30. Dave McGinnis
McGinnis accumulated loads of experience on both the collegiate and professional levels. Whether it be as a position coach or a defensive coordinator, McGinnis was respected. He finally got his chance as a head coach when taking over the Arizona Cardinals job in 2000. During his four-year stint in Phoenix, McGinnis accrued a 17-40 record. The .298 win percentage is the 8th worst all-time for NFL head coaches.
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29. Romeo Crennel
We like Romeo Crennel as a defensive coach. We like him even better as a person. However, he’s simply proven not capable as a head coach in the NFL. After being one of the league’s most gifted defensive minds, Crennel got his shot as the head coach for both the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs. In six combined seasons as a head coach, Crennel finished with a .337 win percentage (28-55) and zero postseason appearances. The final straw came with his stint in Kansas City, as Crennel won only four of a possible 19 games.
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28. June Jones
June Jones is primarily known as an explosive offensive coach with the University of Hawaii. Prior to that, the Portland native was an exceptionally mediocre NFL coach. In three seasons as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Jones managed only one playoff appearance. He was fired after his third year (in which the team went 3-13). Two years later, that same core of players went to the Super Bowl under Dan Reeves. Jones smartly headed to the college game after finishing his NFL tenure with a porous .348 win percentage.
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27. Rich Brooks
Though Brooks is known primarily as a college coach, he did have some time in the NFL. In fact, Brooks was the first coach in St. Louis once the Rams moved from Los Angeles. Brooks failed to post a .500 season — and thus was let go after two years. A short time later, Dick Vermeil led the franchise to a Super Bowl with many of the same players inherited from the Brooks era.
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26. Todd Bowles
Todd Bowles is another coach who couldn’t replicate the success he had as a defensive coordinator. He built up an exceptionally wonderful reputation during his time as an assistant with both Philadelphia and Arizona. Upon landing the Jets’ gig, Bowles crashed and burned. One 10-win season was followed by three-straight seasons of five wins or less. His teams looked ill-prepared, uninspired, and downright bored. Bowles was relieved of his duties after four years, and now functions as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator.
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25. Bruce Coslet
Remember those years when the Bengals were looked at as the laughing stock of the NFL? Well, Coslet was the head coach during that time. The Bengals went 21-39 under Coslet before he was fired early in his fifth year. Prior to that, Coslet coached the Jets for four seasons. One playoff appearance occurred with an 8-8 season. In fact, Coslet never coached a team with a winning record at any point in his NFL career.
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24. Marion Campbell
The South Carolina native played in the NFL for eight seasons before transitioning into the coaching world. A few seasons as an assistant coach was then followed by head coaching gigs with both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons. To put it mildly, Campbell was a disaster of a head coach. In parts of nine seasons, Campbell finished with a career record of 34-80. He holds the distinction as being a top-10 coach all-time in terms of lowest win percentage (.298).
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23. Raheem Morris
Morris went from being a prodigy to a lame duck coach in a short period of time. At 32 years of age, he was appointed to be the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His hot-shot reputation as a defensive genius was tested from the get-go. While he did register one season with 10 wins, Morris looked completely overwhelmed as a head coach. In three years, Morris finished with a 17-31 career record. He’s yet to get another head coaching job since being fired in 2011.
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22. Dom Capers
Notice a trend, here? Capers made his mark as a defensive-minded head coach. Dating back to the early 1970’s, Capers has been involved with the sport. Capers first became a head coach for the expansion Carolina Panthers. Aside from one 12-win season, Capers never won more than seven games in a single year for the rest of his career. His eight-year run as HC of both the Panthers and the Texans resulted in a combined record of 48-80.
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21. Jim Schwartz
Aside from being slapped hilariously on the back by Jim Harbaugh, the Jim Schwartz head coaching tenure in Detroit was rather unforgettable. In five seasons, Schwartz managed to have only one winning year. Aside from that, the Lions were an abomination on both sides of the ball. A career 29-52 record as a head coach has (unsurprisingly) kept him as a defensive coordinator in the post-Detroit portion of his career.
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20. Joe Bugel
Bugel was an excellent position coach, though it was quite clear he didn’t have the chops to succeed as a team’s leader. In four seasons with the Cardinals, Bugel never won more than seven games in any single season. This was a major disappointment — especially considering he had players on his roster including Chris Chandler, Larry Centers, Ricky Proehl, Mark May, Tim McDonald, and Aeneas Williams. For his career, Bugel’s head coaching record is 24-56.
