A Detailed Ranking Of The Best NFL Coaches Of All Time

The NFL head coach is the brains of the entire team. They will have to make strategic decisions and find ways to lead the team to success. For that reason, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the list of top NFL coaches of all time.

It wouldn’t be fair if we only used titles to determine the positions of these NFL head coaches. Take a look at his entire career throughout his career and factor in all of his individual seasons. A head coach’s contribution to the game and the performance of the teams he coaches is also remarkable.

Here are the top 11 greatest NFL coaches in NFL history. Let’s check it out!

List Of The Best NFL Coaches Of All Time

All of the top NFL head coaches on the list have contributed a lot while leading the team. Let’s find out who they are and how they made it on this list.

Honorable Mentions: Guy Chamberlin, Paul Brown, Curly Lambeau, and George Halas.

11. Tony Dungy

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1996-2001; Indianapolis Colts 2002-08
  • 139-69 (13 years)
  • 6 division awards with 9-10 in playoffs
  • Super Bowl XLI champion
  • Hall of Famer (2016)

best nfl coaches of all time

Tony Dungy 

Tony Dungy started his career with Tampa Bay in the bottom rung of the league standings. Since 1983-1995, the franchise has recorded 13 consecutive losing seasons. Up to ten seasons, they only received six wins or less.

Dungy’s start with the Buccaneers wasn’t smooth either, but the head coach didn’t have to experience another failed season after that. This NFL coach has never lost more than four games against the Colts in his last six campaigns.

These achievements are enough to put Dungy on the list of greatest NFL head coaches of all time. To add to the record, he won the Super Bowl in 2006.

10. Andy Reid

  • Philadelphia Eagles 1999-2012; Kansas City Chiefs 2013-Present
  • 221-130-1 (22 Seasons) 
  • 11 division titles with 17-15 in playoffs
  • 3 Super Bowl appearances (XXXIX, LIV, LV)
  • Super Bowl LIV champion

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Andy Reid 

As Reid concludes his head coaching career, we’re sure his ranking will be even higher thanks to his connection with superstar Patrick Mahomes.

Andy Reid’s career has been a hit since leading the Eagles with a remarkable 130-93-1 record. But it wasn’t until he joined the Chiefs in 2013 that this head coach started to raise his stock price.

At the end of the 2019 campaign, Reid got his first Super Bowl ring and is expected to own more in the future.

Andy Reid has been a continuous head coach longer than any of his peers. If you include the time he worked as an assistant coach, Reid has played in 21 playoffs, 4 Super Bowls, and 10 Championship games.

9. Bill Parcells

  • New York Giants 1983-90; New England 1993-96; New York Jets 1997-99; Dallas Cowboys 2003-06
  • 172-130-1 (19 years)
  • 5 division awards with 11-8 in playoffs
  • 3 Super Bowl attempts (XXI, XXV, XXXI)
  • 2 Super Bowl titles (XXI, XXV)
  • Hall of Famer (2013)

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Bill Parcells 

Parcells is the top discipline model on this list of best NFL coaches ever. Wherever this head coach goes, he makes his mark. It’s hard to ignore Parcells on the list with a record of bringing all four teams into the playoffs.

The most impressive dynasty he built was the New York Giants with two Super Bowls. Plus, “The Big Tuna” led the G-Men to win the Lombardi Trophy both times.

8. John Madden

  • Oakland Raiders 1969-78
  • 103-32-7 (10 years) 
  • 7 division titles with 9-7 in playoffs
  • Super Bowl XI champion
  • Hall of Fame (2006)

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John Madden 

John Madden had an illustrious career with the Oakland Raiders. With just ten seasons as head coach, he has averaged ten wins per campaign. Madden’s 0.759 win rate is the second-best in the league history.

Under the guidance of this talented head coach, the Raiders have won seven regional titles. The sight of the players carrying him out on the field after winning the Super Bowl was a most impressive moment.

7. Bill Walsh

  • San Francisco 49ers 1979-88
  • 92-59-1 (10 years)
  • 6 division awards with 10-4 in playoffs
  • 3 Super Bowls (XVI, XIX, XXIII)
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame (1993)
  • NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

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Bill Walsh

With three Super Bowl victories in just ten seasons, many think Walsh should be higher on this list. However, the head coach’s short lifespan has affected his overall assessment. But there’s no denying his influence among retired coaches.

Bill Walsh’s most prized legacy is his introduction to the West Coast offense.

A weak 49ers team has molted and become a dynasty under the leadership of Walsh. Many also claim that he played a big part in the 49ers’ 1989 Super Bowl winning roster.

