Coaching in professional sports is traditionally one of the most unstable jobs in America.
Every year, head coaches are fired before the end of their contracts due to poor performance by their teams.
This year was no different, whether it was the Carolina Panthers moving on from Matt Rhule five games into the regular season or the Houston Texans cutting ties with Lovie Smith. Black Monday is always wild across the NFL, but plenty of coaches have avoided a seemingly unavoidable fate year after year.
On the other hand, some teams head coaches have spent over a decade with their respective teams while enjoying championship success.
Here’s a look at the longest-tenured NFL coaches – both active and in league history:
Who are the longest-tenured active NFL head coaches?
The league is currently turning over coaches at a rapid rate. Of the 32 NFL franchises, 23 have changed head coaches since 2019.
Here are the eight coaches who have been with their team the longest:
1. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, 2000-present
Arguably the GOAT head coach, Belichick has guided the Pats to nine Super Bowl appearances and six titles in 23 seasons at the helm. He is third all-time with 298 career regular season wins while leading all coaches in playoff wins (31, 11 more than second place).
2. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers, 2007-present
After winning a Super Bowl in his second season, Tomlin has sustained consistency all the way through 2021. He’s never had a losing season in 16 years, making 10 postseason appearances. Tomlin’s career regular season record is 163-93-2 and he’s won eight playoff games.
3. John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens, 2008-present
John Harbaugh only has two losing seasons in 15 years with Baltimore. He has a 147-95 career regular season record, plus an 11-9 postseason record to go along with a Super Bowl. The Ravens are 2-5 in the playoffs since hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in 2013.
4. Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks, 2010-present
After stints with the Patriots, Jets and USC, Carroll returned to the NFL in 2010 and stabilized the Seahawks franchise. They’ve never won fewer than seven games in a season with Carroll, totaling a 128-81-1 record in 13 seasons while winning Super Bowl XLVIII.
5. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs, 2013-present
Reid spent 14 consecutive seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, and he wrapped up his 10 season in Kansas City with his second ring. He has amassed a 117-45 regular season record while paired with quarterbacks Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes, the latter of which helped get Reid his first Super Bowl in the 2019 season and second in 2022.
6. Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills, 2017-present
The Bills had been searching for stability at head coach, and they found it in McDermott. He has a 62-35 record and five postseason berths in six seasons with Buffalo.
7. Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams, 2017-present
McVay and Los Angeles were instantly a perfect match when the franchise made him the NFL’s youngest head coach in 2017. He is 60-38 in six seasons, led the Rams to a Super Bowl loss in just his second year and became a champion to cap off the 2021 season.
8. Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers, 2017-present
After two forgettable seasons to start his San Francisco tenure, Kyle Shanahan has guided the 49ers to three NFC Championship Game appearances over the last four years. He crossed the .500 mark for his career in 2022, as he now owns a 52-46 record.
Who are the longest-tenured head coaches in NFL history?
No active coaches can match the longest-tenured coaches in NFL history, though Belichick is creeping up the list. His 23nd season with the Patriots brought him even with Chuck Noll for fifth on this list.
Here’s a look at the six coaches who spent the most consecutive seasons with one team:
1. Tom Landry, Dallas Cowboys, 29 consecutive seasons
From 1960 to 1988, Landry patrolled the sidelines for the Cowboys. He had some highlights, with five Super Bowl appearances and two titles, and some lowlights, including six seasons of five wins or fewer. Landry went 250-162-6 in his career with Dallas.
2. Curly Lambeau, Green Bay Packers, 29 consecutive seasons
Green Bay’s stadium is named for Lambeau, and rightfully so. His first nine seasons with the team were spent as both a player and a coach, winning a title in 1929. The next 20 seasons, solely serving as a coach, produced five championships. He finished his Packers career at 209-104-21.
3. Don Shula, Miami Dolphins, 26 consecutive seasons
After losing Super Bowl III with the Baltimore Colts in 1968, Shula moved south to Miami in 1970 and didn’t leave for nearly three decades. He won three AFC titles and two Super Bowls in his first four years with the Dolphins. Shula retired in 1996 as the NFL’s all-time regular season wins leader (328), a record he still holds today.
4. Steve Owen, New York Giants, 24 consecutive seasons
Owen’s first four seasons with the Giants were as a player-coach before he took over full-time coaching duties in 1934. That season went well, I’d say, as New York won the NFL Championship. Owen retired in 1953 with a 153-100-17 career record and two titles.
T-5. Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh Steelers, 23 consecutive seasons
Noll’s 23-year tenure in Pittsburgh spanned four decades – the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s. The 70s were undoubtedly his happiest decade, when the Steelers won four Super Bowls in six seasons from 1974 to 1979. Noll retired in 1991 after totaling a 193-148-1 regular season record with 16 postseason wins.
T-5. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, 23 consecutive seasons
Belichick broke into a tie for the top five in 2022, and will jump into a tied for fourth when he steps on the sideline in 2023.