Top NFL Coaches With Most Wins – Who Is the All Time Best?
Throughout the history of the NFL, there have been quite a few excellent head coaches, so making a list that contains the best of the best can be quite ungrateful.
However, from time to time it still needs to be done, not only as a testament to their legacy but also as an inspiration to the generations that will follow.
There are many ways in which the list of great NFL coaches can be compiled, and ours answers the question: “What NFL coach has the most wins ever?” The answer to that question is Don Shula.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 NFL coaches with most wins.
10. Dan Reeves
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- NFL Teams: Denver Broncos (1981–1992), New York Giants (1993–1996), Atlanta Falcons (1997–2003)
- NFL Record: 190–165–2 (.535)
- Super Bowl wins: N/A
- Accolades: 2x AP NFL Coach of the Year (1993, 1998)
With 190 wins the tenth-winningest NFL coach of all time is Dan Reeves. After retiring from the NFL as a player, the former running back spent 31 years in the NFL as an assistant and head coach.
Reeves spent the first 8 years of his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys.
During his tenure as an assistant coach, the Cowboys played in three Super Bowls: 1975, 1977, and 1978, with their only win coming in 1977.
In 1981, the former Dallas Cowboys became the head coach of the Denver Broncos and made them one of the most consistent teams in the 1980s. He made three trips to the Super Bowl: in 1986, 1987, and 1989, but unfortunately lost all of them.
Four years after his last Super Bowl appearance with the Broncos, he took on the head coaching job with the New York Giants. The Giants are the only team with which Reeves did not make it to the Super Bowl.
His last head coaching job in the NFL was with the Atlanta Falcons, who he managed to lead to the Super Bowl in 1998 where he was once again unsuccessful.
In total, Dan Reeves was a part of nine Super Bowls. He won one Super Bowl as a player and one as an assistant coach.
9. Marty Schottenheimer
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- NFL Teams: Cleveland Browns (1984–1988), Kansas City Chiefs (1989–1998), Washington Redskins (2001), San Diego Chargers (2002–2006)
- NFL Record: 200–126–1 (.613)
- Super Bowl wins: N/A
- Accolades: NFL Coach of the Year (2004), 2x AFC Coach of the Year (1986, 2004)
At number nine on the all-time NFL coaching wins is Marty Schottenheimer. During his 20 years in the NFL Schottenheimer has accumulated 200 wins with 4 different NFL franchises.
His first head coaching job was with the Cleveland Browns in 1984. The Browns achieved a 40-23 record during his 4-year tenure.
Just a year after leaving Cleveland, Schottenheimer signed with the Kansas Chiefs, where he stayed for nine years and recorded 101 wins and 58 losses.
After spending three years away from the NFL, he became the head coach of the Washington Redskins in 2001. During the one season, he was in Washington, the Redskins had eight wins and eight losses.
Schottenheimer’s last head coaching job in the NFL was with the San Diego Chargers. He spent five seasons with the franchise and won 47 of the possible 80 NFL games.
If there is one thing to notice about the 2004 NFL Coach of the Year, it is that his teams always performed better in the regular season than in the playoffs, where their overall record was five wins and 13 losses.
Of the nine NFL coaches with 200 wins or more, Schottenheimer is the only coach without a Super Bowl win.
8. Chuck Noll
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- NFL Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers (1969–1991)
- NFL Record: 209–156–1 (.572)
- Super Bowl wins: 4 (IX, X, XIII, XIV)
- NFL Champion: 3 (1954, 1955, 1968)
- Accolades: Maxwell Club NFL Coach of the Year (1989), UPI AFC Coach of the Year (1972)
Chuck Noll spent his whole NFL head coaching career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. During his 23 seasons with the Steelers, the franchise from Pitssburg went from having only one win in their first season to nine division titles and four Super Bowl championships.
Noll’s first Super Bowl win came in 1974 when Steelers defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IX 16-6. A year after, Pittsburgh outlasted the Dallas Cowboys 21 to 7, clinching back-to-back Super Bowls.
Four years after, they once again defeated the Cowboys 35-31, and grabbed their third Super Bowl under Noll.
Pittsburgh’s last Super Bowl win with Chuck Noll as the head coach came in Super Bowl XIV against the Los Angeles Rams 31-19.
After becoming the head coach of the Steelers, Noll implemented a defensive system that became known as the “Steel Curtain”.
The Steel Curtain is regarded as one of the best defensive approaches in the history of the NFL and was the backbone of the Steelers dynasty.
In addition to being one of the best strategies in the history of the league, one of the keys to Chuck Noll’s success was his excellent scouting skills.