6. Tom Landry

  • Dallas Cowboys 1960-78
  • 250-162-6 (29 years)
  • 13 division titles with 20-16 in playoffs
  • 5 Super Bowl appearances (V, VI, X, XII, XIII)
  • 2 Super Bowls (VI, XII)
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame (1990)
  • NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

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Tom Landry 

We can’t forget the Cowboys’ record of winning 20 consecutive seasons when Landry led them. The team also reached the knockout stages 18 times in that span.

Landry is also a creative coach on both sides of the ball.

His Flex 4-3 defense wreaked havoc on opponents’ attacks. At the same time, the pistol-directed assault, led by Roger Staubach, was a strategy ahead of its time.

5. Chuck Noll

  • Pittsburgh Steelers 1969-91
  • 193-148-1 (23 years)
  • 9 division awards with 16-8 in playoffs
  • 4 Super Bowls (IX, X, XIII, XIV)
  • Pro Football Hall of Famer (1993)
  • NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

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Chuck Noll 

One of the prominent architects of the Steelers dynasty of the 1970s with four Super Bowl titles, Chuck Noll deserves a place on the list of best coaches of all time NFL.

Within just three years of arriving in Pittsburgh, this head coach had turned a long-losing franchise into a force to be reckoned with. They won their first championship title in 1972.

So far, Noll’s Steelers are still the only team to win the Super Bowl twice in a row.

4. Joe Gibbs

  • Washington Redskins 1981-92, 2004-07
  • 154-94 (16 years)
  • 5 division titles with 17-7 in playoffs
  • 4 Super Bowl attempts (XVII, XVIII, XXII, XXVI)
  • 3 Super Bowls (XVII, XXII, XXVI)
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame (1996)
  • NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

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Joe Gibbs 

During his 16 years in charge in Washington, Joe Gibbs won three Super Bowls in four appearances. He surrounded himself with elite coaching talents, facilitating the first African-American quarterback with a Super Bowl victory.

Joe Gibbs is an icon of his class, we can say. Since his second retirement in 2008, the Redskins have yet to top.

3. Vince Lombardi

  • Green Bay Packers 1959-67; Washington 1969
  • 96-34-6 (10 years)
  • 6 division awards with 9-1 in playoffs
  • 3 NFL championships (1961-62, 1965)
  • Super Bowl I, II champion
  • Hall of Famer (1971)
  • NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

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Vince Lombardi 

In just nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Lombardi has left an impressive legacy. He is the only coach who won five NFL titles over seven years.

Lombardi is a master at motivating his players. He is also a meticulous planner. We can see when observing the Packers’ active play; they almost know in advance the possible situations.

This NFL head coach is also a pioneer with draft classes. He was the first coach to select African-American players in the first round.

Lombardi’s 9-1 record to this day is still awe-inspiring. Along with a proud 0.738 win percentage, he fully deserves to be on this list of top NFL head coaches.

After his death in 1970, the NFL decided to name Lombardi the Super Bowl trophy in his honor.

2. Don Shula

  • Baltimore Colts 1963-69, Miami 1970-95
  • 328-156-6 (33 years)
  • 16 division titles with 19-17 in playoffs
  • 6 SB appearances (III, VI, VII, VIII, XVII, XIX)
  • Two Super Bowls (VII, VIII)
  • Hall of Famer (1997)
  • NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

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Don Shula

The only head coach with the only perfect season in NFL history is Don Shula. He led both the Colts and the Dolphins to the championship of the league. Shula is also the one who coached the greatest quarterbacks in history like Unitas or Dan Marino.

Shula has won more games than any NFL coach on this list. At a rate of 12 wins per year, it won’t be until 2024 for Bill Belichick to catch up with Shula.

1. Bill Belichick

  • Cleveland Browns 1991-95; New England Patriots 2000-Present
  • 280-136 (26 years)
  • 17 division titles with 31-12 in playoffs
  • 9 Super Bowl attemps (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII, XLVI, XLIX, LI, LII, LIII)
  • 6 Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI, LIII)
  • NFL 100 All-Time Team (2019)

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Bill Belichick 

The best NFL coach ever is, undeniably, Belichick. This head coach has asserted his own era.

He is the epitome of the new millennium coaches. Belichick exploits market inefficiencies who know how to demand excellence and set expectations on players without shouting.

Belichick began his potent career in 1975 with the Colts and was defensive coordinator for the Giants in the 80s. Among active coaches, he holds the record for most regular-season wins.

With 9 Super Bowl appearances and six wins, what more could you ask for? Belichick is the mightiest ever to do it, and it’s all done in a ripped hoodie.

Final Thoughts

All of the names on our list are famous NFL coaches. Their reputation comes from their leadership, tactical mind, and outstanding achievements throughout their careers. Football has never been a simple game, and only the greatest head coaches can win.

Hopefully, this article has provided you with useful information. To keep up to date with the latest sports news, don’t forget to visit Scott Fujita every day!

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