Top 25 Best NFL Coaches in the World
Although a team coach plays vital role in the team performance but out of all the professional sports in the world, one can argue that coaches in football have the biggest impact on the team.
For starters, football coaches design game-plans, they design schemes, they call the ball, they decide who plays and make critical decisions on each and every play throughout the game—and that’s only a small margin of what coaches do in the National Football League.
With that being said, when we think of the all-time great head coaches in NFL history. In that spirit, Fabulaes has compiled a list of Top 25 Best NFL Coaches in the World for all times.
25. Dick Vermeil
Born on October 30, 1936 in Calistoga, California, United States.
Richard Albert Vermeil is an American former football head coach for the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs. He coached the Rams to their only NFL title in St. Louis over the Tennessee Titans. Dick Vermeil spent time head-coaching the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs as he posted a 120-109 record.
Vermeil helped turn around the Eagles and the Rams as he went to Super Bowls with both teams, but only one won, and that was with St. Louis back in the 1999 season.
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24. Sid Gillman
Born on October 26, 1911 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.
Sidney Gillman was an American football player, coach and executive. Gillman’s insistence on stretching the football field by throwing deep downfield passes, instead of short passes to running backs or wide receivers at the sides of the line of scrimmage, was instrumental in making football into the modern game that it is today.
He was head coach of the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers, San Diego Chargers and the Houston Oilers as he spent 1955 until 1974 coaching. Gillman went to the playoffs six times and won one title while posting a 122-99-7 record.
He was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1983. He died on January 3, 2003 in Carlsbad, California, United States.
23. Chuck Knox
Born on April 27, 1932 in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, United States.
Charles Robert Knox was an American football coach at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. He served as head coach of three National Football League teams, the Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, and Buffalo Bills.
Chuck Knox might have went 7-11 in the postseason, but with the Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills and the Seattle Seahawks, he won 186 games. His nickname was Ground Chuck. Knox was a tough head coach as his teams were certainly tough as he was known as “Ground Chuck” as his offensive style was simply pounding the ball down their throats. Another interesting fact about Knox is that he was the first ever head coach to coach an African-American as a starting quarterback in James Harris.
He died on May 12, 2018 in Palm Springs, Florida, United States.
22. Weeb Ewbank
Born on May 6, 1907 in Richmond, Indiana, United States
Wilbur Charles “Weeb” Ewbank was an American professional football coach. He led the Baltimore Colts to NFL championships in 1958 and 1959 and the New York Jets to victory in Super Bowl III in 1969. He is the only coach to win a championship in both the National Football League and American Football League.
Weeb Ewbank might have only went 130-129-7, but 130 is a whole lot of wins. Ewbank was the head coach of the Baltimore Colts and the New York Jets as he won two league championships as well as Super Bowl V. Keep in mind, Ewbank as the head coach of the Jets with Joe Namath when he guaranteed an upset over the Colts. Ewbank was the first head coach in NFL history to win a title with an AFL team and an NFL team.
He died on November 17, 1998 in Oxford, Ohio, United States.
21. Tony Dungy
Born on October 6, 1955 in Jackson, Michigan, United States.
Tony Dungy had a ton of success with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts as he posted a 139-69 record.
Anthony Kevin Dungy is a former professional American football player and coach in the National Football League. Dungy was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001, and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008.
However, Dungy might have won a Super Bowl with the Colts, but he wasn’t all that great in the playoffs as he went 9-10. Either way, Dungy is one of the greatest head coaches in NFL history due to his incredible success in the regular season.
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20. Bill Cowher
Born on May 8, 1957 in Crafton, Pennsylvania, United States.
William Laird Cowher is a former professional American football coach and player in the National Football League. In 2020, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with fellow coach-turned-TV analyst Jimmy Johnson.
Bill Cowher was the face of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the late 1990s and the 2000s. Cowher went 149-90-1 with the Steelers as he posted a 12-9 playoff record while winning Super Bowl XL. Cowher is one of two head coaches in NFL history to lead his team to the playoffs in his first six seasons.
