Andy Reid had a good chance to finally get a ring, but his 20th season as a NFL head coach ended the same as the previous 19. Without a Super Bowl title. His quest to raise the Lombardi will continue.
There’s no denying that Reid otherwise has one of the best resumes in league history. Reid’s 195 regular season wins are the eighth-most in league history and he has both Marty Schottenheimer (200) and Paul Brown (213) in his sights. To put it in further perspective, Reid has more regular season wins in similar timeframes than both Chuck Noll (193 wins over 23 season) and Bill Parcells (172 wins over 19 seasons). He took the Eagles to four straight NFC title games in the early 2000s, winning one before falling to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.
What’s more, Reid’s coaching tree is full of thick and sturdy branches and it’s hard to find anyone in the league who will say a bad word about him, which is rare. There were a lot of people left disappointed on Sunday that Reid couldn’t get by Bill Belichick again.
The presence of Patrick Mahomes and the trust of the Hunt family should guarantee that Reid gets a few more good shots at winning a Super Bowl. But even if he doesn’t, he won’t be the first great coach to never win a title. Here’s how he currently ranks among the best coaches to never finish a season atop the league:
10. Marv Lewis, Bengals
Regular season record: 131-122 (.518) over 16 seasons
Playoff record: 0-7
What’s that? This isn’t a listicle of “best coaches to never win a playoff game?” Eh, that’s still OK. Getting the Bengals into the playoffs seven different times was a great feat for Lewis, who was finally fired after this season. He may not be the peers of the men at the top of this list, but leading one of the greatest defenses of all time (the 2000 Ravens) plus winning in Cincinnati is enough to land him on it.
9. John Fox, Panthers/Broncos/Bears
Regular season: 133-123 (.520) over 16 seasons
Playoff record: 8-7, two Super Bowl appearances
Fox is a tricky one. Take away three dismal seasons with the Bears and his career winning percentage is .569. But take away three seasons of Peyton Manning and it plunges to .456. (It’s not lost on anyone that taking Fox away from Manning in Denver resulted in Manning’s second Super Bowl ring.) Still, Fox is just one of six coaches to take two different teams to the Super Bowl.
8. Chuck Knox, Rams/Bills/Seahawks
Regular season: 186-147 (.558) over 22 seasons
Playoff record: 7-11, four NFC title game appearances
Fox, then Knox, then box in socks. Sounds like a Dr. Seuss stanza. Knox never made a Super Bowl, but the tough-nosed coach had a knack for turning teams around. He made four conference title games (including three in the mid-70s with the Rams) but could never quite reach the biggest stage. An unsuccessful second tour of duty with the Rams in the ‘90s marred his overall record a bit, but it’s hard to argue with 186 wins.
7. Dan Reeves, Broncos/Giants/Falcons
Regular season: 190-165 (.535) over 23 seasons
Playoff record: 11-9, four Super Bowl appearances
Another non-winning member of the two-team Super Bowl club, it’s also hard to judge Reeves career. Do you dock him for failing to win a Super Bowl during three trips with a young John Elway? Or do you credit him for reaching one in Atlanta with Chris Chandler? Coaching an AFC team in the NFC’s era of dominance didn’t do him any favors.
6. Don Coryell, Cardinals/Chargers
Regular season: 111-83 (.572) over 14 seasons
Playoff record: 3-6, two AFC title game appearances
Coryell’s innovations in the passing game earn him a revered spot amongst the coaching fraternity — as does the success of his coaching tree (John Madden, Joe Gibbs among others). Unfortunately, Coryell’s Chargers teams, which made two AFC title games, were the equivalent of the Steve Nash-era Suns. A great show that ultimately wasn’t built for postseason success.
5. Andy Reid, Eagles/Chiefs
Regular season: 195-124 (.611) over 20 seasons
Playoff record: 12-14 over 14 appearances, one Super Bowl appearance
He’s the only man on this list who has a job and thus a chance of removing himself from it. Only reaching the Super Bowl once keeps him from being ranked ahead of the coaches below.
4. Marv Levy, Chiefs/Bills
Regular season: 143-112 (.561) over 17 seasons
Playoff record:11-8, four Super Bowl appearances
Levy doesn’t have as many wins as other coaches on this list, but think about what he accomplished with those teams. A lot of coaches have won a Super Bowl, but only one has played in four straight — Levy. Considering those Bills teams could have easily been torn apart by a mixture of ego, success and disappointment, Levy’s coaching acumen is unquestionable.
3. Marty Schottenheimer, Browns/Chiefs/Chargers/Redskins
Regular season: 200-126 (.613) over 21 seasons
Playoff record: 5-13, three AFC title game appearances
Schottenheimer is seventh on the NFL’s all-time coaching wins list; the six men ahead of him are all in the Hall of Fame and have at least one Super Bowl or NFL title to their names. Schotty was a great regular-season coach, but he suffered from some of the most horrendous luck in the playoffs. Were it not for “The Drive,” “The Fumble,” Lin Elliott or Marlon McCree, Schottenheimer might already be occupying a deserved spot in Canton.
2. George Allen, Rams/Redskins
Regular season: 116-47-5 over 12 seasons
Playoff record: 2-7, one Super Bowl appearance
The father of the nickel defense, Allen was known as a football coach’s football coach. He never posted a losing season and helped turn around both the Rams and Redskins upon taking over. Allen could never win the playoffs, though, and his one Super Bowl appearance unfortunately came against the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins.
1. Bud Grant, Vikings
Regular season: 158-96-5 (.621) over 18 seasons
Playoff record: 10-12, four Super Bowl appearances
The Vikings are one of the most underrated tortured fanbases and not enough people talk about Grant as the guy who never got the big one. After winning the Grey Cup four times in the CFL, Grant came to Minnesota and dominated the ‘70s. The Vikings won 11 of 13 NFC Central titles behind the Purple People Eaters and made the Super Bowl four times. Grant won a 290 games between the NFL and CFL, a combined total that puts him just behind George Halas and Don Shula for career coaching wins. Grant and Levy are the only Super Bowl-era coaches in the Hall of Fame who never won a Super Bowl.
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