Top-20 Best NFL Coaches of All Time 2020

Best NFL Coaches of All Time
Bill Belichick (Photo: Elise Amendola/Associated Press)

Who is the best NFL coach of all time?

The significance of a coach to a team cannot be ignored. As a body without a head is utterly useless, so is a team without a coach. They are the soul that ignites the fire in a team, the brains behind stunning victories, the last-minute magicians that turn the tides of the game and bring joy to their fans and cast gloom to the opposition team. Coaches undoubtedly are an integral part of American football.

In this article, we bring you the top-20 greatest head coaches in the history of the NFL. Our list was derived largely based on performance, in conjunction with opinions from SportyTell editors and other sports pundits

Here are the Best NFL Coaches of all time

20. Mike Tomlin

Mike Tomlin
Photo: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sport

After a long history of serving as an assistant coach in various clubs, he was finally given his wheel to steer as he was appointed head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007. There he emerged the youngest coach in the history of the NFL to lay hands on the Super Bowl trophy. He was named Motorola coach of the year in 2008 and Pittsburgh performance play in general improved upon his appointment.

19. Ray Flaherty

Known for creating the screen pass trick, Flaherty has been privileged to coach four different clubs in his wondrous coaching career. He won the NFL title twice in his seven years spell as head coach of the Washington Redskins. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

18. Bill Cowher

Bill Cowher is one of the only two coaches in the history of the NFL to qualify their teams to the playoffs in their very first six seasons. Cowher, who is evidently one of the best NFL coaches in history was named NFL coach of the year in his first season with the Pittsburgh Steelers before inputting 14 seasons as a coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers and leading them to two Super Bowl appearance, winning one before his retirement in 2007. He is to be inducted in 2020 into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He works as a studio analyst presently.

17. Dick Vermeil

A miracle coach you could call him for his seeming magical resurrection of all three teams he coached in the NFL to winnings ways from previous losing streaks. Dick Vermeil’s coaching career saw him win the Super Bowl XXXIV. He was also named NFL coach of the year and won a host of other titles and achievements.

16. Tony Dungy

The first black American coach to lay hands on the Super Bowl trophy, Tony Dungy made his debut as a coach in the NFL when he was first appointed Head coach of Tampa Bays back in 1996. His impact on the team was obvious as he restored back winning glories to the club. Same was the script in his days with Indianapolis Colts as he achieved playoff qualification ticket for every season he coached the franchise, thereby creating a record of ten straight playoff appearance, achieved by a head coach in the NFL, recording his name in the list of the best NFL coaches ever. In 2016 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

15. Andy Reid

Andy Reid
Photo: Don Wright / AP

Referring to the significant impact made on a team upon a coach arrival, then you likely would remember Andy Reid. His appointment as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 saw to the immediate end of their eight-game playoff losing streak. He was the reason for the unending revelling joy of celebration in the franchise as he led the chief to the Super Bowl LIV and eventually won it after a 50 years drought thus becoming one of five coaches in the history of NFL to have led two different teams to a Super Bowl appearance. Reid is one of the greatest coaches ever in the NFL.

14. Bud Grant

One of the most successful football coaches, Bud Grant is a man who has virtually tasted every bit of hand-played sport, been previously a football player, basketball player as well as a baseball player. He coached in the NFL and CFL and has a whopping total win of 283 games. He was the first coach to have led a team to the grey cup and super bowl, Grant was named in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His statue is erected in honour of him outside the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Stadium, the franchise he once played for and also coached.

13. John Madden

After he served for various franchises as a role-playing coach, John Madden served as head coach of a single franchise in the NFL throughout his 14 years coaching career, the Oakland Raiders and led them to a Super Bowl glory. Upon his retirement as coach from the Oakland Raiders, he became a sports broadcaster. He was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

12. Guy Chamberlin

Late Guy Chamberlin was the coach with the best win percentage in the history of the NFL with at least 50 wins, thus joining the best NFL coaches of all-time list. He also is the only coach to have led three different clubs to NFL glory. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame far back in 1965.

