There are a lot of professions that can be described as very demanding and stressful. But there are very few jobs that are as insecure as the one of the football coach. Of course, everyone envies the enormous salaries of NFL coaches when they lead winning teams, but no one would like to be in their shoes on NFL’s Black Monday. This day is famous in the NFL world as this is the date when football coaches are fired. Sometimes the fate of the coach depends on pure luck. Having in mind these things, it is hard for NFL coaches to maintain their positions for a long time. Of all 473 NFL coaches, only 50 lasted for more than 10 years. In this article, we are going to introduce to you some of them. However, don't expect to see the most famous names here. Continue reading, and you will be surprised.
Let’s meet one of the fathers of NFL – George Halas
The first on the list is George Halas, with his 40 years of coaching. Halas started his coaching career at the age of 25 with the Decatur Staleys, who later changed their name twice – first to Chicago Staleys and then to Chicago Bears. During the years he was not only coaching but also playing for and owning the team.
Speaking of high professional American football, it all started with Halas as he was one of the co-founders of the NFL. In 1963 Halas deserved to become one of the very first legends to be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Another interesting fact for Halas is that being born in 1895, he had to take part in the two World Wars.
This is who Lambeau Field is named after
33 years for Lambeau. Curly Lambeau was the one that co-founded the Green Bay Packers in 1919. During the first 10 years of the team, he was a player and a coach. His position as a player was a halfback. He remained in history with 35 touchdowns for 77 games. His final year as a player was marked with the Packers winning the NFL.
From the very foundation of the team to 1949, Lambeau was a coach and also a general manager of the Packers. Over these years, the Packers won around 200 matches and six NFL championships. In the last years of his career, Lambeau spent coaching the Chicago Cardinals.
Lambeau was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. In 1970 they honored him as a founder, player, and coach of the Green Bay Packers by inducting him in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
The world record for most NFL wins is his – Don Shula’s
Don Shula started his professional football career in 1951 when he was selected in the 9th round by the Cleveland Browns of the NFL. Later on, he played for the Baltimore Colts and the Washington Redskins.
Shula started his coaching career in 1958 as an assistant coach at the University of Virginia. Two years later, he got his first NFL coaching job as the defensive backfield of the Detroit Lions. From 1963 to 1969, he was the head coach of the Baltimore Colts.
Shula is most famous for being the coach of the Miami Dolphins. He was proud to lead the team to win two Super Bowls and to the only perfect season in the history of NFL. For his 33 years of coaching, Shula holds several records, among which are 347 Victories as well as Most Super Bowl Losses.
The most loyal one of them all – Tom Landry
Not only was he a head coach for 29 years, but he didn't even change his team for these years. This sounds like another record! Which is the lucky team? Well, the Dallas Cowboys, of course!
Landry began his playing career in 1949 with the New York Yankees. After that, he played for the New York Giants. During the last two years of his playing career, he acted as a player-assistant coach.
From 1954 to 1959, Landry was the defensive coordinator of the Giants. The real deal for him began in 1960 when he became the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. The early years with the Cowboys were challenging, but later on, Landry's hard efforts paid off.
With his innovative coaching methods and new building team philosophy, he managed to lead his Dallas Cowboys to five Super Bowls, two of which they won. Tom Landry was the first NFL coach who hired a quality coach. This is something that is considered a must in the NFL nowadays. Landry was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
Paul Brown – the father of the modern NFL football
Paul Brown is the one on our list who coached the most teams. He was a coach of Severn School, Massilon Washington High School, Ohio State, Great Lakes Navy, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals, is also an owner of the latter two. He played a unique role for the Cleveland Browns as he was their co-founder and first coach. This is the reason they were called like that.
Brown led his teams to seven championship victories for his 25 years as a coach. The Cincinnati Bengals were also co-founded by Brown, who unsurprisingly happened to become their first coach. The Bengals’ home stadium was named after Paul Brown – Paul Brown Stadium.
Brown impressed the NFL world with his modern way of thinking and became famous for several innovations that changed American football. He contributed to what the NFL looks like today. He was the first coach who used game film to observe the way his opponents played and prepare his teams for them. He was also the first one to hire Afro-American footballers in the NFL. Paul Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.