Today in American Football Coaching History

Events in Sport

  • 1991-12-26 Chuck Knolls retires as NFL coach after 23 years
  • 1991-12-27 Bengals hire Dave Shula as youngest NFL coach (32)

Birthdays in Sport


Person of interestJohn Heisman

1869-10-23 John Heisman, American football coach who legalized the forward pass, originated the center snap and for which the Heisman Trophy is named, born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 1936)

American Football Coach John Heisman
American Football Coach
John Heisman
  • 1876-04-28 Frank Cavanagh, American football player and coach, born in Worcester, Massachusetts (d. 1933)
  • 1891-11-05 Earle "Greasy" Neale, NFL coach (Philadelphia Eagles)

Person of interestGeorge Halas

1895-02-02 George Halas [Papa Bear], American NFL coach and pioneering owner of the Chicago Bears, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1983)

American Football Coach and Team Owner George Halas
American Football Coach and Team Owner
George Halas

Person of interestCurly Lambeau

1898-04-09 Curly Lambeau, First coach of the Green Bay Packers, born in Green Bay, Wisconsin (d. 1965)

NFL Head Coach Curly Lambeau
NFL Head Coach
Curly Lambeau
  • 1899-03-28 Buck Shaw, American football player and coach, born in Mitchellville, Iowa (d. 1977)
  • 1907-05-06 Weeb Ewbank, NFL coach (Baltimore Colts, NY Jets)

Person of interestVince Lombardi

1913-06-11 Vince Lombardi, American football coach (Green Bay Packers), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1970)

NFL Coach Vince Lombardi
NFL Coach
Vince Lombardi
  • 1923-05-21 Ara Parseghian, American football player and coach (Northwestern, Notre Dame), born in Akron, Ohio
  • 1926-12-21 Joe Paterno, American college hall of football coach (Penn State) and Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of 1986, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2012)
  • 1929-02-03 Ken Shipp, American football coach
  • 1929-02-28 Hayden Fry, American football coach
  • 1929-04-01 Bo Schembechler, American football coach (d. 2006)
  • 1929-11-08 Bobby Bowden, American football coach

Person of interestDon Shula

1930-01-04 Don Shula, American NFL coach (Miami Dolphins), born in Grand River Ohio

NFL Head Coach Don Shula
NFL Head Coach
Don Shula
  • 1931-02-17 Buddy Ryan, NFL coach (Philadelphia Eagles, Phoenix Cardinals), born in Frederick, Oklahoma (d. 2016)

Person of interestBill Walsh

1931-11-30 Bill Walsh, NFL coach (San Francisco 49ers), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2007)

American Football Coach Bill Walsh
American Football Coach
Bill Walsh

Person of interestChuck Noll

1932-01-05 Chuck Noll, NFL coach (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Cleveland, Ohio

NFL Head Coach Chuck Noll
NFL Head Coach
Chuck Noll
  • 1932-04-27 Chuck Knox, American NFL coach (Rams, Bills, Seahawks), born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)

Person of interestJohn Madden

1936-04-10 John Madden, NFL coach (Oakland Raiders) and sports commentator (CBS, FOX), born in Austin, Minnesota

NFL Coach and Sportscaster John Madden
NFL Coach and Sportscaster
John Madden
  • 1936-12-23 Bobby Ross, NFL coach (San Diego Chargers)
  • 1937-01-06 Lou Holtz, American football coach (NJ Jets)
  • 1939-06-22 Don Matthews, American football coach in the CFL
  • 1939-07-18 Jerry Moore, American football coach

Person of interestMike Ditka

1939-10-18 Mike Ditka, NFL coach and tight-end (Bears, Cowboys, NFL rookie year 1961), born in Carnegie, Pennsylvania

NFL Head Coach Mike Ditka
NFL Head Coach
Mike Ditka
  • 1940-01-22 George Seifert, American football coach
  • 1940-02-02 Wayne Fontes, American football coach

Person of interestJoe Gibbs

1940-11-25 Joe Gibbs, American football coach (Washington Redskins), born in Mocksville, North Carolina

NFL Head Coach Joe Gibbs
NFL Head Coach
Joe Gibbs

Person of interestBill Parcells

1941-08-22 Bill Parcells, NFL coach (NY Giants, NY Jets, NE Patriots), born in Englewood, New Jersey

