Longest-Tenured Head Coaches In The NFL

The NFL is a league of relative parity, one where a perennial contender can bottom out practically overnight and a team expected to finish at the bottom of its division can win it. As such, it’s probably not a surprise that NFL head coaches’ jobs are rarely safe, with most coaches around the league just one or two underachieving seasons away from being replaced.

Of course, there are exceptions to that rule, as is the case in New England, where Bill Belichick just completed his 16th season as head coach of the Patriots. However, while there are several long-tenured coaches across the NFL, most men in the position are relative newcomers. Over a third of the league’s 32 coaches have coached no more than one season with their respective teams, and only 11 have been with their current teams for more than three years.

A coach like Belichick has such a proven track record that a poor 2016 season wouldn’t jeopardize his position. But as is the case every year, there are likely several names on the list below who won’t still have their jobs by next January. Even longer-tenured head coaches aren’t always safe — Tom Coughlin had been with the Giants since 2004, placing him third on this list, before the two sides parted ways earlier this month.

Here’s the list of the current head coaches in the NFL, ordered by tenure, along with the month and year in which they assumed the role:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals): January 14, 2003
  3. Mike McCarthy (Green Bay Packers): January 12, 2006
  4. Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints): January 18, 2006
  5. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 22, 2007
  6. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008
  7. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010
  8. Jason Garrett (Dallas Cowboys): November 8, 2010 (interim; permanent since January 2011)
  9. Ron Rivera (Carolina Panthers): January 11, 2011
  10. Jeff Fisher (Los Angeles Rams): January 13, 2012
  11. Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts): January 25, 2012
  12. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013
  13. Mike McCoy (San Diego Chargers): January 15, 2013
  14. Bruce Arians (Arizona Cardinals): January 17, 2013
  15. Gus Bradley (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 17, 2013
  16. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 2, 2014
  17. Jay Gruden (Washington): January 9, 2014
  18. Jim Caldwell (Detroit Lions): January 14, 2014
  19. Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings): January 15, 2014
  20. Rex Ryan (Buffalo Bills): January 12, 2015
  21. Todd Bowles (New York Jets): January 14, 2015
  22. Jack Del Rio (Oakland Raiders): January 15, 2015
  23. John Fox (Chicago Bears): January 16, 2015
  24. Gary Kubiak (Denver Broncos): January 19, 2015
  25. Dan Quinn (Atlanta Falcons): February 2, 2015
  26. Mike Mularkey (Tennessee Titans): November 3, 2015 (interim; permanent since January 2016)
  27. Adam Gase (Miami Dolphins): January 9, 2016
  28. Hue Jackson (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2016
  29. Chip Kelly (San Francisco 49ers): January 14, 2016
  30. Dirk Koetter (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 15, 2016
  31. Ben McAdoo (New York Giants): January 15, 2016
  32. Doug Pederson (Philadelphia Eagles): January 18, 2016
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3 comments on “Longest-Tenured Head Coaches In The NFL

  1. Dallas Robinson

    The amount of NFL coaching turnover really is amazing. Because of it, it makes sense that a lot of coaches — aside from Belichick — are seemingly coach “afraid” with regards to clock management, two-point attempts, and other novel strategies. When the leash is obviously this short, it’s probably too much of a risk to try such maneuvers.

  2. JayJayXV

    All of them (Except Dan Quinn) got the permanent spot in the month of January.

    • Luke Adams

      Yep, and Quinn would’ve been hired last January too if the Seahawks hadn’t made it to the Super Bowl.


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