Every year in the NFL, a few coaches get fired and a few get hired to take their place. The turnover isn't incredible, but there always seem to be coaches that no one wants around.
If you're a fan of a team like the Texans, Jaguars or Chiefs and your coach is on the hot seat, then this article will be something that might help you to get a little perspective and remind yourself that you don't have it all that bad. After all, you could have one of these guys leading your team.
Here is a list of the 50 worst NFL head coaches of all team.
Generally speaking, I think Jack Del Rio is a competent coach. He gambles a little bit, but he's pretty conservative, old-fashioned and a decent motivator.
Of course, when you think of what he's done in his career, it looks a little different. Del Rio has fired two quarterbacks (Byron Leftwich in 2007 and David Garrard in 2011) weeks before the start of the regular season. He squandered years of excellent defensive play by the Jaguars due to his offensive inefficiencies. At a certain point in his career, the Jaguars had Leftwich throwing to Reggie Williams, Matt Jones and Ernest Wilford... Yuck.
Del Rio has had Jacksonville fans calling for his firing for years, and only the kindness of owner Wayne Weaver has kept Del Rio in the fold. He's on his last leg this year, and considering how the gamble to drop Garrard in the preseason has gone thus far, I'm not confident about Del Rio's future.
Brad Childress is not on this list because of his record. He is on this list because of how he viciously mishandled the last two years of his career.
Once his Vikings team added Brett Favre in 2008, it put the team over the top. The Vikings struggled in pass protection, but Favre is a tough guy, and the presence of a passing game to pair with the young stud Adrian Peterson was extremely welcome.
With Favre in '08 and '09, the team had 10 and 12 wins. There were still moments, however, where you could tell the team didn't believe in Childress. He wasn't very good with his challenges and clock management. He'd move away from using Peterson when it counted—something just wasn't right.
In the 2010 offseason, Favre probably intended to quit. However, Childress went to Favre's personal house (as did several other teammates) and pleaded his case for Favre to return. He did, but not at full intensity, and Childress' offensive line was too old and decrepit to keep Favre upright.
More importantly, Childress had lost his locker room. No one respects a coach who makes it painfully clear that he needs one player. As a coach, you have to believe in every one of your players and support them all, and Childress did not do that.
That's why he was fired after starting 3-7 in the 2010 year.
I'm sure there will be fans who won't like seeing a recognizable name like Herm Edwards on this list, but let's be honest here: Edwards was not a very good coach.
In his four years as the coach of the Jets, his record decreased every year. He went from 10-6 to 9-7 to 6-10 to 4-12. In that time, his team was 1-2 in the playoffs. Basically, he took a good team and watched it fall apart slowly, right under his nose.
Now, good teams do go downhill on their own sometimes, so seeing it happen to a coach is nothing special. Of course, then you look at the next team he went to.
Edwards left New York in 2006 for Kansas City. In his first year, the Chiefs were a 9-7 team good enough to make the playoffs. Then—surprise, surprise—his team fell apart again. A 4-12 season, a 2-14 season, then Herm Edwards is fired.
He has an overall record of 44-68 and 1-3 in the postseason. As a head coach, Edwards really didn't do much of anything.
By some unimaginable voodoo magic, Gary Kubiak is still the head coach of the Houston Texans. He really shouldn't be.
The Texans have, for years now, had a top-10 passer, a top-three receiver, a strong running game and a premier pass rusher in Mario Williams. With all of that, Kubiak still hasn't led his team to the playoffs.
The Texans just have a sense of exactly what they need to do to lose games and they find a way to do it. They've given up 21-point leads, allowed countless last-second touchdowns. They had the worst pass defense possibly of all time last year.
Still, this hasn't made it's way back to Kubiak, and I don't know how. He is clearly, in my mind, among the worst coaches in NFL history.
Dick Jauron has spent 10 years as a head coach in the NFL. Do you know what his playoff record is? 0-1. That's right, in 10 years he's made the playoffs only once.