NFL Coaching Legend Bill Parcells
NFL Coaching Legend
Bill Parcells
  • 1943-06-06 Ken Hatfield, American football player and coach, born in Helena, Arkansas

Person of interestJimmy Johnson

1943-07-16 Jimmy Johnson, American NFL coach (Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins), born in Port Arthur, Texas

NFL Head Coach Jimmy Johnson
NFL Head Coach
Jimmy Johnson

Person of interestMarty Schottenheimer

1943-09-23 Marty Schottenheimer, American football coach (Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers), born in McDonald, Pennsylvania

  • 1944-01-19 Dan Reeves, NFL Coach (NY Giants, Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons)
  • 1945-01-05 Sam Wyche, NFL coach (Cincinnati Bengals)
  • 1946-05-03 Norm Chow, American football coach, born in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 1946-10-14 James Robert "Radio" Kennedy, American football coach
  • 1946-11-13 Al Luginbill, American football coach (Amsterdam Admirals), born in Pomona, California
  • 1947-08-19 Terry Hoeppner, American football coach (d. 2007)
  • 1950-09-01 Phillip Fulmer, American football coach
  • 1951-11-17 Butch Davis, American football coach

Person of interestBill Belichick

1952-04-16 Bill Belichick, American football coach (4 Super Bowls with New England Patriots), born in Nashville, Tennessee

NFL Coach Bill Belichick
NFL Coach
Bill Belichick

Person of interestMike Shanahan

1952-08-24 Mike Shanahan, American football coach (Denver Broncos), born in Oak Park, Illinois

NFL Head Coach Mike Shanahan
NFL Head Coach
Mike Shanahan
  • 1952-11-10 Gerry DiNardo, American football coach
  • 1954-02-28 Brian Billick, American football coach
  • 1954-04-28 Ron Zook, American Football Coach
  • 1954-09-18 Tommy Tuberville, American football coach
  • 1955-10-06 Tony Dungy, American football coach
  • 1956-03-09 Mark Dantonio, American football coach for Michigan State University, born in El Paso, Texas
  • 1956-06-27 Brad Childress, American football coach
  • 1956-07-31 Bill Callahan, American football coach, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1956-08-26 Mark Mangino, American football coach
  • 1956-10-16 Johnny Chavis, American football coach

Person of interestBill Cowher

1957-05-08 Bill Cowher, American football coach (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Crafton, Pennsylvania

NFL Head Coach Bill Cowher
NFL Head Coach
Bill Cowher
  • 1958-05-08 Lovie Smith, American football coach
  • 1958-09-23 Marvin Lewis, American football coach
  • 1960-02-13 Gary Patterson, American football coach and player, born in Rozel, Kansas
  • 1960-09-09 Bob Stoops, American football coach
  • 1960-10-13 Tim Brewster, American football coach
  • 1961-03-10 Bobby Petrino, American football coach
  • 1961-08-15 Gary Kubiak, American football coach
  • 1962-08-25 Ron Heller, American football coach and former NFL tackle (Miami Dolphins), born in East Meadow, New York
  • 1963-05-24 Rich Rodriguez, American football coach
  • 1963-08-17 Jon Gruden, American NFL coach/broadcaster (Super Bowl XXXVII Tampa Bay 2002), born in Sandusky, Ohio
  • 1963-12-18 Karl Dorrell, American football coach
  • 1963-12-29 Sean Payton, American football coach
  • 1964-07-10 Urban Meyer, American football coach
  • 1966-06-01 Greg Schiano, American football coach
  • 1967-12-13 Bo Pelini, American football coach

Weddings in Sport


HeartWedding of Interest

1949-01-28 NFL coach Tom Landry (24) weds Alicia Wiggs at St John the Divine Church in Houston, Texas

