The person who takes the most heat on a football team over losses is the head coach. Often times they are made the scapegoats on down and out teams, but Super Bowl coaches are the elite and have reached football’s pinnacle for a reason.
Super Bowl coaches are undoubtedly excellent football minds and motivators. These coaches have reached the big game for a reason and it’s not always because they have the most talented team. They are the most important leaders on the football field, trusted beyond all others. The coaches who have reached the Super Bowl have all earned the unwavering respect of their players.
Those which have been to the big game and won as a player often have an edge when they reach the game as a coach because they know what the biggest of stages is really all about. Mike Ditka, Tom Flores, and Tony Dungy have all won Super Bowls as both players and coaches.
In 2013 we witnessed the first time two brothers have ever squared off as coaches in the final game of the season with Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh against San Francisco 49ers Jim Harbaugh. The older brother came out on top, as the Ravens defeated the 49ers 34-31.
This year’s Super Bowl features John Fox of the Denver Broncos against Pete Carrol of the Seattle Seahawks. These two coaches made it to MetLife Stadium riding opposite sides of the ball. The Broncos feature the No. 1 ranked offense in the league and set numerous records during the regular season behind Peyton Manning and the NFL’s top passing attack. The Seahawks on the other hand enter with the league’s No. 1 ranked defense behind a dominant secondary that held opposing quarterbacks to just 172.0 yards/game.
With Denver’s win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, Fox become just the sixth head coach to take two different teams to a Super Bowl. Fox led the Carolina Panthers to the big game back in 2003, but would come up painfully short of holding the Lombardi trophy. The Panthers fell 29-32 to the New England Patriots on a last second 41-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri.
Carrol will be making his first appearance in the Super Bowl, but he’s no stranger to big game as a head coach. In his days with the USC Trojans, he led them to two BCS National Championship Games (back-to-back seasons). His Trojans defeated Oklahoma 55-19 in 2005, but would lose the following year in a heartbreaker to Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns 38-41.
According to oddsmakers, Fox and the Broncos have the edge to win it all, as Denver is currently listed as a 2.5-point favorite over Seattle.
Here is a list of all the winning and losing Super Bowl coaches throughout history:
|Season||Super Bowl||Winning coach||Team||Opponent||Losing coach|
|2013||XLVII||John Harbaugh||Baltimore Ravens||San Francisco 49ers||Jim Harbaugh|
|2012||XLVI||Tom Coughlin||New York Giants||New England Patriots||Bill Belichick|
|2011||XLV||Mike McCarthy||Green Bay Packers||Pittsburgh Steelers||Mike Tomlin|
|2010||XLIV||Sean Payton||New Orleans Saints||Indianapolis Colts||Jim Caldwell|
|2009||XLIII||Mike Tomlin||Pittsburgh Steelers||Arizona Cardinals||Ken Whisenhunt|
|2008||XLII||Tom Coughlin||New York Giants||New England Patriots||Bill Belichick|
|2007||XLI||Tony Dungy||Indianapolis Colts||Chicago Bears||Lovie Smith|
|2006||XL||Bill Cowher||Pittsburgh Steelers||Seattle Seahawks||Mike Holmgren|
|2005||XXXIX||Bill Belichick||New England Patriots||Philadelphia Eagles||Andy Reid|
|2004||XXXVIII||Bill Belichick||New England Patriots||Carolina Panthers||John Fox|
|2003||XXXVII||Jon Gruden||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Oakland Raiders||Bill Callahan|
|2002||XXXVI||Bill Belichick||New England Patriots||St. Louis Rams||Mike Martz|
|2001||XXXV||Brian Billick||Baltimore Ravens||New York Giants||Jim Fassel|
|2000||XXXIV||Dick Vermeil||St. Louis Rams||Tennessee Titans||Jeff Fisher|
|1999||XXXIII||Mike Shanahan||Denver Broncos||Atlanta Falcons||Dan Reeves|
|1998||XXXII||Mike Shanahan||Denver Broncos||Green Bay Packers||Mike Holmgren|
|1997||XXXI||Mike Holmgren||Green Bay Packers||New England Patriots||Bill Parcells|
|1996||XXX||Barry Switzer||Dallas Cowboys||Pittsburgh Steelers||Bill Cowher|
|1995||XXIX||George Seifert||San Francisco 49ers||San Diego Chargers||Bobby Ross|
|1994||XXVIII||Jimmy Johnson||Dallas Cowboys||Buffalo Bills||Marv Levy|
|1993||XXVII||Jimmy Johnson||Dallas Cowboys||Buffalo Bills||Marv Levy|
|1992||XXVI||Joe Gibbs||Washington Redskins||Buffalo Bills||Marv Levy|
|1991||XXV||Bill Parcells||New York Giants||Buffalo Bills||Marv Levy|
|1990||XXIV||George Seifert||San Francisco 49ers||Denver Broncos||Dan Reeves|
|1989||XXIII||Bill Walsh||San Francisco 49ers||Cincinnati Bengals||Sam Wyche|
|1988||XXII||Joe Gibbs||Washington Redskins||Denver Broncos||Dan Reeves|
|1987||XXI||Bill Parcells||New York Giants||Denver Broncos||Dan Reeves|
|1986||XX||Mike Ditka||Chicago Bears||New England Patriots||Raymond Berry|
|1985||XIX||Bill Walsh||San Francisco 49ers||Miami Dolphins||Don Shula|
|1984||XVIII||Tom Flores||Los Angeles Raiders||Washington Redskins||Joe Gibbs|
|1983||XVII||Joe Gibbs||Washington Redskins||Miami Dolphins||Don Shula|
|1982||XVI||Bill Walsh||San Francisco 49ers||Cincinnati Bengals||Forrest Gregg|
|1981||XV||Tom Flores||Oakland Raiders||Philadelphia Eagles||Dick Vermeil|
|1980||XIV||Chuck Noll||Pittsburgh Steelers||Los Angeles Rams||Ray Malavasi|
|1979||XIII||Chuck Noll||Pittsburgh Steelers||Dallas Cowboys||Tom Landry|
|1978||XII||Tom Landry||Dallas Cowboys||Denver Broncos||Red Miller|
|1977||XI||John Madden||Oakland Raiders||Minnesota Vikings||Bud Grant|
|1976||X||Chuck Noll||Pittsburgh Steelers||Dallas Cowboys||Tom Landry|
|1975||IX||Chuck Noll||Pittsburgh Steelers||Minnesota Vikings||Bud Grant|
|1974||VIII||Don Shula||Miami Dolphins||Minnesota Vikings||Bud Grant|
|1973||VII||Don Shula||Miami Dolphins||Washington Redskins||George Allen|
|1972||VI||Tom Landry||Dallas Cowboys||Miami Dolphins||Don Shula|
|1971||V||Don McCafferty||Baltimore Colts||Dallas Cowboys||Tom Landry|
|1970||IV||Hank Stram||Kansas City Chiefs||Minnesota Vikings||Bud Grant|
|1969||III||Weeb Ewbank||New York Jets||Baltimore Colts||Don Shula|
|1968||II||Vince Lombardi||Green Bay Packers||Oakland Raiders||John Rauch|
|1967||I||Vince Lombardi||Green Bay Packers||Kansas City Chiefs||Hank Stram|
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