Green Bay Packers: Titletown's Top 5 Coaches of All Time
There have been countless championship-caliber teams in Titletown's history, the obvious reason behind Green Bay's glorious nickname, and even more great football players as seen in my recently finished series of top 10 rankings.
However, I believe it is safe to say that these tremendous teams and talented stars wouldn't have been quite as legendary if there weren't such dedicated coaches leading them to their potential.
From building a roster to managing games, these men have had a major impact on the history of the Green Bay Packers.
It is now time to recognize the top five coaches that have been in power since the franchise's founding in 1919.
Sources: Pro-FootballReference.com, Hall of Fame, Wikipedia.org
5. Mike Sherman
Record: 57-39, .594% Postseason Record: 2-4
Division Championships: 3 (2002-2004)
Sherman spent six seasons leading Titletown's team in the early 2000s and also took on the role of General Manager for five of them.
His West Coast offensive attack took the Pack to five consecutive winning seasons during which they broke franchise records in rushing and in passing.
Sherman was fired in 2005 after the team suffered its first losing record since the 1991 season, going 4-12 with their top tight end, Bubba Franks, and star running back, Ahman Green, both on the IR.
Should Sherman have been given another chance?
4. Mike McCarthy
Record: 48-32, .600% Postseason Record: 5-2
Division Championships: 1 (2007)
Conference Championships: 1 (2010)
League Championships: 1 (2010 Super Bowl XLV)
Awards: 2007 NFL Alumni's and Motorola NFL Coach of the Year
In 2006, Mike McCarthy took over in Titletown after Sherman was sent packing and the Pack went a mediocre 8-8.
However, in 2007, McCarthy turned the team around as they took a 13-3 regular season record to the NFC Championship game only to suffer a devastating loss to the Giants in OT.
In the following year, the Packers struggled after dealing with the Favre fiasco, but Aaron Rodgers was already beginning to prove McCarthy knew what he was doing and in 2010, their efforts would finally bring great success.
The Pack fought for every single game, going 10-6 despite ending the season with 16 players on the IR including two primary offensive stars in Jermichael Finley and Ryan Grant, as well as linebacker Nick Barnett.
Aaron Rodgers, the prime product of the McCarthy era, took home the Super Bowl MVP and McCarthy himself was awarded a three-year extension that will keep him in Titletown for at least a few more years.
The future looks bright in Green Bay and another championship could certainly slide McCarthy into the No. 3 spot on this ranking.
3. Mike Holmgren
Record: 75-37, .670% Postseason Record: 9-5
Division Championships: 3
Conference Championships: 2 (1996, 1997)
League Championships: 1 (1996 Super Bowl XXXI)
Mike Holmgren has now become the third "Mike" on this ranking, but so far he has been the greatest coach of them all.
In his seven season stint in Titletown, the Pack went to the playoffs in six consecutive seasons, setting a franchise record as he revived the once proud franchise with a little help from Brett Favre and his acquisition of Reggie White.
During the Packers playoff success, Holmgren also led the team to two Super Bowls in 1996 and 1997. Green Bay dominated the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI, but fell to Elway's Broncos in the following season.
Holmgren resigned in 1998 to take a job with the Seahawks, but his time in Titletown will certainly never be forgotten.
2. Curly Lambeau
Record: 209-104-21, .668%
Postseason Record: 3-2
Division Championships: 8
League Championships: 6 (1929-1931, 1936, 1939, 1944)
Awards: Packers HOF, Pro Football HOF
The founder of the franchise and one of the Packers' first players also served as Titletown's longest tenured coach of all time.
Following the death of Earl Lambeau, the team's "New" City Stadium was renamed Lambeau Field in his honor and now his 14-foot statue greets visitors before they enter the NFL's most historic stadium.
With some assistance from the great Don Hutson, Lambeau's offense became the league's first to use the forward pass as a primary weapon. Interestingly enough, he is also credited as the first coach to travel by air to away games.
By even glancing at Lambeau's credentials, it is almost impossible to imagine that he shouldn't be No. 1 on this ranking, but I'm sure you all know who rests comfortably in that spot.
1. Vince Lombardi
Record: 89-29-4, .754%
Postseason Record: 9-1
Conference Championships: 6 (1960-1962, 1965-1967)
League Championships: 5 (1961,1962,1965,1966 Super Bowl I, 1967 Super Bowl II)
Awards: Packers HOF, Pro Football HOF, 1959 AP NFL Coach of the Year
Big surprise, huh?
Vincent Lombardi is not only Green Bay's best coach of all time, but he is also widely considered as the greatest coach of all time.
The man never had a losing season and his Packers teams dominated the 1960s, after which he was declared the NFL Man of the Decade.
Also taking on the role of General Manager, Lombardi breathed life into a franchise that had fallen into obscurity since the departure of Curly Lambeau and he became the Coach of the Year in his rookie season.
The famous Lombardi Sweep ran the the team to nine straight postseason victories and five championships during the reign of "The Pope" as well as a dramatic win in the Ice Bowl.
Of course the Super Bowl trophy is now named after him, and Lambeau Field sits on Lombardi Avenue as a tribute to Titletown's top two coaches of all time.