Top 10 Best NFL Head Coaches of All Time

When you're trying to figure out who the top dogs among NFL coaches are, it's really not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. What makes one the best is pretty personal and can be looked at in a bunch of different ways. Some might look at Super Bowl wins or how often a coach wins in general, while others might consider how good they are at bringing out the best in their players.

It’s really about the coaches who’ve shown they can roll with the punches and bring something new to the table, changing not just the path of their team but sometimes shaking up the whole sport. We’re talking about the game-changers, the ones with a deep grasp of football, who’ve left their mark, creating stories and legacies that fans and their coaching peers will remember and respect. Whether they’ve guided their teams to glory or changed the game in some way, it’s these coaches we’re all likely to remember.
The Top Ten
1 Vince Lombardi Vince Lombardi was a renowned head coach, primarily leading the Green Bay Packers from 1959 to 1967. He led the Packers to victories in Super Bowls I and II and has a posthumous reputation as one of the greatest and most successful coaches in NFL history, having won the NFL Championship five times. The Super Bowl trophy is named the Vince Lombardi Trophy in his honor.

Let's consider that everyone is using the argument that football was less competitive back in the '60s. That's false. The competition has been nearly the same over time. While Bill Belichick won 5 Super Bowls in 18 years, Vince Lombardi secured 6 championships in just 10 years and won three in a row. Belichick only had two in a row.

Why do you think they named the Lombardi Trophy after Vince? Belichick has had a robust team his entire tenure in New England. Lombardi did have a good team, but the positions back then weren't the same as today (2018). Vince Lombardi is the greatest NFL head coach of all time.


2 Bill Belichick Bill Belichick is the long-time head coach of the New England Patriots, holding the position since the year 2000. He has secured multiple Super Bowl victories, making him one of the most successful and respected coaches in the history of the NFL. Belichick is known for his strategic acumen, attention to detail, and ability to get the most out of his players.

Bill is the epitome of a head coach. He eats, breathes, and sleeps football. He gets the most out of his players and always finds their strengths. He doesn't need superstar players to win games and doesn't dwell on games that his team lost. He only moves forward. And not to mention, he's brought the Patriots to six Super Bowls and won four in 15 years. The man is a genius!

Lombardi won Super Bowls 1 and 2, back when football wasn't that big. Belichick has won 36, 38, 39, 49, and 51, in a time when football is a lot more competitive.

4 Super Bowl wins, 6 Super Bowl appearances, a 16-0 season, and a mile ahead of his contemporaries in overall winning percentage.

3 Bill Walsh Bill Walsh served as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 1988. He is credited with creating the "West Coast Offense," a strategy that emphasized short, horizontal passes to stretch out defenses, and he led the 49ers to three Super Bowl championships. Walsh is revered for his innovative offensive strategies and his influential coaching tree.

The 49ers were the team of the '80s, and Bill Walsh was a part of that team. Walsh was also a genius when he picked the best talent in football, especially in 1985 when he drafted a wide receiver from Mississippi Valley State who would, in time, become the greatest wide receiver of all time, Jerry Rice.

He took a 2-14 team to a Super Bowl in his 3rd year. He won 3 Super Bowls and invented the West Coast offense.

4 Tom Landry Tom Landry was the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, a position he held from 1960 to 1988. He led the Cowboys to two Super Bowl victories and is credited with inventing the 4-3 defense and the flex defense. Landry is remembered for his stoic demeanor, innovative coaching strategies, and his significant impact on the Cowboys' franchise success.

Vince Lombardi was an innovator, role model, and a leader... by example. He's still the best representative of the NFL at its best and of America's greatest generation... when men were men. If Lombardi had a vote, he'd vote for Landry, too... as the second best, at least.

What the heck? Tom Landry is the greatest head coach in NFL history. I am not just saying that because I am a Dallas Cowboy fan, but the only reason why they named the Super Bowl trophy after Vince Lombardi is because he won the first two Super Bowls.

5 Don Shula Don Shula was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 1970 to 1995, and previously, he coached the Baltimore Colts from 1963 to 1969. He holds the NFL record for most career wins as a head coach and led the Dolphins to two Super Bowl victories, including a perfect season in 1972. Shula is remembered for his exceptional leadership, coaching prowess, and high standard of excellence.

