Here are five of the most successful NFL coaches with an overview of their careers, some may surprise you and some may not.
There are plenty of Super Bowl winners among this list and several who were geniuses when it came to play-calling and man management. Let’s get started with a modern great.
Probably the most obvious name for this list, Bill Belichick has the most Super Bowl wins by a head coach with six and is third on all time wins for coaches with 273 regular season wins and 31 postseason wins.
However, Belichick has also won rings outside of New England, between 1985 and 1990 Belichick was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants and in those five years managed to add the first two Super Bowl rings to his resume.
Then the famous New York Jets scenario happened before he moved onto the head coaching role with the New England Patriots where he has been ever since.
The Pittsburgh Steelers hall of fame head coach has the second most Super Bowls for a head coach in the history of the NFL.
Before he coached in Pittsburgh, he had roles with the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Colts as defensive line and defensive backs coach.
In 1969, Noll took on the job of being the head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
From 1969 to 1991, Noll would coach the Steelers and during his 23 years in Pittsburgh would win a total of 193 regular season games and 16 playoff games.
It was from 1974-1979 where Noll would make his biggest impact however by winning his four Super Bowls in four Super Bowl appearances during this six-year stretch.
Just like Belichick, Shula is not really a surprise for this list, how could you talk about the most successful coaches in NFL history and not talk about the coach with the most wins?
However, Shula did not start out his coaching career as a head coach. For three seasons he was the Detroit Lions defensive backs coach and then the defensive coordinator.
From 1963-1969 Shula went on to coach the Baltimore Colts where he won one NFL Championship in 1968.
However, in 1970 Shula would become the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. He would be the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 1970-1995, coaching the team for 26 years.
From 1971-1973 Shula’s Dolphins would make the Super Bowl all three years. Unfortunately, in his first Super Bowl appearance they would lose to the Dallas Cowboys. However, in 1972 and 1973 they would make it back to the championship game and beat both the Washington Redskins and the Minnesota Vikings.
Shula would make it to the big game two more times, in 1982 and 1984, but would fall short to the Washington Redskins and the San Francisco 49ers.
Don Shula finished his coaching career with a record 347 wins as a coach and still sits at the top of that list today.
Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi
Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi, two of the biggest names in NFL coaching, but two names who started on the same team.
Yes, Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi started out on the same team and that team was the 1954 New York Giants. Lombardi was the offensive coordinator while Landry was the defensive coordinator.
They had both created their own playbooks which they would both take when they left New York, while Lombardi would use Landry’s defence, but Landry would scrap Lombardi’s offence to create his own.
Vince Lombardi would take the head coaching role of the Green Bay Packers in 1959, while Tom Landry would take the head coaching role of the Dallas Cowboys a year later in 1960.
From here their paths would be quite different with Landry coaching the Cowboys for 29 years while Lombardi would only be with Green Bay for nine years and then spend one year in Washington.
From here Lombardi would coach in three NFL championship games and two Super Bowls. He won all five.
He won his first two NFL championships back to back in 1961 and 1962 beating his former team the New York Giants on both occasions. Then in 1965 he won his last NFL championship against the Baltimore Colts.
In both 1966 and 1967, Lombardi’s Packers won the first two Super Bowls ever played beating the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders. In both 1966 and 1967, they beat Landry’s Cowboys to get to the Super Bowl.
After Lombardi’s first season in Washington, he tragically passed away.
Tom Landry’s career took a different path. His success took longer to come by. It took him until 1966 to get his first winning season where the Cowboys went 10-3-1. He would then reach his first Super Bowl in 1970 but lost to the Baltimore Colts in a close game.
Landry’s Cowboys would make the Super Bowl again the season after in 1971. But this time they would win and bring home the Cowboys’ first Super Bowl by beating Don Shula’s Miami Dolphins.
The Cowboys made it back to the Super Bowl three more times in a four-year period under Landy but only won one more championship.
In 1975, they lost a nail biter to the Pittsburgh Steelers and then in 1977 beat the Denver Broncos to win their second Super Bowl. In 1978, the Cowboys lost another nail biter to their rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Tom Landry would continue to coach the Dallas Cowboys until Jerry Jones dismissed him just after he bought the team in 1988 much to the anger of the fans.
Both Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi were really the first two stand out coaches in the NFL creating playbooks that are still being used today.