The hall-of-fame coach drafted many hall-of-fame players including Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Jack Lambert, and Mike Webster with the last 4 being drafted in the same draft.
7. Paul Brown
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- NFL Teams: Cleveland Browns (1946–1962), Cincinnati Bengals (1968–1975)
- NFL Record: 213–104–9 (.665)
- NFL Champion: 3 (1950, 1954, 1955)
- Accolades: 3x UPI NFL Coach of the Year (1957, 1969, 1970), 3x Sporting News Coach of the Year (1949, 1951, 1953)
Paul Brown is not only one of the winningest NFL coaches of all time, but he is also the coach that revolutionized the approach to football.
He was the first coach to hire full-time staff, to create a scouting team, and use science to test his players.
He created offensive plays with specific passing patterns aimed at taking advantage of the opposing teams’ defense as well as defensive schemes which prevented pattern passing attacks.
During his 17 years as a head coach of the Cleveland Browns, he won 4 AAFC and 3 NFL titles and had only one losing campaign, posting a record of 167 wins, 52 losses, and 8 ties.
After his stint with Cleveland was over, Brown and a group of enthusiasts founded another NFL team, the Cincinnati Bengals. After the Bengals got the approval of the NFL, they played their first season in the NLF in 1968 with Brown as their head coach.
With Brown, the Bengals made three playoff appearances in seven years. The three-time coach of the year retired in 1975 and took on the role of the team president.
Paul Brown was inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame in 1967.
6. Curly Lambeau
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- NFL Teams: Green Bay Packers (1920–1949), Chicago Cardinals (1950–1951), Washington Redskins (1952–1953)
- NFL Record: 229–134–22 (.623)
- NFL Champion: 6 (1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939, 1944)
- Accolades: N/A
Early “Curly” Lambeau and his friend George Whitney Calhoun founded the Green Bay Packers in 1919.
Lambe would go on to be the player coach until 1929 when he retired from playing and only continued as the head coach.
Earl “Curly” Lambeau founded the Green Bay Packers in 1919 and was the team’s first playing star and its coach for 31 years.
More than any other person, he is responsible for today’s existence of the Packers’ unique small-town franchise.
Curly played fullback as a Notre Dame freshman in 1918 before an illness forced him to leave school.
During Lambeu’s tenure with the Packers, the Gren Bay franchise was renowned for the excellent passing which served as the team’s primary weapon.
This style of play was very unusual at the time and allowed the Packers to achieve their first three-peat from 1929 to 1931.
After a five-year-long pause, in 1935 Green Bay signed the future Hall of Famer Don Hutson which resulted in them winning three more championships in 1936, 1939, and 1944.
Lambeau resigned from the Packers coaching position in 1949 and went on to coach first the Chicago Cardinals for two years and then the Washington Redskins for two more years before retiring in 1953.
Curly Lambeau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
5. Andy Reid
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- NFL Teams: Philadelphia Eagles (1999–2012), Kansas City Chiefs (2013–present)
- NFL Record: 268–154–1 (.623)
- Super Bowl wins: 1 (LIV)
- Accolades: AP NFL Coach of the Year (2002)
The current head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, Andy Reid is the 5th winningest NFL head coach of all time with 268 wins.
Reid has been an NFL head coach for 24 years and during this time he led two NFL franchises, with the Philadelphia Eagles being the second.
The Big Red got his first head coaching gig in 1999 with the Eagles after winning the 1997 Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers as an assistant coach.
He spent 14 seasons with the Eagles and recorded 130 wins and 93 losses.
After parting ways with the Eagles in 2012, he was unemployed for a year before signing as a head coach with the Kansas City Chiefs, a position he is holding still as of 2023.
His biggest success with the Chiefs came in 2019 when they defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in the Super Bowl.
Up to this point, the NFL franchise from Kansas City has a 117-45 record under Reid, who is recognizable by his West Coast offense coaching style that relies heavily on the quarterback.
Under his wing, three quarterbacks have secured their spot in the top eleven quarterbacks by total rushing yards.
4. Tom Landry
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- NFL Teams: Dallas Cowboys (1960–1988)
- NFL Record: 270–178–6 (.601)
- Super Bowl wins: 2 (VI, XII)
- NFL Champion: 1 (1956)
- Accolades: NFL Coach of the Year (1966), UPI NFL Coach of the Year (1975)
Tom Landry was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for 29 years, from 1960 to 1988, during this period he posted 20 straight winning seasons, appeared in five Super Bowls captured two championships.