Don Shula made every team he touched a championship team. Most wins in NFL history. Doesn't that mean anything! The Perfect Season didn't just happen. Don Shula worked his magic with his starting QB out for most of the season. Greatest coach ever - no doubt!

He led an undefeated season and has 347 wins, making him the coach with the most wins. He won 100 games in less than 10 years (it takes longer than you'd think). He coached such talent as Larry Csonka, Dan Marino, and Bob Griese. This man needs to be number 1.

Don Shula is the best teacher of the game and is the best coach to ever step out on a football field. Nobody else led his team to a perfect season.

6 Chuck Noll Chuck Noll served as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1969 to 1991. Under his leadership, the Steelers won four Super Bowl titles in the 1970s, and he became the first head coach to achieve this feat. Noll is praised for his ability to develop players and for establishing a winning culture in Pittsburgh.

He secured 4 Super Bowls and 4 AFC championships. He is the only head coach with 4 Super Bowl wins, having won 9 AFC Central titles. He took over a team that had never won any title of any kind and achieved all of the previous accolades.

He took a team from worst to first just by using the draft, with virtually no trades. He achieved 4 Super Bowl wins, with no losses in the big game.

7 Bill Parcells Bill Parcells was a distinguished NFL head coach, leading several teams, including the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets, and Dallas Cowboys. He won two Super Bowls with the Giants and is renowned for turning around the fortunes of struggling teams and for his motivational coaching style.

He set the record for fewest turnovers in a season, made a mean quarterback out of Phil Simms, and brought LT to his full potential. Parcells should be #2 next to Lombardi.

2 Super Bowl wins, a lot of wins. Not that high because he honorably coached the Cowboys.

8 George Halas George Halas was a co-founder of the NFL and served as the head coach of the Chicago Bears in multiple stints from the 1920s to the 1960s. He led the Bears to six NFL Championships and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the league. Halas is remembered for his enduring impact on the NFL and for his contributions to coaching and team ownership.

Without Halas, the NFL wouldn't even be here anymore. It was proved because he gave the NFL money to do things.

He won 315 games, 6 championships, and for a couple of years, was a player on the team too.

He has 8 championships, a lot of wins, and he helped the NFL get a lot bigger.

9 Mike Tomlin Mike Tomlin has been the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2007. He led the Steelers to a Super Bowl victory in 2008 and another appearance in 2010. Tomlin is known for his motivational leadership style, defensive acumen, and ability to maintain a competitive team year after year.
10 John Madden John Madden served as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 1969 to 1978. Known for his passionate and animated coaching style, he led the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory in 1976. Post-coaching, Madden has had a substantial impact as a broadcaster and the namesake of the popular "Madden NFL" video game series.

HEY! Not only am I in an embarrassing commercial for Tinactin, but I also am Crazy Elephant's favorite NFL coach! I should have never retired from the Raiders! Plus, I am a hell of an announcer and have my own NFL video game!

I will always love Madden, although Don Shula and Bill Walsh ran a close second, in my opinion...

The dude got his own video game that helps you with your plays. Yup, it's John Madden all the way.

He and Vince Lombardi are about tied.

The Contenders
11 Joe Gibbs Joe Gibbs served as the head coach of the Washington Redskins from 1981 to 1992 and again from 2004 to 2007. He led the Redskins to three Super Bowl victories with three different quarterbacks, showcasing his adaptability and coaching expertise. Gibbs is also notable for his successful career in NASCAR as a team owner.

He should be #2 behind Vince. Arguably the best ever. He's basically just a winner. I don't know how any of these guys, other than Walsh and Noll, are in front of him. Really, do the math, people.

12 Pete Carroll Pete Carroll is the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, a position he has held since 2010. He led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl victory in 2013 and another appearance in 2014. Carroll is recognized for his enthusiastic and player-friendly coaching style, as well as his emphasis on competition and defensive excellence.

He is one of the greatest coaches ever. He is very psychologically savvy and knows how to motivate his players. He places tremendous expectations on his team but is always behind them regardless of the outcome. He truly loves his athletes and has great respect for the players. He is careful with them in every way. I love his simple saying, "take care of the ball"! Just perfect!

Carroll led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl victory over the Broncos. He gets along well with the team and he never let Seattle down.

13 Sean Payton Sean Payton has been the head coach of the New Orleans Saints since 2006. He led the Saints to a Super Bowl victory in 2009, bringing revitalization and hope to the city of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Payton is known for his offensive-minded coaching approach and his ability to develop quarterbacks.

