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C-USA Coaches and Their Painting Doppelgängers

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Fill the hole in your life left by the end of football season with a little arts and culture.

In recent days, the Google Arts and Culture app has caused a social media stir. Using the app, you can take a picture of yourself and find famous portraits from all over the world that look like you. So far, it has produced some pretty funny results.

Naturally, it got me thinking: who are the lookalikes for Conference USA’s head coaches? The results tickled me, so I thought I should share them.

Let’s learn about some paintings, y’all.


Seth Littrell (North Texas)

Seth Littrell, our favorite baby face, bares some resemblance to a Dutch nobleman by the name of Laurens de Witte van Citters. It’s the rosy cheeks. You can find that painting on the right in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. There’s a joke here about UNT being the Mean Green and a painting resembling their coach hanging in a city with legal pot that I’m not smart enough to make.

Lane Kiffin (Florida Atlantic)

The Lane Train looks pretty similar to the unnamed Austrian officer in this portrait from the 1820’s. They booth look like they don’t want to be in front of a camera/artist, so it makes sense. Any history majors out there know if the Austrian military were adept at up-tempo rushing offenses?

Mike Sanford Jr. (Western Kentucky)

Google seems to think that WKU’s now second year head coach looks a bit like a German duke from the early 1500’s. Admittedly, this one isn’t a perfect resemblance to Sanford. But I’m letting it slide for how the look on the face in the painting perfectly captures how most Tops fans felt about this past football season.

Skip Holtz (Louisiana Tech)

Holtz looks like Simon de la Vallée, one of the most famous architects in Sweden’s history. The similarities in facial structure and body type are pretty notable. But to take it one step further, I think we absolutely need to see Holtz in one of those powdered, nobility wigs on the sideline in the near future.

Butch Davis (Florida International)

Davis looks like the subject of a Flemish artist from the 1600’s. You can see some similarities in the brow and cheek bone structure. While there’s not many smiling portraits out there, there’s plenty of reasons to smile about the future of FIU football considering the Panthers have the number one recruiting class in the league right now.

Brad Lambert (Charlotte)

The 49ers’ leader seems to resemble Russian anarchist Vasilii Yaroshenko as he was portrayed by Japanese artist Nakamura Tsune. The darkness in this portrait and Yaroshenko’s expression almost seem foreboding, perhaps a sign that Lambert’s days at the helm of Charlotte could be numbered with a new administration coming in.

Doc Holliday (Marshall)

Holliday’s pale complexion gives him some resemblance to French playwright Jean-François Marmontel. While many of Marmontel’s works were tragedies, Marshall’s win over Colorado State in this year’s New Mexico Bowl was anything but tragic.

Rick Stockstill (Middle Tennessee)

The Blue Raiders’ coach looks a lot like this painting hanging in the Cincinnati Museum Center. The nose isn’t quite the same, but the eyes and mouth are a dead ringer. There’s some great angry old guy face going on here.

Bill Clark (UAB)

UAB’s coach shares some similarities with this portrait of Finnish artist Väinö Kamppuri. Particularly, the ears look a lot alike. Ironic that this painting subject is Finnish because the Blazers sure didn’t * finish * the year on a strong note in the Bahamas Bowl.

Frank Wilson (UTSA)

Wilson gets a more modern doppelgänger from NYC artist Kehinde Wiley. The artist is particularly famous for painting African-Americans in heroic poses. Meanwhile, the Roadrunners’ coach is still approaching heroic status after coaching UTSA to 6 wins in each of his first two seasons at the helm.

Dana Dimel (UTEP)

The Miners’ new coach looks like a very excited Dutch kid with a new toy. Hopefully UTEP fans will have similar smiles on their faces when September rolls around.

Bobby Wilder (Old Dominion)

In my opinion, this is the closest resemblance I found. Wilder looks incredibly similar to Benjamin Flight: an organ builder and inventor in early 1800’s London. You almost have to wonder if there’s some blood relation there. Wilder will certainly need to get inventive to get ODU out of the bottom of the C-USA barrel next season.

Jay Hopson (Southern Miss)

This one almost looks like a younger version of the USM coach. All he needs is the red hair. The artist, John Steuart Curry, actually studied at the same school (Geneva College) where Frank Wilson began his collegiate playing career.

Mike Bloomgren (Rice)

Rice got a new head coach this offseason in former Stanford OC Mike Bloomgren. After a 1-11 season, this hire comes as a gift to Owl fans. Because of that, Bloomgren may as well have come with a bow on his head like that of Pierre-Louis Laideguive.


Which coach looks the most like their döppelganger? Which one is your favorite? Why did I spend hours of my day plugging these pictures into my phone instead of getting work done or spending time with friends and family?

Let us know in the comments.