Famous American Coaches

Imagine a professional sports team without a mentor coaching it from behind the bench. Better yet, imagine a Super Bowl game with no coach yelling, motivating, and jumping with thrill every time there is a blowout. Coaches are the lifeline of any team. No matter what the level of play is, if you want to succeed you need a coach, a really good one on top of that. Now only if you thought that a coaching is all about breaking down tape and doodling x's and o's, know that a coach has to do a lot more than that. Coaches are the real role models for their teams, a big inspiration, and a guiding force. Coaches invest in the success of athletes. At times, they are the ones who makes winning possible, thanks to the dedication, determination, diligence, and discipline they evoke within their players. Not just that, they also help eliminate all kind of stresses and assist players stay more focused. America has been a cradle of some really smart, talented, and able coaches who have steered America's greatest athletes and teams to grand victories. Let u learn about their timeline, trivia, and facts in the biographies here.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson.
7
Famous As: Former Basketball Player, Executive & Coach
Birthdate: September 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Deer Lodge, Montana, United States

Phil Jackson is a former professional basketball player who played 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association and won the NBA championships in 1970 and 1973 when he was with New York Knicks. Later, he coached the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers and led them both to numerous championships and league titles and is considered one of the greatest basketball coaches ever.

 2 Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer.
4
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: July 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio, United States

Urban Meyer is an American football coach who is currently serving as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars which competes in the NFL. He has also coached college football teams like the Ohio State Buckeyes, helping the team win its maiden Big Ten Conference title. He has also worked as an analyst for popular TV networks like Fox Sports.

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 3 Muggsy Bogues

Muggsy Bogues.
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: January 9, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Muggsy Bogues is a former basketball player. Standing at 5 feet 3 inches tall, Bogues is the shortest player in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA). When his 14-season NBA career came to an end, Bogues served as the head coach for Charlotte Sting, which participated in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) from 1997 to 2007. 

 4 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
8
Famous As: Basketball Player, Basketball Coach
Birthdate: April 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Retired basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a legendary NBA champion and its all-time leading scorer. Known for his trademark skyhook shot, he achieved remarkable feats during his career. Later, he pursued a successful writing and acting career and was even selected U.S. global cultural ambassador. The NBA star is also the proud recipient of the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 5 Jerry West

Jerry West.
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: May 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chelyan, West Virginia, United States

 6 Andy Reid

Andy Reid
4
Famous As: Coaches
Birthdate: March 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

Andy Reid is an American football coach who is currently serving as the head coach for the National Football League team the Kansas City Chiefs. Reid is credited with revitalizing the Chiefs which was a struggling team when he started coaching them in 2013. He helped the Kansas City Chiefs win a Super Bowl title, their first in 50 years.

 7 Dabo Swinney

Dabo Swinney.
4
Famous As: American Football Coach
Birthdate: November 20, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Birmingham

Dabo Swinney is an American football coach. The highest-paid coach in college athletics history, Dabo Swinney helped the Clemson Tigers of the Clemson University win two national championships; he is the second-most successful head coach in Clemson history, only behind Frank Howard.

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 8 Tyronn Lue

Tyronn Lue.
4
Famous As: Basketball Coach
Birthdate: May 3, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mexico, Missouri, United States

Tyronn Lue is an American basketball coach currently serving as the head coach for the popular team Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA. Previously, he coached the Cleveland Cavaliers, which won the 2016 NBA Finals under his guidance. During his playing career, Tyronn Lue helped the Los Angeles Lakers win two NBA championships.

 9 Penny Hardaway

Penny Hardaway
6
Famous As: Basketball coach
Birthdate: July 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

Penny Hardaway is a college basketball coach who is currently serving as the head coach for the Memphis Tigers men's basketball team. A former player, Hardaway played for teams like Miami Heat and New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association where he was a two-time All-NBA First Team member and a four-time NBA All-Star. 

 10 Ed Orgeron

Ed Orgeron
4
Famous As: Coach
Birthdate: July 27, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Larose, Louisiana, USA

Ed Orgeron is a former football player turned coach. He currently serves as the head football coach at Louisiana State University (LSU). He played college football at LSU and Northwestern State University. He began his coaching career in the 1980s and has coached the teams at the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern California (USC). 

