The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time

Voting Rules
Vote up the coaches you believe had the best impact on the team.

There have been many Detroit Lions coaches since the team got its start, but who is truly the best Detroit Lions coach of all time? Help us answer that question by voting up your personal favorite Detroit Lions coaches. Unfortunately the Lions have never even been to a Super Bowl, and are only one of four teams to hold that honor.

The Lions have not historically had a lot of playoff success, but Wayne Fontes coached the team to several playoff seasons during his run from 1988-1996. The Lions only went 1-4 during those appearances, but at least he helped them get there. Many consider Fontes to be one of the best in the Detroit Lions coaching history. 

Since 1996, there have been eight different Lions head coaches, including names like Dick Jauron, Bobby Ross, and most recently Jim Schwartz. Jim Caldwell was the head coach from 2014 until 2017. This list has former Lions coaches, as well as current coaches. If one of the Detroit Lions past coaches is your favorite of all time, then be sure to vote them up! 

Who is the greatest Detroit Lions coach of all time? Let us know by voting for your favorite head coaches below - the ones you believe really made an impact on the franchise.

Photo: NFL / Pro Football History
Ranked by
  • Joe Schmidt
    1
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    171 votes
    Joseph Schmidt (1904 – 1942) was a tenor and actor. Joseph Schmidt or Joe Schmidt may also refer to: Joe Schmidt (American football) (born 1932), American football player and coach Joe Schmidt ...more
  • Wayne Fontes
    2
    New Bedford, Massachusetts
    319 votes
    Wayne Fontes (; born February 2, 1940) is a former American football coach and college and professional football player who was the head coach of the National Football League's Detroit Lions from ...more
  • Jim Caldwell
    3
    Beloit, Wisconsin
    322 votes
    James Caldwell (born January 16, 1955) is an American football coach and former player who is currently the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football ...more
  • Buddy Parker
    4
    Slaton, Texas
    112 votes
    Raymond "Buddy" Parker (December 16, 1913 – March 22, 1982) was a football player and coach in the National Football League who served as head coach for three teams: the Chicago Cardinals, the ...more
  • Earl "Dutch" Clark
    5
    Fowler, Colorado
    88 votes
    Earl Harry "Dutch" Clark (October 11, 1906 – August 5, 1978), sometimes also known as the "Flying Dutchman" and the "Old Master", was an American football player and coach, basketball player and ...more
  • Dan Campbell
    6
    Clifton, Texas
    26 votes
    Daniel Allen Campbell (born April 13, 1976) is an American football coach and former tight end who is the head coach of the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He previously served ...more