19. George Seifert
Born on January 22, 1940 in San Francisco, California, United States.
eorge Gerald Seifert is an American former football coach and player. He served as the head coach for the San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. George Seifert was the man who followed Bill Walsh, and he had a ton of success with the San Francisco 49ers. Seifert won two Super Bowls and posted an incredible 114-62 record. Seifert simply continued the San Francisco dynasty after Walsh left.
He has won Best Coach/Manager ESPY Award and Outstanding Performance by an Athlete in Entertainment ESPY Award.
18. Steve Owen
Steve Owen is one of the most successful head coaches in New York City sports history. Stephen Joseph Owen was an American football player and coach. He earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as head coach of the National Football League’s New York Giants from 1930 to 1953. Owen head-coached the New York Giants from 1931 until 1953 as he made the playoffs 10 times while winning a total of two NFL titles. When it was all said and done, Owen posted a 151-100-17 record.
He was inducted to Hall of fame in 1966. He died on May 17, 1964 in Oneida, New York, United States.
17. Tom Coughlin
Born on August 31, 1946 in Waterloo, New York, United States.
As of late, Tom Coughlin has really come on as one of the greatest head coaches in NFL history. Thomas Richard Coughlin is an American football coach and executive. He was the head coach for the New York Giants for 12 seasons. He led the Giants to victory in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI, both times against the New England Patriots. Coughlin has two Super Bowls with the New York Giants while posting a 142-114 career record. All in all, Coughlin’s teams might not do so well in the regular season, but in the playoffs, they know how to win big games.
16. Jimmy Johnson
Born on July 16, 1943 in Port Arthur, Texas, United States.
James William Johnson is an American football broadcaster and former player, coach, and executive. He served as the head football coach at Oklahoma State University from 1979 to 1983 and the University of Miami from 1984 to 1988.
Jimmy Johnson really had a ton of success with the Dallas Cowboys as he helped make the Cowboys the dynasty of the 1990s. While with the Cowboys from 1989 until 1993, Johnson went 44-36 while winning back-to-back Super Bowls in ’92 and ’93.
15. George Allen
Born on April 29, 1918 in Nelson County, Virginia, United States.
George Herbert Allen was an American football coach in the National Football League and the United States Football League. He was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
George Allen may have a 2-7 postseason record, but he had never recorded a losing season as a head coach of the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Redskins. Allen is one of the winningest head coaches in NFL history as he retired with a stellar 116-47-5 record.
He died on December 31, 1990 in Palos Verdes Estates, California, United States.
14. Bud Grant
Born on May 20, 1927 in Superior, Wisconsin, United States.
Harry Peter “Bud” Grant Jr. is a former head coach and player of American football, Canadian football, and a former basketball player in the NBA. Grant served as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League for 18 seasons; he was the team’s second and fourth head coach. Bud Grant was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994 after 18 solid seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.
Grant went 158-96-5 in his time with the Vikings as he had 12 winning seasons in addition to winning 10 divisional titles and appearing in the playoffs a total of 12 times. Another interesting note about Grant is that he did allow heaters on the sidelines—how awesome is that?
13. Hank Stram
Born on January 3, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
Henry Louis Stram was an American football coach. He is best known for his 15-year tenure with the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League and National Football League. Stram won three AFL championships, more than any other coach in the league’s history. Hank Stram is one of the great innovators in NFL history as he was the first coach to move the pocket to protect the quarterback as well as using two tight ends as extra blockers to protect the quarterback.
Stram was head coach with the Dallas Texans, Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints. Stram retired with one league and one Super Bowl championship while posting a 131-97-10 record.
He died on July 4, 2005 in Covington, Louisiana, United States.
12. Curly Lambeau
Born on April 9, 1898 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States.
Earl Louis “Curly” Lambeau was an American professional football player and coach in the National Football League. Lambeau, along with his friend and fellow Green Bay, Wisconsin native George Whitney Calhoun, founded the Green Bay Packers in 1919.