NFL Head Coach Tom Landry
NFL Head Coach
Tom Landry

HeartWedding of Interest

1957-05-25 NFL coach Chuck Noll (25) weds first wife Marianne Noll

NFL Head Coach Chuck Noll
NFL Head Coach
Chuck Noll

HeartWedding of Interest

1958-07-19 NFL coach Don Shula (28) weds first wife Dorothy Bartish

NFL Head Coach Don Shula
NFL Head Coach
Don Shula

HeartWedding of Interest

1959-12-26 NFL coach John Madden (23) weds Virginia Fields

NFL Coach and Sportscaster John Madden
NFL Coach and Sportscaster
John Madden

HeartWedding of Interest

1961-01-28 NFL coach Mike Ditka (21) weds Marge Dougherty

NFL Head Coach Mike Ditka
NFL Head Coach
Mike Ditka

HeartWedding of Interest

1963-07-12 NFL coach Jimmy Johnson (19) weds Linda Kay Cooper

NFL Head Coach Jimmy Johnson
NFL Head Coach
Jimmy Johnson

HeartWedding of Interest

1981-04-09 NFL coach Bill Cowher (23) weds Kaye Young

NFL Head Coach Bill Cowher
NFL Head Coach
Bill Cowher
  • 1993-10-16 NFL coach Don Shula (63) weds second wife Mary Anne Stephens at St Joseph's Catholic Church in Miami Beach

Divorces in Sport


Broken heartDivorce of Interest

1990-01-17 NFL coach Jimmy Johnson (46) divorces Linda Kay Cooper after 26 years of marriage

NFL Head Coach Jimmy Johnson
NFL Head Coach
Jimmy Johnson

Deaths in Sport

  • 1933-08-29 Frank Cavanagh, American football player and coach, dies at 57

Person of interestJohn Heisman

1936-10-03 John Heisman, American football coach who legalized the forward pass, originated the center snap and for which the Heisman Trophy is named, dies of pneumonia at 66

American Football Coach John Heisman
American Football Coach
John Heisman
  • 1965-03-17 Almos Alonzo Stagg, American football coach (University of Chicago), dies in California at 102

Person of interestVince Lombardi

1970-09-03 Vince Lombardi, American football coach (Green Bay Packers), dies at 57

NFL Coach Vince Lombardi
NFL Coach
Vince Lombardi
  • 1977-03-19 Buck Shaw, American football player and coach, dies at 77

Person of interestGeorge Halas

1983-10-31 George Halas [Papa Bear], American NFL coach and pioneering owner of the Chicago Bears, dies of pancreatic cancer at 88

American Football Coach and Team Owner George Halas
American Football Coach and Team Owner
George Halas

Person of interestTom Landry

2000-02-12 Tom Landry, American football coach (Dallas Cowboys), dies at 75

NFL Head Coach Tom Landry
NFL Head Coach
Tom Landry
  • 2002-05-09 Dan Devine, American football coach (b. 1924)
  • 2003-01-03 Sid Gillman, American football coach, dies at 91
  • 2003-08-26 Jim Wacker, American football coach (b. 1937)
  • 2005-07-04 Hank Stram, American football coach (b. 1923)
  • 2005-08-05 Jim O'Hora, American football coach (b. 1915)
  • 2005-12-07 Bud Carson, American football player and coach (b. 1931)
  • 2006-03-30 Red Hickey, American football coach (b. 1917)
  • 2006-06-29 Randy Walker, American football coach (b. 1954)
  • 2006-09-08 Erk Russell, American football coach (b. 1923)
  • 2006-11-17 Bo Schembechler, American football coach (b. 1929)
  • 2007-04-03 Eddie Robinson, American football coach (b. 1919)
  • 2007-06-19 Terry Hoeppner, American football coach (b. 1947)

Person of interestBill Walsh

2007-07-30 Bill Walsh, American football coach (San Fransisco 49ers), dies of leukemia at 75

American Football Coach Bill Walsh
American Football Coach
Bill Walsh
  • 2009-04-13 Bruce Snyder, American football coach (b. 1940)
  • 2011-04-10 Homer Smith, American football coach (b. 1931)
  • 2011-06-07 Paul Dickson, American football player and coach (b. 1937)
  • 2012-01-22 Joe Paterno, American college hall of football coach (Penn State) and Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of 1986, dies from lung cancer at 85
  • 2012-03-03 Alex Webster, American football coach, dies at 80
  • 2016-06-28 Buddy Ryan, American NFL coach (Philadelphia Eagles, Phoenix Cardinals), dies at 85
  • 2018-05-12 Chuck Knox, American NFL coach (Rams, Bills, Seahawks), dies of dementia at 86