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)

Sports record brokenNFL Record

1996-02-15 NFL coaching maestro Bill Belichick is fired by Cleveland, finishing his Browns coaching career with a record of 36-44

NFL Coach Bill Belichick
NFL Coach
Bill Belichick

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 Earl Neale, American College and Pro Football Hall of Fame coach (Virginia; NFL: Philadelphia Eagles) and MLB outfielder (Cincinnati Reds), born in Parkersburg, West Virginia (d. 1973)

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, American Pro Football Hall of Fame halfback, coach (founder, first coach 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, American NFL coach (Baltimore Colts, NY Jets), born in Richmond, Indiana (d. 1998)
  • 1908-08-27 Frank Leahy, American football coach (Notre Dame), born in O'Neill, Nebraska (d. 1973)

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
  • 1923-01-03 Hank Stram, American Pro Football Hall of Fame coach (KC Chiefs Super Bowl 1970), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2005)
  • 1923-02-10 Allie Sherman, American NFL coach (Winnipeg Blue Bombers 1953-56 CFL; New York Giants 1961–68), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2015)
  • 1923-05-21 Ara Parseghian, American football player and coach (Northwestern, Notre Dame), born in Akron, Ohio
  • 1923-07-05 John McKay, American football coach (USC, Tampa Bay, 5X Rose Bowl champ), born in Everettville, West Virginia (d. 2001)
  • 1924-10-17 Don Coryell, American College Football Hall of Fame/NFL coach (SD Chargers), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2010)
  • 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)
  • 1928-12-20 Jack Christiansen, American football player and coach (Lions), born in Sublette, Kansas
  • 1929-02-03 Ken Shipp, American football coach
  • 1929-02-28 Hayden Fry, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (SMU 1962-72, North Texas State University 1973-78, University of Iowa 1979-98), born in Eastland, Texas (d. 2019)
  • 1929-04-01 Bo Schembechler Jr., American College Football Hall of Fame tackle (Miami U), coach (Miami U 1963-68, University of Michigan 1969-89; career record 234–65–8), and administrator (Michigan), born in Barberton, Ohio (d. 2006)
  • 1929-11-08 Bobby Bowden, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (Florida State 1976-2009; National C'ship 1993, 99), born in Birmingham, Alabama

Person of interestDon Shula

1930-01-04 Don Shula, American Pro Football Hall of Fame coach (Super Bowl 1972, 73; Miami Dolphins; Baltimore Colts; NFL Coach of the Year 1964, 67, 68, 72), born in Grand River Ohio (d. 2020)

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)
  • 1931-04-19 Alex Webster, American football coach (NY Giants), born in Kearney, New Jersey (d. 2012)
  • 1931-10-18 Ed Biles, American football coach (College: Xavier 1962-68; NFL: Houston Oilers 1981-83), born in Reading, Ohio (d. 2020)

Person of interestBill Walsh

1931-11-30 Bill Walsh, American Pro Football Hall of Fame 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, American NFL coach (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2014)

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)
  • 1933-06-10 Chuck Fairbanks, American football coach (New England Patriots 1973-78; University of Oklahoma 1967-72, University of Colorado 1979-81), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2013)
  • 1933-07-01 Sam Rutigliano, American NFL coach and broadcaster (Cleveland Browns), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1934-07-16 George Perles, American football coach (Michigan State University 1983-94; Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2020)

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), born in Richmond, Virginia
  • 1937-01-06 Lou Holtz, American football coach (NJ Jets), born in Follansbee, West Virginia
  • 1937-10-05 Barry Switzer, American football coach (Oklahoma), born in Crossett, Arkansas
  • 1938-02-20 Jack Bicknell, American football coach (Boston College, Barcelona Dragons), born in North Plainfield, New Jersey
  • 1939-06-22 Don Matthews, American football coach in the CFL
  • 1939-07-18 Jerry Moore, American football player and coach, born in Bonham, Texas

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
  • 1940-08-14 Galen Hall, American Football Coach (University of Florida, Orlando Thunder, Rhein Fire), born in Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • 1940-09-26 Frank Maloney, American football coach (Syracuse University 1974-1980), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2020)

Person of interestJoe Gibbs

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

NFL Head Coach and NASCAR Team Owner Joe Gibbs
NFL Head Coach and NASCAR Team Owner
Joe Gibbs
  • 1941-08-20 Rich Brooks, American football player and coach (University of Oregon 1977-94; St. Louis Rams 1995-96), born in Forest, California