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19. Dennis Erickson
Dennis Erickson would’ve been best served sticking with the college game. He had a ton of success with Miami, Oregon State, and Idaho. His stints in the NFL were a different story. He had a 31-33 record in four years with the Seahawks. This isn’t terrible — though it’s quite disappointing considering the talent on those rosters (Joey Galloway, Cortez Kennedy, Shawn Springs, Warren Moon, Darryl Williams). A few years later, he went 9-23 in two seasons with the 49ers before getting canned.
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18. Jimmy Phelan
Phelan was deeply rooted into the game of football. A former Notre Dame player, Phelan became the head coach for a number of college programs (Missouri, Purdue, Washington). However, he parlayed solid success on that level into professional jobs. In four total seasons, Phelan coached the Los Angeles Dons, the New York Yanks, and the Dallas Texans. After a 7-7 inaugural season with the Dons, Phelan accrued the following records for the next three seasons of his head coaching career: 4-8, 1-9-2, and 1-11. As currently constituted, Phelan has the sixth-worst win percentage (.271) of any professional coach in league history.
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17. Dave Campo
Dave Campo is a likable guy. Jerry Jones saw someone with a strong defensive pedigree. He had hoped Campo would’ve transitioned Dallas into more of a physical football team. However, Campo became a disaster in Big D. He finished three-straight seasons with 5-11 records. Of course, Campo was quickly jettisoned for Bill Parcells. Furthering the case for Campo’s inability to coach, Parcells led the Cowboys to a 10-6 record the following year after Campo’s firing.
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16. Jim Zorn
Zorn was widely reputed as a quarterback whisperer. Matt Hasselbeck in particular is one of the signal-callers Zorn developed. After first starting as the team’s offensive coordinator, Zorn became Washington’s head coach. However, things went sour very quickly. Zorn became stripped of his play-calling duties — something which didn’t sit well with him. Zorn then had many verbal skirmishes with his players. After a 4-12 season, Zorn was fired.
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15. Cam Cameron
Cam Cameron was known as a nice guy with a proclivity for the offensive side of the ball. When given the keys to the Miami Dolphins’ car, he crashed immediately. The first-time head coach went 1-15 in his only season with the Dolphins. Miami’s defense gave up at least 30 points in half of those contests. After that abysmal season, Cameron never received another HC job.
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14. Pat Shurmur
Shurmur is one of the few members on this list still active in the game of football. The 54-year-old has yet to prove that he’s anything more than a poor head coach. In two years with the Browns, Shurmur compiled a 9-23 record. Now with the Giants, Shurmur is coming off a 5-win season. Barring a complete breakthrough, Shurmur looks like he won’t be long for this job. As of October 2019, Shurmur ranks No. 7 all-time in lowest career win percentage as a head coach.
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13. Bill Peterson
Bill Peterson was an excellent high school coach in Ohio. He was then a very good coach at Florida State. When given the head coaching position with the Houston Oilers, he was an absolute disaster. Peterson’s ability to ‘motivate’ younger players simply didn’t work with professionals. His failure to connect with his personnel led to a 1-18 record in two years with the Oilers.
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12. Steve Spurrier
The Ol’ Ball Coach was a little over his head when lured from the college ranks to the NFL. It was a bit unrealistic for him to completely transition his Fun N’ Gun offense to Washington. However, no one expected Spurrier to fail in the manner he did. Spurrier lasted only two seasons, and finished with less-than-stellar records (5-11, 7-9). Rumored issues with owner Daniel Snyder ultimately led to Spurrier leaving the job. In all honestly, he probably wishes he would’ve just stayed in college.
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11. Josh McDaniels
McDaniels had the lofty task of replacing legendary coach Mike Shanahan. Whether he wanted to impose a New England-like stamp on the franchise or not, McDaniels ruffled the feathers of more than a few players. He went 8-8 in his first year, and was ultimately fired with a 3-9 record in Year 2. In 2018, he took the Colts job — only to back out on the same day as the announcement. At this point, McDaniels looks destined to stay in New England with Bill Belichick (which might not be such a bad idea).
