Andy Reid rose through the ranks of the coaching stratosphere in his 60s. Once a longtime head coach unable to win a Super Bowl, Reid won his third Super Bowl championship in five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, ushering in the league’s new dynasty.
Reid has entered the pantheon of the greatest head coaches. He is the fifth head coach to win three or more Super Bowl titles, joining Bill Belichick (six), Chuck Noll (four), Joe Gibbs (three) and Bill Walsh (three). Reid also joins Belichick and Noll as the only head coaches to win three Super Bowls in five seasons. His 26 playoff victories are second only to Belichick’s 31, the most in NFL history.
Reid joined Belichick as the only coach with more than 200 wins and three Super Bowl titles, demonstrating the rare air he is in among the greatest head coaches in NFL history. His 258 regular season wins are behind Don Shula (328), George Halas (318) and Belichick (302) in NFL history. Reid’s 284 combined regular season and playoff wins trail only Shula (347), Belichick (343) and Halas (324) for the most in NFL history.
Reid, 65, still has a ways to go to climb the all-time list for coaching wins, but is Reid one of the five best head coaches in NFL history? The answer is yes, but Reid’s place among the greatest of all time is up for debate:
5. Chuck Noll
Noll is just one of two head coaches to win four Super Bowl titles, and he’s in the same company as Vince Lombardi and Guy Chamberlain as the only head coaches to win four titles in six years . Although Noll has never lost a Super Bowl, he has only one double-digit winning season and two playoff victories in his final 12 NFL coaching seasons.
In 23 seasons, Noll won four Super Bowl titles, four conference championships and eight division titles. He also had eight double-digit winning seasons (the season didn’t expand to 16 games until 1978, and Noll had five in the 14-game format). Noll is ninth in NFL history with 193 wins and sixth in the playoffs with 16.
The four Super Bowl titles easily propel Noll into the top five. The Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s were one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history.
4. Andy Reid
Reid continues to climb the list of greatest coaches, thanks to his enormous success with Patrick Mahomes. The Reid-Mahomes duo (15 wins) is behind Bill Belichick and Tom Brady (30) for the most playoff wins by a head coach-quarterback duo in NFL history. Reid didn’t just win with Mahomes, as evidenced by his career with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Reid is the only head coach in NFL history to win 100 games with two different franchises and the only head coach to win 10 playoff games with two different franchises. He also took the Chiefs and Eagles to four consecutive conference championship games, becoming the only coach to accomplish this feat for two organizations. He is the all-time wins leader for the Chiefs and Eagles.
In 25 seasons as head coach, Reid won three Super Bowl titles, five conference championships and 14 division titles. He had 18 double-digit winning seasons. He is fourth in NFL history with 258 wins and second in the playoffs with 26. Reid also won a playoff game with four different quarterbacks (Donovan McNabb, Jeff Garcia, Alex Smith and Mahomes).
Reid is one of the top five head coaches in NFL history, continuing to climb the record books amid the Chiefs dynasty. He is a title or two away from getting significant consideration for the best head coach of all time.
3. Georges Halas
Halas has the longest head coaching tenure in NFL history with 40 seasons, seven more than Don Shula and Curly Lambeau (33 years). He won six championships with the Chicago Bears, including three in four seasons from 1940 to 1946. (Halas took off from 1943 to 1945 to serve in World War II and earned a Bronze Star.) Halas had one season perfect regular in 1934 (13-0), but fell in the NFL championship game.
During his 40 seasons, Halas won six NFL championships (tied with Belichick and Curly Lambeau for the most championships in NFL history). His 318 wins are behind Shula for most in NFL history, and his .682 winning percentage is the best for any coach who has coached more than 150 games (third behind John Madden and George Allen for those who have coached more of 100 matches).
Halas is also the oldest head coach to win a title at 68 years and 331 days, winning a championship in his 36th season.
2. Bill Belichick
Belichick is the only head coach to hold six Super Bowl titles, tied with Halas and Lambeau as the only head coaches to hold six NFL championships. The only head coach with more than 300 wins and three Super Bowl championships, Belichick was the first coach to win five Super Bowls and the first head coach to claim five championships since Lombardi. It also has the most conference championships with nine.
Of course, Belichick’s success is tied to Tom Brady. Belichick is 302-165 as an NFL head coach (.647 winning percentage) with an incredible 31-13 playoff record added to that (.705 winning percentage). Even with all the success Belichick has accomplished in 29 seasons, the legendary head coach is only 83-101 when Brady was not his starting quarterback (including his five years as head coach of the Cleveland Browns).
The head coach and quarterback duo has won six Super Bowl championships, 18 winning records in 18 full seasons together, 17 AFC East titles (2002 being the only year they did not win the division) and 30 playoff victories. Belichick’s defense was the backbone of New England’s first three Super Bowl titles, ranking top two in points allowed per game in two of those three titles (2003, 2004). Belichick’s record without Brady at quarterback is only part of his career.
In 29 seasons as head coach, Belichick has six Super Bowl titles, nine conference championships, 17 division titles and 20 double-digit winning seasons. He is third in NFL history with 302 wins and first in the playoffs with 31. Only Belichick and Reid have more than 25 playoff wins.
Belichick is just 27 wins away from passing Shula for the most wins by a head coach in NFL history. He is just five wins away from passing Shula for the most combined wins in NFL history (regular season and playoffs).
The only blemish on Belichick’s resume? His record without Brady.
1. Vince Lombardi
Lombardi is still the standard for success as an NFL head coach. Lombardi assembled the greatest dynasty in NFL history with the Green Bay Packers from 1961 to 1967 – the only head coach to win five championships in seven years.
Having never had a season with a losing record, Lombardi compiled an astonishing 9-1 record in the playoffs. .900 winning percentage is the highest of any head coach in NFL history (minimum 10 games coached). Lombardi is the last head coach to win three consecutive championships and capped his career by winning nine straight playoff games – the second-longest streak by a head coach in NFL history (Belichick is first with 10 ).
Not only does Lombardi own three NFL championships; he won the first two Super Bowl championships. The trophy awarded to the Super Bowl champion bears his name. Lombardi’s winning percentage of .738 is behind only Guy Chamberlain (.784) and John Madden (.759) in NFL history (minimum 50 games).
The playoff record and five championships in 10 seasons set Lombardi apart from other coaches. Belichick and Reid may find ways to surpass Lombardi, but he is currently the barometer for the best head coach of all time.