Person of interestBill Parcells

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

NFL Coach Legend Bill Parcells
NFL Coach 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, American NFL coach (Cincinnati Bengals 1984-91; Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1992-95; introduced no-huddle offence), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2020)
  • 1946-05-03 Norm Chow, American football coach, born in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 1946-10-14 James Robert "Radio" Kennedy, American football coach, born in Anderson, South Carolina
  • 1946-11-13 Al Luginbill, American football coach (Amsterdam Admirals), born in Pomona, California
  • 1947-08-19 Terry Hoeppner, American football coach (d. 2007)
  • 1948-06-15 Mike Holmgren, American NFL coach and executive (Super Bowl 1996, Green Bay Packers; Seattle Seahawks; Cleveland Browns), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1949-09-04 Dean Pees, American football coach, born in Dunkirk, Ohio
  • 1950-09-01 Phillip Fulmer, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (Tennessee 152-52) and CBS analyst, born in Winchester, Tennessee
  • 1951-09-15 Pete Carroll, American NFL coach (Super Bowl 2013, Seattle Seahawks 2010-20; New York Jets, New England Patriots; USC), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1951-10-31 Nick Saban, American football coach (National NCAA C'ships 2003, 09, 11-12, 15, 17; LSU, Alabama, Miami Dolphins), born in Fairmont, West Virginia
  • 1951-11-17 Butch Davis, American football coach

Person of interestBill Belichick

1952-04-16 Bill Belichick, American NFL coach (Super Bowl 2002, 04, 05, 14, 17, 18; most SB wins; NFL Coach of the Year 2003, 07, 10; New England Patriots), born in Nashville, Tennessee

NFL Coach Bill Belichick
NFL Coach
Bill Belichick
  • 1952-08-01 C. L. Whittington, American football defensive coach (Frankfurt Galaxy), born in Beaumont, Texas

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 player (Notre Dame Fighting Irish) and coach (Colorado), born in Queens, New York
  • 1954-02-28 Brian Billick, American football coach
  • 1954-04-28 Ron Zook, American Football Coach
  • 1954-09-18 Tommy Tuberville, American football coach, born in Camden, Arkansas
  • 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, born in Aurora, Illinois
  • 1956-07-31 Bill Callahan, American football coach, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1956-07-31 Bill Callahan, American College, NFL coach (Nebraska; Oakland Raiders), 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
  • 1958-03-19 Andy Reid, American NFL coach (Philadelphia Eagles 1999–2012; Kansas City Chiefs 2013–20), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1958-05-08 Lovie Smith, American football coach
  • 1958-09-23 Marvin Lewis, American NFL coach (DC Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl 2000; Cincinnati Bengals 2003-18), born in McDonald, Pennsylvania
  • 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, born in Phillipsburg, New Jersey
  • 1961-03-10 Bobby Petrino, American football coach
  • 1961-08-15 Gary Kubiak, American football coach
  • 1961-10-07 Tony Sparano, American NFL coach (Miami Dolphins 2008-11), born in West Haven, Connecticut (d. 2018)
  • 1961-11-02 Jim Tedford, American football coach (Fresno State; BC Lions [CFL]), born in Lynwood, California
  • 1962-07-31 Kevin Greene, American Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker, NFL coach (5-time Pro Bowl), born in Schenectady, New York
  • 1962-08-25 Ron Heller, American football coach and former NFL tackle (Miami Dolphins), born in East Meadow, New York
  • 1962-09-23 John Harbaugh, American NFL coach (Super Bowl 2012, Baltimore Ravens 2008-20), born in Toledo, Ohio
  • 1963-05-24 Rich Rodriguez, American football coach, born in Grant Town, West Virginia
  • 1963-08-17 Jon Gruden, American NFL coach (Super Bowl 2002, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Oakland Raiders) and broadcaster (ESPN), born in Sandusky, Ohio
  • 1963-11-10 Mike McCarthy, American football coach (Super Bowl 2010, Green Bay Packers 2006-18; Dallas Cowboys 2020), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 1963-12-18 Karl Dorrell, American football coach
  • 1963-12-29 Sean Payton, American NFL coach (Super Bowl 2009, New Orleans Saints; AP Coach of the Year 2006; 'Bountygate'), born in San Mateo, California
  • 1964-07-10 Urban Meyer, American football coach
  • 1966-06-01 Greg Schiano, American football coach (College: Rutgers; NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers), born in Wyckoff, New Jersey
  • 1967-12-13 Bo Pelini, American football coach, born in Youngstown, Ohio
  • 1968-01-31 Doug Pederson, American NFL coach (Super Bowl 2017, Philadelphia Eagles), born in Bellingham, Washington
  • 1972-03-15 Mike Tomlin, American NFL coach (Super Bowl 2008 [youngest coach to win SB], Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Hampton, Virginia
  • 1972-04-01 Mike McCoy, American football coach (NFL: San Diego Chargers 2013-16), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1973-01-25 Scott Milanovich, American football coach & quarterback (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), born in Butler, Pennsylvania