11. Curly Lambeau

Curly Lambeau, an honourable and one of the most recognized coaches in the NFL founded the Green Bay Packers in 1919 and was the franchise’s first coach. He led the Packers to over a hundred wins and to six NFL trophies. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

10. Bill Parcells

“Big Tuna” as Bill Parcells is mostly called is one of the legendary coaches ever in the history of the NFL. He performed the unremarkable, resurrecting four bottom teams with shattered hopes of winning to the peak of American football, guiding them to winning ways and glories. His most stunning magic was transforming losing side, New York giant into Super Bowl champions. He was named NFL coach of the year twice.

9. Chuck Noll

Late Noll is one of few coaches in the history of the NFL to have served over 20 years in a particular franchise. As head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he guided what could be referred to as an underdog team with no title to its name since being founded to four Super Bowl trophies. He was also known for opportunities he gave to black African Americans in the game. He produced the first black quarterback. In 1993 Chuck Noll was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Chuck Noll is definitely a contender of the title of the greatest NFL head coach of all time.

8. Tom Landry

The first and longest-serving coach of the Dallas Cowboys achieved and sets the most impressive record that may well stand forever in the NFL, securing a record of 20 sequential winning seasons between 1966 to 1985; thus, joining the ranks of the best NFL coaches of all time. He has two Super Bowl titles to his name and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

7. George Halas

Mostly called “Papa bear” a nickname, he is one of the co-founders of the National Football League and owner of the Chicago bears. He was named NFL coach of the year twice and has 8 NFL titles to his credit. He was among the first 17 elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

6. Joe Gibbs

One of the amazing achievements of Joe Gibbs was emerging Super Bowl champion thrice with three different quarterbacks. Such feat hasn’t been repeated in the history of the NFL, thus, becoming one of the greatest achievements by a head coach in the league. He was solely head coach of the Washington Redskins in his coaching career and guided them to eight playoff appearances and three Super Bowl titles.

5. Paul Brown

Paul Brown
AP Photo/Tony Tomsic

He was the first coach of two different franchise he partly owned. The Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals. A coaching career that lasted 25 years saw him lay hands on seven championship titles. He is also credited for various tactical gameplay he invented into the sport that are been put into use in the modern era. After his death, the Bengals renamed their stadium, “Paul Brown Stadium” in his honour. 

4. Bill Walsh

In his stint as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, he was popularly known for his team’s volatile offence that could melt through almost any defence. He had a total of 102 wins and three Super Bowl titles in his 9 years spell with the franchise. Bill Walsh was NFL coach of the year twice and was included in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

3. Don Shula

One memorable feat achieved by the late Don Shula was his recorded perfect pitch season in 1972 which has never been repeated to this day. Shula is the only head coach with the most career wins in NFL history with a total of 347 wins. He has to his credit two Super Bowl victories and 4 NFL coach of the year awards. Don Shula simply made the impossible, possible.

2. Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi is one of the greatest and most disciplined coach ever in the NFL. He spent most of his coaching career as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, although he coached the Washington Redskins in the 1969 season and led the franchise to 5 NFL titles, and the very first and second Super Bowl trophy. That makes him a major contender of the title of greatest NFL coaches ever. Many praised him for his abject rejection of racism which was subtly prevalent in the sport during his days. “My players are neither black or white but Packer Green” he onced said.

1. Bill Belichick

Greatest NFL head Coach Bill Belichick
Photo: AP

Bill Belichick, recognized as one of the greatest and the best coach in the NFL by the media, players and fans alike is one of three coaches with 6 NFL titles. Currently the head coach of the New England Patriots, he has impacted progress to the team creating a number of records with the franchise including most Super Bowl wins by a head coach, which he won a recorded six times, most Super Bowl appearances, and most playoff wins.



Aside players exhibiting marvellous play on the field to the delight and entertainment of sports fans, there are bodies of individuals whose indirect input plays big importance to the overall outcome and influence of the game. One of such is the coaching staff.

Finally, what are your thoughts on our top-20 best NFL coaches of all-time list? Please share with us in the comments section below.


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