Coaches The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time  

Ranker NFL
1.3k votes 375 voters 9.2k views 27 items
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 upvoting your personal favorite Detroit Lions coaches, and downvoting any that you believe brought the team down. 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.
 
Since 1996 there have been 8 different Lions head coaches, including names like Dick Jauron, Bobby Ross, and most recently Jim Schwartz. The current head coach of the Detroit Lions is Jim Caldwell, having been with the team since 2014.
 
Who is the greatest Detroit Lions coach of all time? Let us know by upvoting for your favorite head coaches below that you believe really made an impact on the franchise.

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Wayne Fontes is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Wayne Fontes age 78 Wayne Fontes is a former American football coach and college and professional football player who was the head coach of the NFL's Detroit Lions from 1988 to 1996. His 67 wins and 71 losses are ...more

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Jim Caldwell is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Jim Caldwell age 63 James "Jim" Caldwell is an American football coach, who is currently the head coach of the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. Caldwell served as the head football coach at ...more

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Joe Schmidt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Joe Schmidt age 86 Joseph Paul Schmidt is a former American football player and coach at both the collegiate and professional levels. His 13-year career with the National Football League's Detroit Lions gained him ...more

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Buddy Parker is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Buddy Parker Died at 69 (1913-1982) Raymond "Buddy" Parker was a football player and coach in the National Football League who served as head coach for three teams: the Chicago Cardinals, the Detroit Lions and the ...more

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Dutch Clark is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Earl "Dutch" Clark Died at 72 (1906-1978) Earl Harry "Dutch" Clark was an American football player and coach. He played college football at Colorado College and then in the National Football League with the Portsmouth Spartans ...more

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George Clark is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
George "Potsy" Clark Died at 78 (1894-1972) George M. "Potsy" Clark was an American football and baseball player, coach, and athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Michigan Agricultural College, now ...more

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Monte Clark is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Monte Clark Died at 72 (1937-2009) Monte Dale Clark was an American football player who served as head coach for two National Football League teams: the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions.

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George Wilson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
George Wilson Died at 85 (1905-1990) George Bownan Wilson, Jr. was an American football player who played at Lafayette College. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988.

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Gary Moeller is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Gary Moeller age 77 Gary Oscar Moeller is a former American football coach best known for being head coach at the University of Michigan from 1990 to 1994. During his five seasons at Michigan, he won 44 games, lost ...more

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Bobby Ross is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Bobby Ross age 82 Robert Joseph Ross is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at The Citadel, the University of Maryland, College Park, the Georgia Institute of ...more

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Gus Henderson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Gus Henderson Died at 76 (1889-1965) Elmer Clinton "Gloomy Gus" Henderson was an American football coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Southern California, the University of Tulsa, and Occidental ...more

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Jim Schwartz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Jim Schwartz age 52 James J. Schwartz was the head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2009 to 2013 and most recently the Defensive Coordinator of the Buffalo Bills in 2014.

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Hal Griffin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Hal Griffin

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Don McCafferty is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Don McCafferty Died at 53 (1921-1974) Donald William McCafferty was an American football coach who, in his first year as head coach of the Baltimore Colts, led the team to a victory in Super Bowl V, and became the first rookie head ...more

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Gus Dorais is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Gus Dorais Died at 63 (1891-1954) Charles Emile "Gus" Dorais was an American football player and coach of football, basketball, and baseball. Dorais played college football at the University of Notre Dame, where he was ...more

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Steve Mariucci is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Steve Mariucci age 63 Stephen Ray "Steve" Mariucci is a former National Football League coach. He coached for the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions.

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John Karcis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
John Karcis Died at 65 (1908-1973) John "Bull" Karcis was an American football running back in the National Football League for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and New York Giants. Karcis was also the head ...more

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Harry Gilmer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Harry Gilmer age 92 Harry Vincent Gilmer, Jr. is a former American football halfback and quarterback in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions. He was inducted into the College ...more

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Matt Patricia is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Dominic Lount added Matt Patricia age 44 Matt Patricia is an American football defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots of the National Football League.

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Bo McMillin is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Bo McMillin Died at 57 (1895-1952) Alvin Nugent "Bo" McMillin was an American football player and coach, who served at both the collegiate and professional levels. He played college football at Centre College in ...more

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Bill Edwards is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Bill Edwards age 98 William Bennett "Monk" Edwards was an American football offensive lineman in the National Football League for the New York Giants. He played college football at Baylor University as a ...more

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Rick Forzano is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Rick Forzano age 90 Richard Edward "Rick" Forzano is a former American football coach at the high school, collegiate and professional levels, most prominently as head coach of the National Football ...more

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Darryl Rogers is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Darryl Rogers age 83 Darryl Dale Rogers is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at California State University, Fresno, San Jose State University, Michigan State University, and ...more

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Dick Jauron is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Dick Jauron age 68 Richard Manuel Jauron is a former National Football League player and coach. He played eight seasons, five with the Detroit Lions and three with the Cincinnati Bengals. He was head coach of the ...more

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Tommy Hudspeth is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Tommy Hudspeth age 87 Tommy Hudspeth is a former American and Canadian football coach and executive at both the collegiate and professional levels. He was the head coach at Brigham Young University from 1964 to 1971, ...more

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Rod Marinelli is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Rod Marinelli age 69 Rodney Marinelli is an American football coach who is currently the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys. Marinelli has been a defensive coach for several college and professional teams, ...more

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Marty Mornhinweg is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Coaches of All Time
Marty Mornhinweg age 56 Marty Mornhinweg is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the quarterbacks coach with the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League, having joined them on January ...more