Weddings in Sport


LoveWedding 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

LoveWedding 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

LoveWedding 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

LoveWedding 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

LoveWedding of Interest

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

NFL Head Coach Mike Ditka
NFL Head Coach
Mike Ditka

LoveWedding of Interest

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

NFL Head Coach Jimmy Johnson
NFL Head Coach
Jimmy Johnson

LoveWedding 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 interestCurly Lambeau

1965-06-01 Curly Lambeau, American Pro Football Hall of Fame halfback, coach (founder, first coach Green Bay Packers), dies of a heart attack at 67

NFL Head Coach Curly Lambeau
NFL Head Coach
Curly Lambeau
  • 1973-06-21 Frank Leahy, American football coach (Notre Dame), dies at 64
  • 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
  • 1998-11-17 Weeb Ewbank, American NFL coach (Baltimore Colts, NY Jets), dies at 91
NFL Head Coach Tom Landry
NFL Head Coach
Tom Landry
  • 2001-06-10 John McKay, American football coach (USC, Tampa Bay, 5X Rose Bowl champ), dies at 77
  • 2002-05-09 Dan Devine, American football coach, dies at 77
  • 2003-01-03 Sid Gillman, Pro & College Football Hall of Fame end (Ohio State U) and coach (U of Cincinnati, LA Rams, Houston Oilers), dies at 91
  • 2003-08-26 Jim Wacker, American football coach (b. 1937)
  • 2005-07-04 Hank Stram, American Pro Football Hall of Fame coach (KC Chiefs Super Bowl 1970), dies of diabetes complications at 82
  • 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 fullback (Miami University) and coach (Miami University 1990-98, Northwestern University 1999-2005), dies of a heart attack at 52
  • 2006-09-08 Erk Russell, American football coach (b. 1923)
  • 2006-11-17 Bo Schembechler Jr., American College Football Hall of Fame tackle (Miami U), coach (Miami U 1963-68, University of Michigan 1969-89; career record 234–65–8), and administrator (Michigan), dies at 77
  • 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 Pro Football Hall of Fame 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, dies at 69
  • 2010-07-01 Don Coryell, American College Football Hall of Fame/NFL coach (SD Chargers), dies at 85
  • 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 (NY Giants), dies at 80
  • 2013-04-02 Chuck Fairbanks, American football coach (New England Patriots 1973-78; University of Oklahoma 1967-72, University of Colorado 1979-81), dies from brain cancer at 79
  • 2015-01-03 Allie Sherman, American NFL coach (Winnipeg Blue Bombers 1953-56 CFL; New York Giants 1961–68), dies at 91
  • 2016-06-28 Buddy Ryan, American NFL coach (Philadelphia Eagles, Phoenix Cardinals), dies at 85
  • 2018-05-03 Joe Scannella, American football coach (Oakland Raiders, Montreal Alouettes, Cleveland Browns), dies at 89
  • 2018-05-12 Chuck Knox, American NFL coach (Rams, Bills, Seahawks), dies of dementia at 86
  • 2018-07-22 Tony Sparano, American NFL coach (Miami Dolphins 2008-11), dies of a heart attack at 56
  • 2020-01-02 Sam Wyche, American NFL coach (Cincinnati Bengals 1984-91; Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1992-95; introduced no-huddle offence), dies from melanoma at 74
  • 2020-01-07 George Perles, American football coach (Michigan State University 1983-94; Pittsburgh Steelers), dies from Parkinson's disease at 85
  • 2020-03-30 Frank Maloney, American football coach (Syracuse University 1974-1980), dies from brain cancer at 79
  • 2020-04-05 Ed Biles, American football coach (College: Xavier 1962-68; NFL: Houston Oilers 1981-83), dies from leukemia at 88