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.

Vote for Your Favourite American Coaches

 1 
Bill Belichick
(Head coach of the team New England Patriots of the NFL)

Bill Belichick
4
Birthdate: April 16, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee, United States

 2 
Phil Jackson
(Basketball player)

Phil Jackson
7
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.

 3 
Urban Meyer
(American football player)

Urban Meyer
4
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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 4 
Mike Krzyzewski
(Former Basketball Coach at Duke University from 1980 to 2022)

Mike Krzyzewski
4
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. 

 5 
Andy Reid
(Head Coach for the National Football League Team 'Kansas City Chiefs')

Andy Reid
4
Birthdate: March 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

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.

 6 
Muggsy Bogues
(Basketball player)

Muggsy Bogues
4
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. 

 7 
Jerry West
(Basketball player)

Jerry West
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chelyan, West Virginia, United States

Basketball player Jerry West, also known as Mr. Clutch, for his ability to snatch games in clutch situations, is known for his stint with the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. He was part of the US squads that won an Olympic gold in 1960 and a Pan American Games gold in 1959.

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 8 
Patrick Ewing
(Basketball player Center, Head coach)

Patrick Ewing
4
Birthdate: August 5, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Patrick Ewing is a Jamaican-American former basketball player who played for popular NBA teams like New York Knicks and Seattle SuperSonics. He also won gold medals at the 1984 and 1992 Olympic Games as part of the US men's national basketball teams. In 2008, Patrick Ewing was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame for his individual career.

 9 
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
(One of the Best Players in NBA History)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
8
Birthdate: April 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, 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.

 10 
Dan Marino
(American football player)

Dan Marino
4
Birthdate: September 15, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Quarterback Dan Marino had a successful stint with the Miami Dolphins, leading them to 10 playoffs and the Super Bowl XIX. However, he never won a title. Named to Pro Bowl nine times, he was also the 1984 NFL MVP and part of the 2019 NFL 100 All-Time Team.

 11 
Tyronn Lue
(Basketball Player, Coach)

Tyronn Lue
4
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.

 12 
Penny Hardaway
(Basketball coach)

Penny Hardaway
6
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. 

 13 
Dabo Swinney
(American Football Coach)

Dabo Swinney
4
Birthdate: November 20, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States

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.

 14 
Ed Orgeron
(Former American Football Defensive Lineman and Head Football Coach at Louisiana State University)

Ed Orgeron
4
Birthdate: July 27, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Larose, Louisiana, United States

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). 

 15 
Pat Riley
(Basketball player)

Pat Riley
4
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. 

 16 
Vince Lombardi
(American football player)

Vince Lombardi
4
Birthdate: June 11, 1913
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
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.

 17 
Doc Rivers
(Basketball Player, Basketball Coach)

Doc Rivers
4
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.

 18 
Jimmy Johnson
(American Football Player & Coach)

Jimmy Johnson
4
Birthdate: July 16, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Port Arthur, Texas, United States
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.” 

 19 
Mike Ditka
(Former American Football Player Who Has Won an NFL Title as a Player, Assistant Coach & Head Coach)

Mike Ditka
4
Birthdate: October 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Carnegie, Pennsylvania, United States
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.  

 20 
Tony Dungy
(American Football Player & Coach)

Tony Dungy
4
Birthdate: October 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jackson, Michigan, United States

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.

 21 
Bob Knight
(Basketball coach)

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

 22 
James Naismith
(The Inventor of the Game of 'Basketball')

James Naismith
4
Birthdate: November 6, 1861
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Almonte, Mississippi Mills, Canada
Died: November 28, 1939
Canadian-American physician and coach James Naismith is considered as the inventor of basketball. He authored the first basksetball rule book and established the University of Kansas basketball team. He served as the Kansas Jayhawks athletic director and coach, and trained legends such as Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith.

 23 
Chauncey Billups
(Basketball player - Point guard, Basketball coach)

Chauncey Billups
4
Birthdate: September 25, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States

 24 
Kyle Shanahan
(American football coach)

Kyle Shanahan
4
Birthdate: December 14, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Kyle Shanahan is the head coach of the NFL team San Francisco 49ers. He has previously been the offensive coordinator for teams such as the Atlanta Falcons, the Houston Texans, the Cleveland Browns, and the Washington Redskins. He helped the 49ers appear in Super Bowl LIV.

 25 
Joe Bryant
(Basketball Players)

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

 26 
Doug Pederson
(Football coach)

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

 27 
Ron Rivera
(American football coach)

Ron Rivera
4
Birthdate: January 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: California, United States

 28 

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

 29 
Brad Stevens
(Basketball coach)

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

 30 

Jerry Krause
4
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. 

 31 
Bear Bryant
(American Football Player)

Bear Bryant
6
Birthdate: September 11, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cleveland County, Arkansas, United States
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.

 32 
Luke Walton
(Basketball player)

Luke Walton
4
Birthdate: March 28, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States

 33 
Matt LaFleur
(American football coach)

Matt LaFleur
4
Birthdate: November 3, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States

 34 
Lou Holtz
(American Football Player)

Lou Holtz
4
Birthdate: January 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Follansbee, West Virginia, United States

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.

 35 
Pat Summitt
(American women's college basketball head coach)

Pat Summitt
4
Birthdate: June 12, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clarksville, Tennessee, United States
Died: June 28, 2016

 36 
Jimmy Connors
(Tennis Player)

Jimmy Connors
3
Birthdate: September 2, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Belleville, Illinois, United States

 37 
Don Shula
(Football coach)

Don Shula
4
Birthdate: January 4, 1930
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Grand River, Ohio, United States
Died: May 4, 2020

 38 
Richard Williams
(Tennis coach)

Richard Williams
4
Birthdate: February 14, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States

 39 
Derek Fisher
(Basketball coach)

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

 40 
Jason Garrett
(American Football Coach)

Jason Garrett
4
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.

 41 
Steve Blake
(Basketball player)

Steve Blake
4
Birthdate: February 26, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hollywood, Florida

 42 
Bill Parcells
(American Football Coach)

Bill Parcells
4
Birthdate: August 22, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey, United States

 43 
Mike Singletary
(American Football coach)

Mike Singletary
4
Birthdate: October 9, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, USA

 44 
Joe Maddon
(Baseball manager)

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

 45 
Erik Spoelstra
(Basketball Coach)

Erik Spoelstra
4
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.

 46 
Bill Cowher
(American Football Player, Coach)

Bill Cowher
4
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.

 47 
John Wooden
(Basketball coach)

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

 48 
Juwan Howard
(Basketball Players)

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

 49 
Tommy Lasorda
(Professional Baseball Pitcher and Manager)

Tommy Lasorda
4
Birthdate: September 22, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Norristown, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 7, 2021

Tommy Lasorda was a popular baseball player who later also served as a manager of the MLB team LA Dodgers. His coaching career saw him win two World Series for the Dodgers. He also led the American baseball team to a gold medal win at the Sydney Games.

 50 
Steve Spurrier
(American football player)

Steve Spurrier
4
Birthdate: April 20, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Miami Beach, Florida, United States
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.