 11 Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi.
4
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: June 11, 1913
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Died: September 3, 1970

Football coach, Vince Lombardi, is best known for being the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s. Beginning his career as a high school coach, he eventually started coaching  National Football League (NFL) teams. As a head coach in the NFL, he never had a losing season. He died of cancer in 1970.

 12 Pat Riley

Pat Riley
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: March 20, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rome, New York, United States

Pat Riley is a former coach and player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Currently, he is a professional basketball executive and has been the team president of the Miami Heat since 1995. He is considered one of the greatest NBA coaches of all time and is a recipient of the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award. 

 13 Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Johnson.
4
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: July 16, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Port Arthur
Jimmy Johnson, also known as “Jimmy Jumpup," led the Dallas Cowboys as their head coach and won two Super Bowls consecutively. He has also coached teams such as the Miami Dolphins and Oklahoma State. He is one of two NFL coaches to be inducted into the “Centennial Class.” 

 14 Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers.
4
Famous As: Basketball Coach
Birthdate: October 13, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Doc Rivers is a former American basketball player, who in his thirteen seasons played primarily for Atlanta Hawks and was known for his defence. After retirement, he picked up coaching responsibilities for Orlando Magic and in his first year was awarded NBA Coach of the Year. Later, he led Boston Celtics to NBA championship. He is currently the coach of Philadelphia 76ers.

 15 Mike Ditka

Mike Ditka.
4
Famous As: American Football Player, NFL Coach
Birthdate: October 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Carnegie
Mike Ditka, nicknamed “Iron Mike,” was a star footballer for the Chicago Bears, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Dallas Cowboys. He has coached the Cowboys and has also trained the Bears to win the Super Bowl XX. He has also worked as a sports broadcaster for ESPN and NBC.  

 16 Mike Krzyzewski

Mike Krzyzewski
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: February 13, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Mike Krzyzewski is a men's basketball coach currently affiliated with Duke University. He played basketball in the United States Military Academy and served as an officer in the United States Army for a few years. He later joined the coaching staff at the Indiana Hoosiers. He has been with Duke University since 1980 and plans to retire soon. 

 17 Jerry Krause

Jerry Krause
4
Famous As: Scout
Birthdate: April 6, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: March 21, 2017

Jerry Krause was a sports scout and executive. He served as the general manager of the Chicago Bulls in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for several years, from 1985 to 2003. He won the NBA Executive of the Year Award twice. He died in 2017 and was posthumously inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame later that year. 

 18 Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno.
4
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: December 21, 1926
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Died: January 22, 2012

College football player, athletic director, and coach, Joe Paterno, is best remembered for being the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1966 to 2011. In his extensive coaching career, he registered 409 victories. His career ended abruptly when he was dismissed as a result of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. He died shortly after.

 19 Tony Dungy

Tony Dungy.
4
Famous As: Former NFL Coach & American Football Player
Birthdate: October 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jackson, Michigan

Former American football player and coach, Tony Dungy, currently works as an advisor for the professional football team, The Houston Texans. An evangelical Christian, Dungy has been an integral part of several community service organizations over the years. Also a writer, Dungy claims that his memoir Quiet Strength has touched the lives of many.

 20 Joe Bryant

Joe Bryant
4
Famous As: Basketball Players
Birthdate: October 19, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

 21 Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens
4
Famous As: Basketball coach
Birthdate: October 22, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Zionsville, Indiana, United States

 22 Bear Bryant

Bear Bryant.
6
Famous As: Football Player, Coache
Birthdate: September 11, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fordyce
Died: January 26, 1983

Bear Bryant was an American football player who represented the Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama. Bryant is remembered for his illustrious career as a coach. He served as the head coach of the Crimson Tide for 25 years, during which he helped his team win six national championships. He is regarded as the greatest college football coach ever.

 23 Jordan Rodgers

Jordan Rodgers
4
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: August 30, 1988
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chico

Jordan Rodgers is a sports commentator. He began his career as a professional football quarterback and has played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins. He began his broadcasting career in 2016. He participated in and won season 12 of the reality TV show The Bachelorette. His brother Aaron Rodgers is a popular football quarterback. 

 24 Lou Holtz

Lou Holtz.
4
Famous As: American Football Coach
Birthdate: January 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Follansbee, West Virginia

Lou Holtz has been the head football coach of teams such as the New York Jets. He led Notre Dame to be the national champions. Holtz became the only coach to guide four programs to the final top 20. The College Football Hall of Famer later became an ESPN analyst.

