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3.6k voters

The Best NFL Coaches of All Time

Updated October 23, 2019 30.8k votes 3.6k voters 34.0k 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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  • 1
    Bill Belichick
    1,641
    733

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceNashville, Tennessee, United States of America

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    #307 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes#1 of 31 The Best Current NFL Coaches

  • 2
    Vince Lombardi
    1,105
    566

    Vince Lombardi

    Dec. at 57 (1913-1970)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    More Vince Lombardi 

    The Best Vince Lombardi Quotes#416 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • 3
    Paul Brown
    504
    215

    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#8 of 150 The Best Cleveland Browns of All Time

  • 4
    Bill Walsh
    827
    433

    Bill Walsh

    Dec. at 76 (1931-2007)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    TeamsSan Jose State Spartans football

  • 5
    Chuck Noll
    725
    375

    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#36 of 67 The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

  • 6
    Don Shula
    867
    472

    Don Shula

    Age: 90

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceGrand River, Ohio, United States of America

    TeamsWashington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts

  • 7
    Tom Landry
    803
    439

    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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    #57 of 149 The Best New York Giants of All Time#13 of 51 The Best New York Giants Quarterbacks of All Time

  • 8
    Joe Gibbs
    591
    313

    Joe Gibbs

    Age: 80

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceMocksville, North Carolina, United States of America

  • 9
    George Halas
    467
    240

    George Halas

    Dec. at 88 (1895-1983)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    TeamsNew York Yankees

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    #199 of 214 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time#10 of 144 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time

  • 10
    John Madden
    716
    398

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceAustin, Minnesota, United States of America

    TeamsPhiladelphia Eagles, Oregon Ducks football, Cal Poly Mustangs football

  • 11
    Bill Parcells
    564
    353

    Bill Parcells

    Age: 79

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceEnglewood, New Jersey

  • 12
    Andy Reid
    398
    240

    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#792 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever

  • 13
    Curly Lambeau
    274
    151

    Curly Lambeau

    Dec. at 67 (1898-1965)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceGreen Bay, Wisconsin

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    #70 of 252 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time#103 of 206 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

  • 14
    Bill Cowher
    376
    283

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceCrafton, Pennsylvania, USA

    TeamsPhiladelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, NC State Wolfpack football

  • 15
    Tony Dungy
    370
    280

    Tony Dungy

    Age: 65

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceJackson, Michigan, United States of America

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

  • 16
    Marv Levy
    320
    244

    Marv Levy

    Age: 95

    NationalityCanada, United States of America

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois

  • 17
    George Allen
    196
    115

    George Allen

    Dec. at 72 (1918-1990)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceVirginia

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

  • 18
    Bud Grant
    332
    263

    Bud Grant

    Age: 93

    NationalityCanada, United States of America

    BirthplaceSuperior, Wisconsin, United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Eagles, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

  • 19
    Don Coryell
    222
    138

    Don Coryell

    Dec. at 86 (1924-2010)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceSeattle, Washington

  • 20
    Dick Vermeil
    291
    226

    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#44 of 119 The Best College Football Coaches of All Time

  • 21
    Jimmy Johnson
    442
    394

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplacePort Arthur, Texas, United States of America

    TeamsArkansas Razorbacks football

  • 22
    Marty Schottenheimer

    NationalityUnited States of America, Germany

    BirthplaceMcDonald, Pennsylvania

    TeamsNew England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Boston Patriots

  • 23
    Dan Reeves
    201
    156

    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#81 of 139 The Best Dallas Cowboys Of All Time

  • 24
    Hank Stram
    261
    221

    Hank Stram

    Dec. at 82 (1923-2005)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    TeamsNew Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs

  • 25
    Bum Phillips
    135
    86

    Bum Phillips

    Dec. at 90 (1923-2013)

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceOrange, Texas