The top 5Legendary Coaches in NFL Football History
There have been many great NFL coaches over the years, and when you start trying to assemble a list of the top 5, you realize it's no easy task.
There is no real formula, and you have to take into account the following factors - wins, championships (NFL, AFL, NFC, AFC), longevity, Hall of Fame, and what they did for the game.
So, as with any "best of " list, this will likely create a debate.
However, I think it's safe to say that we can all agree that each one of the coaches on this list, deserves the recognition shown here for their ways to win year after year, as well as their career and contributions to the game of football.
5. George Halas, Chicago Bears (1922-1967): 324-152-31 --- George "Papa Bear" Halas was truly a legend in the ranks of NFL coaches. The father of the Triple T offense and the first coach to hold daily practice sessions, Halas finished his 40-year coaching career with a .682 winning percentage, and six NFL Championships with Chicago. He used his Triple T to perfection in the 1940 NFL Championship Game, when the Bears walloped the Washington Redskins by a whopping 73-0. After the 1967 season, Halas — then the oldest coach in league history — retired as coach as the only person to be associated with the NFL throughout its first 50 years.
4. Chuck Noll, San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers (1962-1991): 209–156–1--- Noll patrolled the sidelines in Pittsburgh for 23 years (1969-1991), amassing 200 wins including the playoffs while capturing four Super Bowl championships in a six year span. Noll led the Steelers to wins in Super Bowls IX, X, XIII and XIV and was responsible for bringing the Steel Curtain defense to Pittsburgh, that led to those titles. His uncanny knack for recognizing top notch prospects in the NFL draft, landed him the likes of Mean Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert, Lynn Swan and Mike Webster. A pioneer in providing opportunities for African Americans in the game, Noll will best be remembered as a leader who took over a Pittsburgh team that had never won a championship of any kind in almost 40 years, turning them into perennial; winners.
3. Tom Landry, Dallas Cowboys (1960-1988): 270-178-6 -- First head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and innovator of the now popular 4-3 defense, as well as the "flex defense" system, Landry coached the Cowboys to an NFL record 20 consecutive winning seasons between 1966–1985- one of the longest winning streaks in all of professional sports history. Wearing his trademark fedora hat Landry patrolled the sidelines unfazed by the hype that surrounded the Cowboys, taking them to two Super Bowl titles (VI, XII), five NFC titles, and 13 Divisional titles, while compiling 20 career playoff victories --the most of any coach in NFL history. In the 1970s, he restructured the "shotgun" or "spread" offense and, in the 1980s, he helped develop the "situation substitution" concept of handling his player talent.
2. Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins (1959-1967,1969): 96-34-6-- Although Lombardi's head coaching career in the NFL was rather short compared to most of the other coaches on this list, he took the Packers to the NFL Championship game six times, winning five titles. How good is that? Well they named the Super Bowl trophy after him. The legendary Lombardi only ever lost one playoff game, finishing his playoff record at 9-1, which is a playoff winning percentage of .900. Once Lombardi served as offensive line coach under legendary West Point head coach Colonel Red Blaik. It was during his stint there that he learned the trademarks and philosophies that carried over with him to the NFL. Lombardi once said, " After all the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after the headlines have been written, and after you are back in the quiet of your room and the championship ring has been placed on the dresser and after all the pomp and fanfare have faded, the enduring thing that is left is the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.” And he did.
1. Don Shula, Baltimore Colts, Miami Dolphins (1963-1995): 328-156--The most winningest coach in the NFL, Shula posted an amazing win percentage of .678 while only losing two seasons of his 32 years coaching in the NFL. On November 14, 1993, as coach of the Miami Dolphins, Shula broke the record of 324 wins set by the legendary George Halas. He also holds the NFL record for having coached in six Super Bowls, but his teams won only twice. The first in 1972 after the Miami Dolphins posted a perfect 14-0 record in the regular season and a 3-0 playoff run. It was the only time in history an NFL team has gone undefeated for an entire season. Miami would repeat as Super Bowl champions the following year, winning Super Bowl VII and VIII.
Get more great articles on football related topics and the very best NFL Picks and some of the best advice in the world from the world’s number one sports service Coopers Pick. Opt in now for our newsletter and text message alerts.