Every other year of Jauron's career, he's had mediocre teams that have underachieved. In his four years with Buffalo, he never managed to get the team over .500.
His overall record is 60-82.
Jim Mora, Jr. spent three years in Atlanta with Michael Vick, possibly the most dynamic player in NFL history, on his roster. In those three years, he also had Alge Crumpler at TE, RBs Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett to ground and pound opponents and newly drafted WR Roddy White on offense. The defense had DeAngelo Hall, Patrick Kerney and Keith Brooking.
In that time, the Falcons made the playoffs once. Once!
Mora's record (31-33) is not bad, but to think of all the talent he wasted in those three years in Atlanta, he deserves to be on this list of the NFL's worst coaches.
Joe Gibbs was an incredible coach back in the '80s and '90s with the Redskins. He won three Super Bowls, each four or five years apart and each with a different quarterback.
Of course, in the 2000s the game changed. Gibbs was all about power running and ball control, and the new pass-happy league wasn't having it from Gibbs. He stuck to the same coaching style he had used back in the 1980s and, needless to say, he wasn't able to compete on an even playing field with the NFL's new-fangled offensive minds.
The team had great talent but never looked very good with Gibbs coaching. He's an example of a coach that just should have stayed retired.
Buddy Ryan doesn't really belong on this list, but 50 coaches is a lot and the eldest Ryan doesn't have a great resume.
The guy has an exactly .500 record and, more importantly, is 0-3 in the playoffs with some talented Eagles teams. He led the Eagles to three double-digit win seasons, but was never anything more than an afterthought once the playoffs rolled around.
I thought that was enough that Ryan should get an honorable mention.
Ray Rhodes took over for two very talented teams in his career. He took the 1995 Eagles to the playoffs, but then saw the team fall apart right out from under him. When he was fired they had gone from 11-5 steadily down to 3-13.
Then Rhodes got one shot at coaching Brett Favre and the Packers in 1999. The team had the talent to make a move, but never did and wound up at 8-8.
Rhodes failed to build on two very talented rosters, which gets him on this list.
June Jones wasn't a terrible coach, but he was certainly not an effective head coach. He had one 9-7 year with the Falcons but got booted from the playoffs without a win, never to return again. The next year, his team went 3-13.
From the Falcons, Jones jumped to another flailing franchise: Kevin Gilbride's 1997 and '98 Chargers teams as a coordinator. Jones took over for Gilbride after he was fired in '98 and went 3-7 for the rest of the season.
He never saw another HC job in the NFL again.
Bill Callahan had a 15-17 record in his two years as a head coach for the Oakland Raiders. Why is he on this list?
In 2002, the Raiders made it to a Super Bowl on the strength of a high-powered offense. The combination of Rich Gannon, Charlie Garner, Tim Brown and Jerry Rice and the defense that that had been assembled by Jon Gruden made for an extremely effective team. It went 11-5.
The next year, the Raiders went 4-12 with Gannon, Brown and Rice (all of whom looked old and ineffective) and Garner, whose talent seemed to have disappeared.
Callahan took a Super Bowl team to tied for the worst record in the league in his two years in Oakland.
Remember the days when the Minnesota Vikings were the worst behaved team in the NFL? When players were constantly getting arrested? The sex boat scandal? Coaches scalping Super Bowl tickets?
All of that traces back to Mike Tice's time as head coach from 2001-'05. Yes, the team performed alright record-wise under Tice's tutelage, but it never had a double-digit win season, and Tice brought all kinds of negative press to Vikings.
That's not what a head coach is supposed to do.
If Dom Capers had been a head coach for two or three years, he would be a great coach and not on this list. He won 20 games (including one playoff win) in his first two seasons as a head coach with the Carolina Panthers in 1995 and '96. Then everything, well, unraveled for Capers.
He only has one winning season on his resume, the '96 season, and the Panthers quickly fell back into the pack after just one year above .500. They were 7-9, then 4-12 in '97 and '98.
After being fired in Carolina, Capers got the call to help another expansion team: the Houston Texans. To this day, the Texans have never had a winning season. In his four years coaching the Texans, the team won 18 games and lost 46.
Capers has an overall winning percentage of 37.5 percent. Most coaches don't last eight years with numbers that bad. Somehow Capers did.
Mike Singletary played the game full steam when he was a player. As a coach, he demanded intensity and focus from his players.
While the idea of a physical, try-hard, run-through-walls team is a good one in theory, that style of coaching is not an effective motivator for the players of the 2000s. Singletary was a nice change of pace in 2008 when he was named interim head coach. However, as time wore on, he became ineffective as a motivator, and his players became annoyed with his constant chewing out of players.
Singletary made it through an 8-8 2009 campaign but lost his job late in the 2010 season.
Dave Wannstedt came into a few pretty nice situations in his time coaching.
He inherited a Dolphins team in 2000 that had seven Pro Bowl players, including DB Sam Madison, LB Zach Thomas and pass-rusher extraordinaire Jason Taylor.
That team, with its great talent, went 1-2 in the playoffs and failed to reach the post season in 2002 and '03. Then, all of a sudden in '04, the team couldn't win a game to save its life. After a 1-8 start, Wannstedt was fired.
He's done two long stints with talented teams but has a below .500 record and is only 2-3 in the postseason.
Dennis Erickson coached for four years in the '90s with the Seattle Seahawks. His teams always hovered around the .500 level, but consistently missed the playoffs. The teams never were horrible, but they never did anything to get to the next level.
In 2003, he was hired as coach of the San Francisco 49ers, and what followed was two years of terrible play, including a 2-14 record in 2004; soon Erickson was fired and dropped back down to the college ranks.
Eight wins, 24 losses. Dick MacPherson was not exactly the highlight of the New England Patriots' coaching history.
After leading the Patriots to a bad 1991 season, the Patriots got even worse in '92. The team ended that year with a 2-14 record and a bad taste in its mouth.
MacPherson got the boot after that and never resurfaced.
With a name like Shula and a record like 19-52, you know it's nepotism.
Dave Shula oversaw some very untalented teams in the mid-90s and proceeded to do absolutely nothing of any value. A shame, that.
He made it 4.5 years without getting fired, but wound up sacked after a 1-6 start to the 1996 season.
Dave McGinnis is another victim of the Arizona Cardinals coaching history. In his four years, from 2000 to 2003, McGinnis' teams went 17-40.That includes a 1-8 finish to the 2000 season, as well as four wins in his final season with the team.
Whether it was owner Bill Bidwell, or McGinnis' own failures, the string of failed Cardinal coaches continues on this list.
Butch Davis did four years time in Cleveland early in the 2000s and certainly didn't impress anybody with his coaching prowess in that time.
His 2002 team snuck into the playoffs at 9-7 and were quickly knocked off. His 24-35 record is nothing to brag about, and he was let go in 2004 after the team started the season 3-8.
Marion Campbell had a nice, long career as a head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. That's odd, you know why?
It's because Marion Campbell currently has the third-lowest winning percentage of coaches in NFL history who coached at least three years. He coached two stints with the Atlanta Falcons, three in the late 1970s and three in the late 1980s, with a three-year stretch between that in Philadelphia.
His teams never reached .500, and they certainly never even sniffed the playoffs.
The 49ers have always placed a high priority on adding defensive talent through the draft. Usually, they've put less emphasis on the offensive side of the ball.
Mike Nolan was the one who suffered most from this. He was brought in to San Fran in 2005 to jumpstart the team's offense and develop new QB Alex Smith. He brought Smith along slowly enough, but just couldn't make the 49ers offense work in his four years as the head coach.
He ended up with an 18-37 record and was fired after going 2-5 in the first seven games of 2008.
Poor Lions head coaches in the 2000s couldn't get a break. They had no other choice but to play with the talentless rosters that Matt Millen built for them.
Still, it's pretty hard to excuse a coach for going 5-27 before getting the big boot. Marty Mornhinweg has to be on this list.
Nope, you're not misreading that.
Bart Starr was the coach of the Green Bay Packers for a solid eight seasons. Over that time, his one winning season was the strike shortened 1982 season. Five of his eight seasons were either four- or five-win years and, quite frankly, the Packers didn't field a good team in that whole length of time.
How Starr got to be the coach is obvious. He was a star for the Packers. The bigger question is why he was allowed to continue at the job when it became clear he was not a great coach.
John North spent 2.5 years as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. In those 2.5 years, he managed to disappoint just about everybody.
His first game was a 62-7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, and he wound up with only 11 wins in three years. After a 1-5 start in 1975, North was fired.
The Cleveland Browns don't exactly have the most spotless coaching record, but Romeo Crennel did enough in his coaching career to wind up on this list.
He coached for four years and had a winning record once, going 10-6 in 2006. That's a good year, except when you surround that season with two 4-12 seasons, you're not very likely to keep your job.
Crennel's teams didn't seem capable or prepared nearly as much as they should have on a week-to-week basis. Frankly, the team was not good with Crennel and his 24-40 coaching record says that pretty clearly.
He spent four years in Atlanta, and never made the playoffs. His best season was 7-8-1.
Three more years in San Diego: nothing doing at all.
He's coached three four-win teams and never had a .500 season in seven years as a head coach.
Mike Riley coached the San Diego Chargers for three years around the turn of the millennium. Let's just say it wasn't the best way for the Chargers to ring in the 2000s.
Riley didn't last very long. After three years and a 14-34 record, including a one-win 2000 campaign, Riley was fired.
Lou Holtz, the famed Notre Dame coach, was named the head coach of the New York Jets in 1976. Holtz, already having success in the college ranks, thought he could translate some of that college success to the pros.
He was wrong. Holtz quit with one game left in the season and never returned.
Art Shell had some success early with the Raiders, but his teams were 2-3 in the playoffs overall, and he only had one dominant season where the team finished 12-4. Shell coached for six years before being fired by Al Davis after the 1994 season.
He returned for the 2006 season, which didn't go very well. He wound up with a 2-14 record and getting fired quickly by Davis again.
John McKay started from nothing with the Tampa Bay Bucs in 1976—"nothing" as in, he had a winless team that year.
He made the playoffs three times in his eight year career, but only won one playoff game, and has won only 33 percent of games in his long career.
Yup, McKay lost twice as many games as he won. That's not good.
In 1997, the Chargers were coming off a solid 8-8 season and looking to build on that record with new head coach Kevin Gilbride. That didn't happen.
The team finished 1997 with four wins and a terrible 425 points allowed. Even with Junior Seau in the prime of his career, the team had the worst defense in points allowed in the NFL.
1998 was no better. In fact, it was worse. The team started off 2-4 and Gilbride was fired midseason.
Who has ever heard of Bill Arnsparger? Maybe some Giants fans with really long memories will be able to recall the former head coach. He led the Giants for just 2.5 terrible seasons before getting fired. In 1974 and '75, Arnsparger's Giants had two- and five-win seasons. After starting the next season off 0-7, he was fired.
As he should have been.
He was a great defensive coordinator, but he finished his head coaching career with a 7-28 record. Ouch.
Gregg Williams is known as a defensive mastermind by teams around the league. If he has enough speed, he is excellent at designing blitzes to throw anyone off balance. He did great work in New Orleans when it won its Super Bowl.
Before he was defensive coordinator, however, he was given a shot as a head coach by the Buffalo Bills. He ran the 29th ranked defense in 2001 and only managed to win eight games the next year after adding Drew Bledsoe at QB.
The team also drafted Mike Williams, an offensive tackle who only lasted four weeks with his team. Despite a strong start to 2003, the Bills went 6-10. Gregg Williams' contract was not renewed.
Nick Saban was not meant to leave the NCAA coaching ranks. He did, however, for two years go to become the coach of the Miami Dolphins. Saban insisted that he was going to honor his agreement to coach for the Dolphins and insisted he was not interested in taking a college job throughout the 2006 season.
I, in my naivety, thought he would be back as the Dolphins head coach. He was not. With a career record of 15-17 (which is nothing to scoff at), Saban decided to do the classy thing and quit a pro coaching job to go back down to the college ranks.
So much for upward mobility.
I feel like it's not quite fair of me to include coaches on this list just because they coached in Detroit or Oakland with bad GMs.
Still, that's not enough to excuse Darryl Rogers, whose teams got progressively worse from 7-9 in 1985 down to 2-9 before his mid-season firing in 1988.
That's a bad, bad track record, no matter where you play.
Ray Handley succeeded Bill Parcells as coach of the New York Giants and completely dismantled the team.
He fought with and benched star quarterback Phil Simms, fought with and angered the media and fans and was fired following the 1992 season.
After that debacle, he never coached again. He had a 14-18 record, but he left behind more wreckage than those numbers would indicate.
Jim Zorn inherited a nice roster from Redskins owner Dan Snyder when he became the head coach of the team. He ran a West Coast-style offense, managed to go 8-8 with Clinton Portis rushing for almost 1,500 yards and Chris Cooley in his prime as a TE.
Of course, that was 2008. By halfway through the '09 season, Zorn was ritualistically stripped of play-calling ability and functioned only as a figurehead for the team. The whole thing was pretty embarrassing for those who don't recall.
He was fired after the season and now is an assistant with the Chiefs.
The Cowboys were "the team of the '90s" to most fans when Dave Campo took over in 2000. Afterwards, they were just "those guys" for a few years.
Campo never did much with the talent he had in Dallas, going 5-11 three straight years. After failing to make the team relevant for three years, Campo was canned. He had a 15-33 record.
Steve Spurrier was and is an exceptional college coach. However, his run-and-gun style of offense was a horrible fit for the NFL.
Those who remembered watching the old ball coach shuffle his quarterbacks with the Gators were not surprised to see Spurrier try the same techniques with the Redskins over his two seasons as head coach.
Needless to say, using two different quarterbacks and not having the same guy on the field tips your hand enough for most NFL defenses to key in on what you're doing. It's not common practice to switch QBs for a reason, and Spurrier didn't figure that out until he was 12-20 in his time as coach—and then fired.
Spurrier is still doing just fine back in the college ranks at South Carolina. Just remember that that's where you belong, Steve.
Lindy Infante was one of the best offensive coordinators in the history of league, but he couldn't handle the increased responsibility of being a head coach. In six years coaching the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts, he only made it over .500 twice.
He had one playoff appearance with the Colts in 1996, but he lost that game. His overall record was 36-60.
Forget everything else Wade Phillips has done in his life and just take a second to think back to 2009. The Cowboys had a strong defense with DeMarcus Ware in the prime of his life. They had Tony Romo slinging the ball all over the field. They had Jason Witten and Miles Austin playing well, and everything was going right.
In 2010, Phillips led that team, with all that talent, to a 1-7 start before getting fired. I watched a few of the games. They didn't disguise their defense at all. The players just lined up in front of the person they were covering and then failed to cover them. It was the worst, most beatable defensive game plans I've ever seen.
2010 was a terrible coaching job by Wade Phillips.
Way back before the Cardinals changed their name to the Arizona Cardinals, they were the Phoenix Cardinals.
The name is about the only difference between the two franchises. Just ask Joe Bugel, he spent four years there in the early '90s and averaged five wins a year.
After amassing a 20-44 record, he was (for some odd reason) given another chance to coach. Unfortunately, that chance was with the Oakland Raiders with Al Davis, who changes coaches like he changes his shirts.
Who knows, with a proper team Bugel might have been a competent coach. Still, a 24-56 career record gets you on this list no matter whom you had playing for you.
Rich Kotite's record as a head coach is deceiving.
He started his career with two good years, but messed up big time in 1994. When rumors were swirling that Jeffrey Lurie was going to sell the team, Kotite publicly said he'd look at other coaching jobs.
The Eagles collapsed down the stretch and Kotite was fired. He went to the Jets, where Kotite not only compiled miserable 3-13 and 1-15 records, but fielded some of the worst teams in the history of the franchise.
His players and his team gave up on him after his PR slip-up in '94 and he never recovered. Kotite resigned after the 1996 season and never coached again.
Bobby Petrino was brought in to Atlanta to figure out how to maximize Michael Vick's talents in 2007. Unfortunately, that was the year when Vick was coming under heavy heat for his involvement in the infamous dogfighting scandal.
When Petrino arrived to coach the super-talented Vick, he found Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich waiting as his quarterbacks.
He promptly resigned after limping to a 3-10 record, leaving the Falcons in absolute shambles.
Rod Marinelli coached the Lions in their 0-16 season. The team was 7-9 the year before, but just played worse than anyone could have imagined in 2008.
The funny thing was, from week to week they seemed like a fairly competent team, like they could have actually won a game or two during the year if not for some bad luck. Then I found a video with all of the team's screw-ups back to back.
Dan Orlovsky running out the back of the end zone for a safety was a perfect example of the type of team Marinelli was coaching. You sure run a tight ship there, Rod.
Marinelli ended up with a 10-38 record over three years.
Lane Kiffin never should have been an NFL head coach.
He was a very good college coach for a few years, but he always seemed to stir up trouble wherever he went. And not just the trash talking kind of trouble, either.
He talked a lot and he was charismatic, which helped him in recruiting, but charisma doesn't win you games in the NFL, and talking smack just made opponents hit you all that much harder.
He lasted only 20 games, and only won five of them.
I know that most people won't be able to remember back to WWII for coaches, but Phil Handler is worth mentioning in a worst coaches article.
In 1943, his Chicago Cardinals went 0-10. In 1944, the Chicago and Pittsburgh teams combined (due to players being drafted) and that team went 0-10 as well. In 1945, he won one game. Only then was he fired.
He somehow returned to the game in 1949 when his team earned two wins. A career-best for Handler since he was subsequently never hired again.
Glad my team isn't coached by that guy.
Josh McDaniels was truly a walking disaster as an NFL head coach.
McDaniels was a disciplinarian who insisted that all of his players buy into his message. That was all fine and good until his star wide receiver and quarterback started complaining. A smart coach would then think, "Well, my job is to get the most out of the players I have on my roster. I must be doing something wrong if they don't like playing for me."
McDaniels didn't think that. He shipped his two best players off to other teams and got mediocre guys to replace them. When the mediocre guys at QB and WR went on to put up huge numbers, McDaniels still used the draft picks to get a quarterback (Tim Tebow) and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas in the first round. Neither player has seen much of the field, and Tebow could easily wind up the biggest bust of the 2010 draft.
That's not even to mention that he switched the teams strong 4-3 defense into a 3-4. He ended his coaching career at 11-17. McDaniels wasn't even allowed to finish his second season.
Dolphins fans everywhere just felt their stomachs turn at that name. Boy, was he terrible as an NFL coach. Sure, he coached a Dolphins team that had hardly any talent at all, but he still only managed one win in his entire coaching career (1-15 overall).
His Dolphins were about as toothless a team as there has been in the NFL, and they had to wait 14 games before managing their first win. Barely.
Cameron was fired quickly to make room for Bill Parcells. Since then, Cameron has fallen back into the ranks of coordinators. He'll never get another chance as a head coach with that 1-15 season on his record, though.
For the most part, these slides are not arranged in a particular order. Still, there's a reason that Cam Cameron is at the end of this list. He is my pick as the worst NFL coach ever.