13 of the next 17 games, including losses to a #10 Notre Dame and #13 Arkansas later in the 1998 season.[8][14] In 1999 LSU lost to #10 Georgia, #8 Florida, #12 Mississippi State, #25 Ole Miss, and #12 Alabama.[15]

On November 15, 1999, two days after the Tigers lost to unranked Houston at home, LSU chancellor Mark Emmert fired DiNardo with one game remaining in the season. DiNardo was given the option to coach the final game of the season against Arkansas, but DiNardo declined.[16] Instead, offensive line coach Hal Hunter was named interim coach, leading LSU to a 35–10 victory over the Razorbacks.

Nick Saban was named as DiNardo's replacement on November 30. Saban guided the Tigers to a Southeastern Conference title in 2001.


DiNardo's next head coaching job was in the ill-fated XFL in 2001. He was the coach of the Birmingham Thunderbolts. The league folded after one season.


After the XFL folded, DiNardo moved on to become head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers in 2002. He was largely unsuccessful in the Big Ten Conference, never winning more than three games in a season, and was fired after the 2004 season.[17]

Post-coaching career

Starting in 2005, DiNardo worked as a college football analyst for ESPN Radio, ESPNews, and can be heard weekly as part of the College GameDay crew along with Dave Revsine and Todd McShay. DiNardo currently works as a studio analyst for the Big Ten Network and college football expert for WSCR's Boers and Bernstein radio show in Chicago.


Gerry DiNardo was born in Howard Beach, Queens, New York. He is the youngest son of Pasquale Richard DiNardo and Maria Inez DiNardo, and has three brothers, John, Robert, and Lawrence. He currently lives in Chicago, Illinois with his wife Terri. He has two children, Kate and Michael.

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Vanderbilt Commodores (Southeastern Conference) (1991–1994)
1991 Vanderbilt 5–6 3–4 T–6th
1992 Vanderbilt 4–7 2–6 T–5th (East)
1993 Vanderbilt 5–6 2–6 T–5th (East)
1994 Vanderbilt 5–6 2–6 5th (East)
Vanderbilt: 19–25 9–22
LSU Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (1995–1999)
1995 LSU 7–4–1 4–3–1 3rd (West) W Independence 25
1996 LSU 10–2 6–2 T–1st (West) W Peach 13 12
1997 LSU 9–3 6–2 T–1st (West) W Independence 13 13
1998 LSU 4–7 2–6 5th (West)
1999 LSU 2–8* 0–7* 6th (West)*
LSU: 32–24–1 18–20–1 *Fired after 10 games
Indiana Hoosiers (Big Ten Conference) (2002–2004)
2002 Indiana 3–9 1–7 T–10th
2003 Indiana 2–10 1–7 T–9th
2004 Indiana 3–8 1–7 T–10th
Indiana: 8–27 3–21
Total: 59–76–1
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. "72 Gerry DiNardo". University of Notre Dame. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Latt, Skip (1990-12-03). "Vandy goes to Colorado for coach". Kentucky New Era. Associated Press.,3351961. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  3. ESPN College Football Encyclopedia. New York City: ESPN Books. 2005. p. 953. ISBN 1-4013-3703-1.
  4. "Sports People: College Football; DiNardo Moves From Vanderbilt to L.S.U.". The New York Times. Associated Press. 1994-12-12. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  5. Chet Hilburn, The Mystique of Tiger Stadium: 25 Greatest Games: The Ascension of LSU Football (Bloomington, Indiana: WestBow Press, 2012), p. 81
  6. Layden, Tim (1998-08-31). "10 Lsu". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  7. "Tigers to wear white in BCS Title Game". 2007-12-18. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 ESPN College Football Encyclopedia, p. 425.
  9. 9.0 9.1 ESPN College Football Encyclopedia, pp. 1392–93.
  10. "College Football – LSU's Defense Hangs On to Nix No. 5 Auburn – SEC: End zone interception by Twillie on last play of game provides the upset at Baton Rouge". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 1995-09-17. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  11. ESPN College Football Encyclopedia, pp. 1396–97.
  12. 12.0 12.1 ESPN College Football Encyclopedia, pp. 1400–01.
  13. "Kevin Faulk". Sports Illustrated. 1997-10-20. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  14. ESPN College Football Encyclopedia, pp. 1404–05.
  15. ESPN College Football Encyclopedia, pp. 1408–09.
  16. "DiNardo gets sent packing". Gadsden Times. Associated Press. 1999-11-16.,1972403. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  17. Brown, C. L. (2004-12-01). "Indiana gives DiNardo the pink slip". USA Today (The Louisville Courier Journal). Retrieved 2010-08-13.

External links