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10. Mike Nolan
Mike Nolan gets an ‘A’ for professionalism. He often was found on the sidelines wearing a suit and tie. However, the professionalism stops there. He took over a somewhat talented 49ers roster — only to finish with an 18-37 record in a little more than three seasons on the job. His biggest transgression included passing on local boy Aaron Rodgers for Alex Smith. After being fired in 2008, Nolan has yet to get another head coaching opportunity.
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9. Gus Bradley
Poor Gus. The ‘defensive genius’ spent much of his time sharpening his teeth under Jon Gruden and Pete Carroll before getting his chance to lead a franchise. Many believed he’d break out as a very good head coach. However, this wasn’t meant to be. Bradley’s time in Jacksonville was marred by inconsistency, poor personnel decisions, and a decidedly horrible culture. In his first three years on the job, Bradley won a combined 12 games. He then was in the midst of a 2-12 season before getting canned. Currently, Bradley has the fourth-worst win percentage (.226) of all-time.
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8. Lane Kiffin
Whether it be nepotism or not, Lane Kiffin was clearly not ready to be the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Al Davis hired Kiffin at the ripe age of 31. Without any prior head coaching experience, Kiffin understandably bombed. After a 4-12 inaugural season, Kiffin was essentially forced out publicly by Davis in a bizarre series of events. Since then, Kiffin has been no stranger to controversy in his other stops (though those have all occurred on the collegiate level).
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7. David Shula
One thing’s for sure: The apple fell far from the tree as it pertained to Don and Dave Shula. A more perfect dichotomy doesn’t exist when talking about the elder Shula and his underachieving son. The younger Shula was a complete laughing stock during his time with the Bengals. In five years with Cincinnati, Shula had a combined record of 19-52. After being fired, Shula left the sport of football for over 20 years. He most recently became the wide receivers coach at Dartmouth.
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6. Marty Mornhingweg
As a quarterback’s coach, Mornhingweg is quite good. As a head coach, he was a travesty. Mornhingweg’s only head coaching job came with the lowly Detroit Lions. In his first year, Mornhingweg went 2-14. The following year, he finished 3-13. Needless to say, Mornhingweg wasn’t invited back for a third year. The final nail in the coffin likely came against the Bears when he declined to take the ball in overtime after winning the coin toss (at that time in the NFL, the first team to score in overtime would win the game).
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5. Bert Bell
DeBenneville ‘Bert’ Bell was quite a character. Born in 1985, the iconic football mind was integral in growing the profile of the sport/developing the sport from within the United States. From that standpoint, he was a genius. As a head coach, Bell was about as bad as one could be. Bell led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 10-44 record in five seasons. He then went 0-2 as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. As of October 2019, Bell has the worst win percentage (.179) in the history of the NFL.
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4. Bobby Petrino
Petrino gets notably slammed for quitting on his team during the middle of the season. Known primarily as a college coach, Petrino was hired by the Falcons to inject some offensive inventiveness. After nabbing a 5-year deal worth $24 million, Petrino resigned during the middle of his first season (3-10) in order to take the head coaching job with Arkansas. Not only was this a black mark on Petrino’s reputation, but it was also an utter embarrassment for the Falcons.
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3. Rich Kotite
The New York native wasn’t that bad during his four-year tenure with the Eagles. He went a combined 36-28 (with one playoff appearance). However, those Philadelphia teams were among the most talented in the entire league. It’s mind-boggling that Kotite wasn’t able to win a playoff game — let alone make a Super Bowl appearance (especially with Reggie White and Randall Cunningham on your roster). From there, he went 4-28 with the Jets in two years before being canned.
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2. Rod Marinelli
Marinelli is a beloved defensive coordinator. Particularly, those supporting the Cowboys love Marinelli’s hands-on approach over the last handful of seasons. While a defensive savant, Marinelli is one of the NFL’s all-time worst coaches. Marinelli accumulated 10 wins over his first two years with the Lions. However, Marinelli went 0-16 in this third year — thus ending his tenure in Detroit. He’s not gotten another chance to be a head coach since.
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1. Hue Jackson
The Los Angeles native is a sweet guy. He’s the sort of personality you’d love to sit down and have a beer with. As a football coach, there’s a lot left to be desired. Jackson had one 8-8 season with the Raiders. However, his time in Cleveland was beyond horrific. Jackson went 3-36 in three seasons with the Browns. This included the dubious distinction of going 0-16 in his second year. With this sort of resume, one would be hard-pressed to find a worse head coach than Jackson.
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