Andy Reid has risen into the coaching stratosphere in his sixties. Once the old head coach who couldn’t win a Super Bowl, Reid has captured his third Super Bowl championship in five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, ushering in the league’s newest dynasty.
Reid has joined the pantheon of greatest head coaches. He is the fifth head coach with 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 a five-season span. His 26 playoff wins trail only Belichick (31) for the most wins in NFL history.
Reid joined Belichick as the only coaches with more than 200 wins and three Super Bowl titles, showing the rare prestige he finds himself in as one of the greatest head coaches in NFL history. His 258 regular season wins trail only Don Shula (328), George Halas (318) and Belichick (302) in NFL history. Reid’s 284 combined regular-season and postseason wins trailed only Shula (347), Belichick (343) and Halas (324) for the most in NFL history.
The 65-year-old Reid still has a ways to go to move up the all-time list for coaching wins, but is Reid a top five head coach in NFL history? The answer is yes, but where Reid ranks among the greatest ever is up for debate:
Noll is just one of two head coaches with 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 had just one double-digit winning season and two playoff victories in his last twelve seasons as a coach in the NFL.
In 23 seasons, Noll won four Super Bowl titles, four conference championships and eight division titles. He also had eight double-digit seasons (the season did not 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 postseason wins with 16.
The four Super Bowl titles easily catapult Noll into the top five. The Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s were one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history.
Reid continues to climb the list of best coaches, thanks to his tremendous success with Patrick Mahomes. The Reid-Mahomes duo (15 wins) trails only Bill Belichick and Tom Brady (30) for the most playoff wins by a head coach-quarterback duo in NFL history. Reid hasn’t just won 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 has also taken the Chiefs and Eagles to four straight conference championship games, the only coach ever to accomplish the feat for two organizations. He is the all-time scoring leader for the Chiefs and Eagles.
In 25 seasons as a head coach, Reid has won three Super Bowl titles, five conference championships and 14 division titles. He has had 18 double-digit scoring seasons. He is fourth in NFL history with 258 wins and second in postseason wins with 26. Reid has also won a playoff game with four different quarterbacks (Donovan McNabb, Jeff Garcia, Alex Smith and Mahomes).
Reid is a top-five head coach in NFL history and continues to move up the record books amid the Chiefs dynasty. He’s a title or two away from getting serious consideration for the best head coach ever.
3. George Halas
Halas has the longest head coaching tenure in NFL history at 40 seasons, seven more than Don Shula and Curly Lambeau (33 years). He won six championships with the Chicago Bears, including three in a four-season span from 1940 to 1946. (Halas left to serve in World War II from 1943 to 1945, earning a Bronze Star.) Halas had a perfect regular season in 1934 (13-0), but fell in the NFL championship game.
In his 40 seasons, Halas has racked up six NFL championships (tied with Belichick and Curly Lambeau for the most championships in NFL history). His 318 wins trail only Shula for the most in NFL history, and his winning percentage of .682 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 than 100 games have coached).
Halas is also the oldest head coach to win a title at 68 years and 331 days old, winning a championship in his 36th season.
2. Bill Belichick
Belichick is the only head coach with six Super Bowl titles, joining Halas and Lambeau as the only head coach with six NFL championships. Belichick, the only head coach with more than 300 wins and three Super Bowl championships, was the first coach to win five Super Bowls and the first head coach to claim five championships since Lombardi. He 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 postseason record of 31-13 added (.705 winning percentage). Even with all the success Belichick has had in 29 seasons, the legendary head coach is just 83-101 while Brady wasn’t his starting quarterback (including his five years as the Cleveland Browns head coach).
The head coach-quarterback duo combined for six Super Bowl championships, 18 winning records in 18 full seasons together, 17 AFC East titles (2002 was the only year they didn’t win the division) and 30 playoff victories. Belichick’s defense was the backbone of New England’s first three Super Bowl titles, with a top-two defense in points allowed per game in two of those three titles (2003, 2004). Belichick’s record without Brady as his quarterback is just part of his career.
In 29 seasons as a head coach, Belichick has six Super Bowl titles, nine conference championships, 17 division titles and 20 double-digit wins. He is third in NFL history with 302 wins and first in postseason wins with 31. Only Belichick and Reid have more than 25 postseason 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 most combined wins in NFL history (regular season and postseason).
The only blemish on Belichick’s resume? His record without Brady.
1. Vince Lombardi
Lombardi is still the benchmark for head coaching success in the NFL. Lombardi formed the greatest dynasty in NFL history with the Green Bay Packers from 1961 through 1967 – the only head coach to win five championships in seven years.
Lombardi has never had a season with a losing record, compiling an astonishing 9-1 record in the postseason. The .900 winning percentage is the highest for any head coach in NFL history (minimum 10 games coached). Lombardi is the last head coach to win three straight 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).
Lombardi not only has three NFL championships; he won the first two Super Bowl championships. The trophy presented to the Super Bowl champion is named after him. Lombardi’s .738 winning percentage trails only Guy Chamberlain (.784) and John Madden (.759) in NFL history (minimum 50 games).
The postseason record and five championships in 10 seasons set Lombardi apart from the other coaches. Belichick and Reid can find ways to surpass Lombardi, but he is the barometer for the best head coach ever so far.