With him as the head coach, Cowboys went 270–178–6 during this period.
Between 1970 and 1979, the Cowboys were the NFL’s winningest team with 105 regular season wins. Landry led the Cowboys to their first championship game in 1970 against the Baltimore Colts where they fell short 13-16.
They would again play in the Super Bowl the following year, this time they defeated the Miami Dolphins convincingly 24-3.
In 1975, they reached the Super Bowl for the 3rd time but fell short 17-21 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Two years after they captured their second Super Bowl win against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII 27-10.
The Cowboys’ last appearance in the Super Bowl under Landry was in 1978 when they once again lost to the Steelers 31-35.
Tom Landry was regarded as one of the best leaders and innovators in the NFL. He invented the “flex defense” and “multiple offense” and restructured the “spread offense.” He also helped develop the “situation substitution” which allowed him to handle his player talent.
In 1990, he was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
3. George Halas
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- NFL Teams: Chicago Bears (1920–1929, 1933–1942, 1946–1955, 1958–1967)
- NFL Record: 324–151–31 (.671)
- NFL Champion: 6 (1921, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1946, 1963)
- Accolades: 2x AP NFL Coach of the Year (1963, 1965)
George Halas was the founder of the Chicago Bears, and one of the founders of the NFL. He was the head coach of the Bears for 40 seasons and led them to 6 NFL championships.
During his time with the Bears, they had only 6 losing seasons and three of them came in his final stint in Chicago.
He was the first coach to win 200 as well as 300 NFL games. His overall record with the Bears was 324-151-31.
Halas led the team to NFL Championships in 1921, 1933, 1940, 1941, and 1963. In 1934 and 1942 his team went undefeated in the regular season. Papa Bear won the NFL Coach of the Year award in 1963 and 1965.
For his contribution to the game of football and his NFL achievements, George Halas was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame three times. In 1963 he was inducted as a coach, as an owner, and as a player.
2. Bill Belichick
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- NFL Teams: Cleveland Browns (1991–1995), New England Patriots (2000–present)
- NFL Record: 329–165 (.666)
- Super Bowl wins: 6 ( XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI, LIII)
- Accolades: 3x AP NFL Coach of the Year (2003, 2007, 2010)
With 329 wins, only 17 less than the first-placed Don Shula, it is only a matter of time before Bill Belichick will become the winningest coach in NFL history.
Belichick also has six Super Bowl wins in nine appearances as a head coach and two Super Bowl wins as an assistant coach.
The current head coach of the New England Patriots started his head coaching career in 1991 with the Cleveland Browns.
He would go on to coach the Browns until 1995, during this period he compiled a 36-44 record and only had a winning year in 1994.
Belichick was an assistant coach for the Patriots in 1996 and for the New York Jets from 1997 to 1999 before taking on the job as the head coach of the New England Patriots in 2000, a position he is holding to this day.
During Belichick’s reign, the Patriots have become an NFL dynasty appearing in 9 and winning 6 Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI, and LIII while also achieving the first perfect regular season since the introduction of the 16-game regular season.
The 3-time NFL Coach of the Year began his career as a defensive coach and coordinator and often runs a three defensive lineman, four linebackers (the Fairbanks-Bullough 3-4 defense), relying on the defensive lineman to tie up two blockers at the line of scrimmage.
Here are some of the NFL coaching records that Belichick holds: Most Super Bowl wins (8), most Super Bowl wins as a head coach (6), most Super Bowl appearances (12).
1. Don Shula
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- NFL Teams: Baltimore Colts (1963–1969), Miami Dolphins (1970–1995)
- NFL Record: 347–173–6 (.665)
- Super Bowl wins: 2 (VII, VIII)
- NFL Champion: 1 (1968)
- Accolades: 4x AP NFL Coach of the Year (1964, 1967, 1968, 1972)
The coach with the most wins in NFL history is Don Shula. During his 33 years as the head coach of the Baltimore Colts and the Miami Dolphins, Shula has accumulated 347 wins while having only two losing campaigns.
Shula is well known as being the only head coach in the history of the NFL to record the perfect season, he achieved it in 1972 with the Miami Dolphins when the Dolphins recorded 17 wins and zero losses.
He is also the first NFL coach to lead his team to three consecutive Super Bowl appearances, but unfortunately for him, he also holds the record for most losses in the championship game with four.
In 1972, the Dolphins defeated the Washington Redsking 17-7 in the Super Bowl, then one year later they outlasted the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII for Shula’s second championship. During these two years, Miami played 34 games and suffered only 2 defeats.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.