For starters, the Green Bay Packers legendary stadium was named after the all-time great head coach Curly Lambeau. Lambeau won an incredible 227 games while winning six league championships in 1929, ’30, ’31, ’36, ’39 and ’44. Lambeau was the man who created the Packers in 1919 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. All in all, 27 winning seasons is something that you can’t deny as being greatness.
He died on June 1, 1965 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, United States.
11. John Madden
Born on April 10, 1936 in Austin, Minnesota, United States.
John Earl Madden is an American former football coach and sportscaster. He won a Super Bowl as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, and after retiring from coaching became a well-known color commentator for NFL telecasts. In 2006, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his coaching career.
Prior to being known as the video game, John Madden was one of the greatest head coaches in NFL history as he’s arguably the greatest head coach in Oakland Raiders history.
Madden won just one Super Bowl with the Raiders but went 103-32-7 with the team, posting a 9-7 record in the playoffs. Madden is simply an all-time great whether it’s being a head coach, being an analyst or being on the cover of a video game.
10. George Halas
George Stanley Halas Sr., nicknamed “Papa Bear” and “Mr. Everything”, was an American professional football player, coach, and team owner. He was the founder, owner, and head coach of the National Football League’s Chicago Bears. He was also lesser known as a Major League Baseball player for the New York Yankees. George Halas was the man that founded the Decatur Staleys—the team that later became known as the Chicago Bears.
Halas posted a 324-152-31 overall record with the Bears as he won a total of six NFL championships as well as being named NFL Coach of the Year twice.
He died on October 31, 1983, Chicago, Illinois, United States.
9. Bill Parcells
Born on August 22, 1941 in Englewood, New Jersey, United States.
Duane Charles “Bill” Parcells, also known as “The Big Tuna”, is a former American football coach who was a head coach in the National Football League for 19 seasons. He rose to prominence as the head coach of the New York Giants, which he led to two Super Bowl titles. Bill Parcells, or better known as The Tuna, is the man who’s known for turning around struggling NFL franchises and turning them into winners.
Parcells took over the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys and posted winning seasons with all of those teams while he was there. Parcells’ greatest success came with the Giants in the late 1980s when he posted a 77-49-1 record while winning two Super Bowls and being named Coach of the Year twice. He was great throughout his illustrious coaching career.
8. Joe Gibbs
Born on November 25, 1940 in Mocksville, North Carolina, United States.
Joe Jackson Gibbs is an American former professional football coach and a race car team owner. In football, he was the 20th and 26th head coach in the history of the Washington Redskins in the National Football League. Why are Joe Gibbs’ three Super Bowl championships so impressive? Because he won them with three different quarterbacks.
Gibbs coached the Redskins from 1981 until 1992 as he posted a 124-60 record and then went on to rejoin the Redskins from 2004 until 2007, winning 30 out of his 64 games.
He was inducted to Hall of Fame in 1996.
7. Bill Walsh
William Ernest Walsh was an American professional and college football coach. He served as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and the Stanford Cardinal, during which time he popularized the West Coast offense. Bill Walsh was the man behind the San Francisco 49ers dynasty.
Walsh won a total of three Super Bowls with the 49ers and perfected the West Coast offense with quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young. Walsh retired with a solid 92-59-1 record as well as a 10-4 playoff record as well as winning the 1981 Coach of the Year Award.
He died on July 30, 2007, Woodside, California, United States.
6. Chuck Noll
Charles Henry Noll was an American professional football player and head coach. Regarded as one of the greatest head coaches of all time, his sole head coaching position was for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League from 1969 to 1991. Chuck Noll posted a 193-148-1 regular season record with the Pittsburgh Steelers and then an impressive 16-8 record in the playoffs.
Noll had a total of 15 winning seasons with 12 of them being playoff appearances and four of those turning into Super Bowl winning seasons. All in all, Noll is the man responsible for the Steelers greatness in the 1970s.
He died on June 13, 2014 in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, United States.