 25 Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt.
4
Famous As: Coach
Birthdate: June 12, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clarksville, Tennessee, USA
Died: June 28, 2016

 26 Jason Garrett

Jason Garrett
4
Famous As: American Football Coach
Birthdate: March 28, 1966
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Abington, Pennsylvania, USA

Jason Garrett is a football player turned coach. He is currently the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). Beginning his career as a college football quarterback at Princeton University, he has also played for  New York Giants and Miami Dolphins. He began his coaching career in 2005.

 27 Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon
4
Famous As: Baseball manager
Birthdate: February 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: West Hazleton, Pennsylvania, United States

 28 Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher
4
Famous As: Basketball coach
Birthdate: August 9, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

 29 Doug Pederson

Doug Pederson
4
Famous As: Football coach
Birthdate: January 31, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bellingham, Washington, USA

 30 Bob Knight

Bob Knight
4
Famous As: Basketball coach
Birthdate: October 25, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Massillon, Ohio, United States

 31 Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda
4
Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: September 22, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Norristown, Pennsylvania, United States

 32 Steve Blake

Steve Blake
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: February 26, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hollywood, Florida

 33 Erik Spoelstra

Erik Spoelstra.
4
Famous As: Basketball Coach
Birthdate: November 1, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States

Erik Spoelstra, who is of Filipino descent, created history when in 2008 he became the head basketball coach of Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association, making him the first Asian-American head coach of the four major North American sports leagues. When Miami Heat won in 2012, he became the first Asian-American head coach to win a NBA championship.

 34 Steve Spurrier

Steve Spurrier.
4
Birthdate: April 20, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Miami Beach, Florida
Former American football player Steve Spurrier, or Head Ball Coach, won the 1966 Heisman Trophy, playing for the Florida Gators. He was then drafted by the NFL team San Francisco 49ers and also represented the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As a coach, he has won the ACC and SEC championships.

 35 Mike Singletary

Mike Singletary
4
Famous As: American Football coach
Birthdate: October 9, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, USA

 36 Bill Cowher

Bill Cowher.
4
Famous As: American Football Player, Coach
Birthdate: May 8, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Former American football linebacker, coach, and sports analyst Bill Cowher served as a head coach in the National Football League (NFL) for 15 seasons. He spent the majority of his coaching career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Under him, the Steelers won several championships including one Super Bowl. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020.

 37 John Wooden

John Wooden
4
Famous As: Basketball coach
Birthdate: October 14, 1910
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hall, Indiana, United States
Died: June 4, 2010

 38 Rasheed Wallace

Rasheed Wallace
3
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: September 17, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 39 Tim Hardaway

Tim Hardaway
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: September 1, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

 40 Les Miles

Les Miles
4
Famous As: American Football Coach
Birthdate: November 10, 1953
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Elyria, Ohio, United States

 41 Tom Landry

Tom Landry.
4
Famous As: Former American Football Player & Coach
Birthdate: September 11, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died: February 12, 2000
American football player and two-time Superbowl-winning coach Tom Landry had successful stints with the New York Yankees and the New York Giants. He was also the longest-tenured NFL coach, working with the Dallas Cowboys for 29 seasons. He pioneered the 4–3 defense and the flex defense. 

 42 Matt LaFleur

Matt LaFleur
4
Famous As: American football coach
Birthdate: November 3, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States

 43 Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian
4
Famous As: Coach
Birthdate: March 8, 1974
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Torrance, California, United States

 44 Rex Ryan

Rex Ryan
4
Famous As: Head coach
Birthdate: December 13, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ardmore

 45 Sean Payton

Sean Payton
4
Famous As: Coach
Birthdate: December 29, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Mateo, California, United States

 46 Hue Jackson

Hue Jackson
4
Famous As: American Football coach
Birthdate: October 22, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 47 Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux
4
Famous As: Baseball Player
Birthdate: April 14, 1966
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Angelo, Texas, USA

 48 Juwan Howard

Juwan Howard
4
Famous As: Basketball Players
Birthdate: February 7, 1973
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

 49 Nick Nurse

Nick Nurse
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: July 24, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Carroll, Iowa, United States

 50 Elgin Baylor

Elgin Baylor
4
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: September 16, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA