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3.7k voters

The Best NFL Coaches of All Time

Updated October 23, 2019 29.4k votes 3.7k voters 34.3k views61 items

List RulesOnly NFL coaches. College football coaches don't count unless they've coached in the NFL

The best NFL coaches of all time are hands down the best men ever to lead their respective National Football League teams into battle. There are reasons why these men have teams, stadiums, video game franchises and that little thing given away annually to the Super Bowl champion named after them. These are the best NFL coaches to have ever lived, period.

Regardless of which NFL team you root for, there is little doubt that the vast majority of football fans would agree that Vince Lombardi is the greatest football coach in the history of mankind. As a forefather to the NFL, Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, leading them to five championships in a seven-year span including wins in the first two Super Bowls ever. His inspirational words are still widely used today as is his name which graces the title of the Lombardi Trophy, awarded to the annual champion of the National Football League.

But there are many more legendary NFL coaches of past and present that also deserve a place on this list for their brilliance, inspiration and undeniable success on the field. Coaches like Tom Landry, Don Shula, George Halas, Paul Brown and Chuck Noll were the leaders in the league a few decades ago while the best current NFL coaches like Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin and Mike Shanahan continue to improve upon their already legendary status in NFL history.

How do you define which NFL coach is the best of all time? Is it from their championships and wins or do you look at their entire career to compare one body of work to another? However you do it, vote, add to or re-rank this list of the best NFL coaches of all time.
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  • Bill Belichick1
    1,537
    692

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceNashville, Tennessee, United States of America

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    #325 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes#45 of 71 Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

  • Vince Lombardi2
    1,049
    528

    Vince Lombardi

    Dec. at 57 (1913-1970)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

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    The Best Vince Lombardi Quotes#402 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • Paul Brown3
    480
    211

    Paul Brown

    Dec. at 83 (1908-1991)

    BirthplaceNorwalk, Ohio

    TeamsMiami RedHawks football

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    #5 of 26 The Best NFL Team Owners of All Time#7 of 150 The Best Cleveland Browns of All Time

  • Don Shula4
    826
    444

    Don Shula

    Age: 90

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceGrand River, Ohio, United States of America

    TeamsWashington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts

  • Chuck Noll5
    690
    360

    Chuck Noll

    Dec. at 82 (1932-2014)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceCleveland, Ohio, United States of America

    TeamsCleveland Browns

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    #4 of 127 The Best Pittsburgh Steelers of All Time#33 of 67 The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

  • Bill Walsh6
    777
    419

    Bill Walsh

    Dec. at 76 (1931-2007)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    TeamsSan Jose State Spartans football

  • Tom Landry7
    764
    415

    Tom Landry

    Dec. at 76 (1924-2000)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceMission, Texas

    TeamsNew York Giants, Texas Longhorns football, New York Yankees

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    #60 of 149 The Best New York Giants of All Time#14 of 51 The Best New York Giants Quarterbacks of All Time

  • George Halas8
    451
    229

    George Halas

    Dec. at 88 (1895-1983)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    TeamsNew York Yankees

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    #197 of 214 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time#11 of 144 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time

  • Joe Gibbs9
    554
    301

    Joe Gibbs

    Age: 80

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceMocksville, North Carolina, United States of America

  • John Madden10
    677
    380

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceAustin, Minnesota, United States of America

    TeamsPhiladelphia Eagles, Oregon Ducks football, Cal Poly Mustangs football

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    #3 of 47 Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers#27 of 27 Old Athletes You Didn't Realize Are Still Alive

  • Bill Parcells11
    535
    339

    Bill Parcells

    Age: 79

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceEnglewood, New Jersey

  • Curly Lambeau12
    271
    144

    Curly Lambeau

    Dec. at 67 (1898-1965)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceGreen Bay, Wisconsin

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    #72 of 252 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time#84 of 206 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

  • Andy Reid13
    387
    234

    Andy Reid

    Age: 62

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California

    TeamsBYU Cougars football

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    #24 of 107 College & Professional Athletes Who Were Raised Mormon#739 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever

  • Bill Cowher14
    356
    270

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceCrafton, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    TeamsPhiladelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, NC State Wolfpack football

  • Tony Dungy15
    352
    271

    Tony Dungy

    Age: 65

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceJackson, Michigan, United States of America

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Golden Gophers football

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    #24 of 77 The Best Tampa Bay Buccaneers of All Time#50 of 79 The Greatest Minnesota Basketball Players of All Time

  • Marv Levy16
    308
    235

    Marv Levy

    Age: 95

    NationalityCanada, United States of America

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois

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    #67 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#9 of 162 The Best Buffalo Bills of All Time

  • Bud Grant17
    322
    249

    Bud Grant

    Age: 93

    NationalityCanada, United States of America

    BirthplaceSuperior, Wisconsin

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Eagles, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

  • Don Coryell18
    215
    132

    Don Coryell

    Dec. at 86 (1924-2010)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceSeattle, Washington

  • George Allen19
    188
    113

    George Allen

    Dec. at 72 (1918-1990)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceVirginia

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    #32 of 115 The Greatest Washington Redskins of All Time#2 of 28 The Best Washington Redskins Coaches of All Time

  • Dick Vermeil20
    276
    216

    Dick Vermeil

    Age: 84

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceCalistoga, California, United States of America

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    #79 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative#49 of 133 The Best College Football Coaches of All Time

  • Jimmy Johnson21
    419
    372

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplacePort Arthur, Texas, USA

    TeamsArkansas Razorbacks football

  • Marty Schottenheimer22

    NationalityUnited States of America, Germany

    BirthplaceMcDonald, Pennsylvania

    TeamsNew England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Boston Patriots

  • Hank Stram23
    251
    210

    Hank Stram

    Dec. at 82 (1923-2005)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    TeamsNew Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs

  • Dan Reeves24
    195
    150

    Dan Reeves

    Age: 76

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceRome, Georgia

    TeamsDallas Cowboys

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    #48 of 322 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame#80 of 139 The Best Dallas Cowboys Of All Time

  • Bum Phillips25
    132
    85

    Bum Phillips

    Dec. at 90 (1923-2013)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceOrange, Texas