5. Paul Brown
Paul Eugene Brown was an American football coach and executive in the All-America Football Conference and National Football League. Brown was both the co-founder and first coach of the Cleveland Browns, a team named after him, and later played a role in founding the Cincinnati Bengals. Paul Brown posted a 166-100-6 record while spending time coaching the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Brown won four AAFC and three NFL championships with the Browns and then went on to win 55 games with Cincinnati. Brown is one of the major reasons why the NFL is the way it is today as he was the mentor to all-time great Bill Walsh and was a huge part in the development of the West Coast offense.
He died on August 5, 1991 in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States.
4. Don Shula
Donald Francis Shula was an American professional football coach and player. The winningest coach in National Football League (NFL) history, Shula was best known for his time being the longtime head coach of the Miami Dolphins, leading them to two Super Bowl victories, including the only perfect season in NFL history in 1972. He was previously the head coach of the Baltimore Colts, with whom he won the 1968 NFL Championship. Shula was drafted out of John Carroll University in the 1951 NFL Draft, and he played professionally as a defensive back for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, and Washington Redskins. Don Shula is the man who head-coached the only perfect season in NFL history as his 1972 Miami Dolphins went a perfect 17-0.
Shula was always a winner as only two of his teams finished without a winning record. Shula retired after 33 years coaching with two Super Bowl titles, one NFL championship and the most regular seasons—328.
He died on May 4, 2020 in Indian Creek, Florida, United States.
3. Vince Lombardi
Vincent Thomas Lombardi was an American football coach, and executive in the National Football League (NFL). He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight and five total NFL Championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls at the conclusion of the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons.
We can’t take away from Lombardi’s greatness as the Vince Lombardi Trophy is named after him—but I think he’s a tad bit overrated.
For starters, Lombardi coached in an era where the NFL was far less competitive than it is today. For starters, when Lombardi won his first title with the Green Bay Packers in 1961, the league was only made up of 14 teams while the NFL is made up of 32 teams today. Granted, we cannot take away Lombardi’s 96-34-6 regular-season record, his six NFL championships and his two NFL titles—but I don’t believe he deserves to be the greatest coach in NFL history.
He died on September 3, 1970 in Georgetown, District of Columbia, United States.
2. Tom Landry
Thomas Wade Landry was an American professional football player and coach. He was the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League, a position he held for 29 seasons. Tom Landry is the man who made the Dallas Cowboys America’s team.
What Landry did in Dallas was nothing short of amazing simply of because the “system” that he used. He believed that anyone could be replaced and that the game of football was nothing but a business. Landry won two Super Bowls with the Cowboys as he posted a 250-162-6 record over 29 years of coaching in Dallas.
He died on February 12, 2000 in Dallas, Texas, United States.
1. Bill Belichick
Born on April 16, 1952 in Nashville, Tennessee, United States.
William Stephen Belichick is an American professional football coach who serves as the head coach of the New England Patriots of the National Football League. He exercises extensive authority over the Patriots’ football operations, effectively making him the team’s general manager as well.
Bill Belichick is the greatest head coach in NFL history—there should be no debate. Belichick is a three-time Super Bowl winning head coach as his New England Patriots won three out of four Super Bowls from 2001-2004, which is now known as an NFL dynasty.
Along with Belichick’s three Super Bowl titles, he has been named AP NFL Coach of the Year three times and is apart of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
Entering 2012, Belichick has a 175-97 record while earning a trip to the playoffs in each of the three last seasons and has made the plays in nine out of his 12 seasons with the Patriots. Throughout Belichick’s success in New England, we have seen him discover one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, Tom Brady, as well as resurrect players’ careers such as Corey Dillon, Rodney Harrison and Mike Vrabel.
One of the most impressive things that Belichick has done is during this past season, he started 13 undrafted free agents at separate occasions throughout his run to the Super Bowl—how incredible is that? That’s just great coaching. Bill Belichick is not only a modern-day Vince Lombardi, but he’s in a league of his own. He is indeed the greatest head coach in NFL history.