NFL History: The Best 25 NFL Head Coaches To Have Never Won a Super Bowl
The NFL postseason is upon us and some of the best head coaches in the NFL will be trying to win their first Super Bowl.
Four of them rate among the best 25 NFL head coaches ever to have never won a Super Bowl. See where they rank in our list.
25. Blanton Collier
Collier coached the Cleveland Browns from 1963 to 1970.
He had an overall record of 47-27-1 from 1966 to 1970 and made the playoffs three out of those four seasons.
24. Jerry Burns
Burns succeeded Bud Grant as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings and was their head coach from 1986 to 1991 making the playoffs three times.
Burns’ overall coaching record was 55-44.
23. Bum Phillips
Phillips had an overall record of 86-80 and led the Houston Oilers to the postseason three times.
Twice his Oilers reached the AFC Championship Game, only to lose to the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
22. Wade Phillips
Despite what one might think and even taking into account his dismal record this year with the Dallas Cowboys, one can’t dismiss the fact that Phillips has led three different teams to the postseason.
Phillips has led the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills and the Cowboys to the playoffs, having qualified for the postseason on five occasions. Phillips has an overall coaching record of 83-64 with four 10-plus win seasons to his credit.
21. Mike McCarthy
The current coach of the Green Bay Packers, McCarthy took over the Packers job in 2006 and has led the Packers to the postseason three times.
McCarthy has an overall coaching record of 49-34.
20. Lovie Smith
The current coach of the Chicago Bears, Smith took over the head coaching job in 2004 and has led the Bears to the playoffs three times and to Super Bowl XLI, losing to the Indianapolis Colts.
Smith has an overall coaching record of 65-51.
19. John Harbaugh
The current coach of the Baltimore Ravens, Harbaugh took over the head coaching job in 2008 and has led the Ravens to the playoffs in each of his three seasons.
Harbaugh has an overall coaching record of 35-20.
18. Mike Sherman
Sherman coached the Green Bay Packers from 2000 to 2005 and led them to the postseason four times in those six seasons.
Sherman’s overall coaching record stands at 59-43.
17. Jack Pardee
Pardee had an overall coaching record of 88-82 and led both the Chicago Bears and Houston Oilers to the playoffs qualifying for the postseason on five occasions.
Pardee was the Oilers head coach during their era of the run-and-shoot offense.
16. Red Miller
Miller coached the Denver Broncos from 1977 to 1980 and led the Broncos to the playoffs three of his four seasons, making it to Super Bowl XII before losing to Tom Landry’s Dallas Cowboys.
Miller’s overall coaching record was 42-25.
15. Mike Martz
Martz coached the St. Louis Rams from 2000 to 2005 and led the Rams to the postseason four times in those six seasons.
Martz had an overall coaching record of 56-35. His Rams lost to Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI.
14. Bobby Ross
Ross had an overall record of 77-68 and made the postseason five times, three times as coach with the San Diego Chargers.
Ross’ Chargers made it to Super Bowl XXIX losing to the San Francisco 49ers. Ross also led the Detroit Lions to the playoffs in 1997 and 1999, which in itself is extremely noteworthy.
The Lions have been so bad for so long, it’s almost statue worthy.
13. John Robinson
Robinson coached the Los Angeles Rams from 1983 to 1991 making the playoffs six times. Robinson had an overall coaching record of 79-74.
Robinson’s L.A. Rams teams had the misfortune of playing in the same era as Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49ers.
12. Jim Mora
Mora had six 10-plus win seasons and his teams qualified for the postseason six times.
Mora’s overall coaching record was 125-112. Mora led both the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts to the playoffs.
Playoffs? Did you say Playoffs?!?!
11. Jeff Fisher
The current coach of the Tennessee Titans, Fisher has led teams to the postseason six times. He has an overall coaching record of 147-126 with six seasons of 10 wins or more.
Fisher’s Tennessee Titans lost to the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV.
10. Dennis Green
Green had an overall record of 117-102 with both the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals.
He led the Vikings to the postseason eight times in his nine years as head coach. Green’s best team, the 1998 Minnesota Vikings went 15-1, and set an NFL record for points scored, but were upset in the NFC Championship Game by the Atlanta Falcons.
9. Andy Reid
The current coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Reid has led the Eagles to the postseason nine times with an overall record of 128-81-1.
Reid took over the Eagles head coaching job in 1999 and was named Coach of the Year twice (2000, 2002) in the next four seasons and led the Eagles to the NFC Championship Game four consecutive seasons (2001-2004).
He led the Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX, losing to Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots. Reid has eight 10-plus win seasons to his credit.
8. Don Coryell
Coryell had an overall coaching record of 114-89-1 and made the postseason six times as coach of the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers.
Coryell was an innovator when it came to the passing game, as his prolific passing offenses became known as “Air Coryell.”
7. Chuck Knox
Knox also led three franchises into the postseason, the Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks.
Knox had an overall coaching record of 193-158-1 with 11 postseason appearances. Knox never made it to the Super Bowl.
6. Marty Schottenheimer
Schottenheimer had an overall coaching record of 205-139-1.
He led three different franchises (Cleveland, Kansas City and San Diego) to the playoffs, qualifying for the postseason 13 times.
Schottenheimer had 11 seasons with 10 or more wins. Schottenheimer reached the AFC Championship game three times, twice with the Browns and once with the Chiefs.
5. Dan Reeves
Reeves had an overall record of 203-175-2 and reached the Super Bowl four times, three times with the Denver Broncos and once with the Atlanta Falcons.
Reeves had nine seasons of 10 wins or more and his teams qualified for the postseason nine times. Reeves led the Broncos, New York Giants and Falcons to the postseason and had an 11-9 postseason record.
4. George Allen
Hall of Famer—Allen had an overall record of 118-54-5, making the postseason seven times as coach of the Los Angeles Rams and later the Washington Redskins.
Allen was named Coach of the Year twice. Allen led the Redskins to Super Bowl VII, losing to Don Shula’s undefeated Miami Dolphins.
3. Marv Levy
Hall of Famer—Levy led the Buffalo Bills to an unprecedented four consecutive Super Bowl appearances.
Levy recorded an overall coaching record of 154-120 with an 11-8 postseason record.
Levy’s Bills lost Super Bowl games to Bill Parcells' New York Giants, Joe Gibbs’ Washington Redskins and Jimmy Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys.
2. Bud Grant
Hall of Famer—Grant led the Minnesota Vikings to the postseason 12 times and to four Super Bowls.
Grant had an overall coaching record of 168-108-5.
Grant’s Vikings lost Super Bowl games to three Hall of Fame head coaches: Don Shula, Chuck Noll and John Madden.
1. Paul Brown
Hall of Famer—As coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, Brown’s coaching record was only 55-56-1, making the playoffs three times, but Brown was such a great coach before taking over the expansion Bengals that his overall greatness overcomes his mediocre record with them.
Brown’s future coaching lineage included Hall of Fame coaches Don Shula, Chuck Noll and Bill Walsh.