He made a team that had never even been to an NFC Championship game into playoff contenders three years in a row and a Super Bowl-winning team. Number 1 coach of all time!

14 Andy Reid Andy Reid is the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, a position he has held since 2013, and previously, he coached the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999 to 2012. He led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory in 2019 and is known for his innovative offensive schemes and his ability to develop quarterbacks, including Patrick Mahomes.

Yes, he has been a good coach of the Chiefs, but come on, he will always be remembered for the BIRDS!

Ever since Andy Reid went to the Chiefs, he has been the best coach in the world.

15 Jim Harbaugh Jim Harbaugh served as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014. He led the 49ers to three consecutive NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl appearance. Harbaugh is known for his intense and passionate coaching style and has also had significant success as a college football coach, notably with Stanford University and the University of Michigan.
16 Mike Ditka Mike Ditka was the head coach of the Chicago Bears from 1982 to 1992 and the New Orleans Saints from 1997 to 1999. He led the Bears to a Super Bowl victory in the 1985 season, constructing one of the most imposing defenses in NFL history. Ditka is recognized for his fervent and passionate coaching style and for his significant contributions to the game as both a player and a coach.

He coached the greatest team ever and had a lot of wins in his first three years.

17 John Harbaugh John Harbaugh has been the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens since 2008. He led the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory in the 2012 season and is known for his leadership, adaptability, and special teams expertise. Under Harbaugh's guidance, the Ravens have consistently been one of the most competitive and successful teams in the NFL.
18 Dick Vermeil Dick Vermeil was the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, and Kansas City Chiefs. He led the Rams to a Super Bowl victory in the 1999 season, utilizing a high-powered and innovative offensive approach. Vermeil is recognized for his emotional and passionate coaching style and his impact on his players and teams.
19 Tom Coughlin Tom Coughlin served as the head coach of the New York Giants from 2004 to 2015, and previously, he was the inaugural head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995 to 2002. He led the Giants to two Super Bowl victories, both against the New England Patriots. Coughlin is known for his disciplined and structured coaching approach and his emphasis on team values.

After winning immediately in Jacksonville, he has won 2 Super Bowls in New York.

Beat the undefeated Patriots.

20 Jimmy Johnson Jimmy Johnson served as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys from 1989 to 1993 and the Miami Dolphins from 1996 to 1999. He led the Cowboys to two consecutive Super Bowl victories and is credited with building one of the most dominant teams of the 1990s. Johnson is renowned for his personnel decisions, motivational skills, and distinct coaching style.
21 Mike Shanahan Mike Shanahan served as the head coach of the Denver Broncos from 1995 to 2008 and has also coached the Los Angeles Raiders and Washington Redskins. He led the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl victories in the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Shanahan is known for his offensive schemes and the development of quarterbacks, particularly Hall of Famer John Elway.
22 Tony Dungy Tony Dungy served as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001 and the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008. He led the Colts to a Super Bowl victory in the 2006 season, becoming the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl. Dungy is renowned for his calm demeanor, leadership, and the implementation of the "Tampa 2" defensive scheme.
23 Mike McCarthy Mike McCarthy has been a head coach in the NFL for several years, notably leading the Green Bay Packers from 2006 to 2018. Under his tenure, the Packers secured a Super Bowl victory in the 2010 season. McCarthy is recognized for his offensive acumen and his work with elite quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers.
24 Hank Stram Hank Stram was the long-time head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, leading them from 1960 to 1974. He led the Chiefs to two Super Bowl appearances, winning one in 1970. Stram is known for his innovative offensive strategies, including the moving pocket, and his flamboyant and charismatic personality.
25 Paul Brown Paul Brown was the inaugural head coach of the Cleveland Browns and later the Cincinnati Bengals, serving from the 1940s to the 1970s. He is credited with numerous innovations in coaching and organization and led his teams to three NFL Championships. Brown's influence persists in the modern NFL, and he is regarded as one of the sport’s transformative figures.

How is he this low he should be in the top 5 or even top 3, I mean #17! Come on! He has a regular season record of 213-104 (.672%) and he won 3 NFL championships! He dominated with the Browns in the 50s and 60s. If guys actually knew anything about nfl coaches you wouldn't have voted him at #17

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