Ranking All 15 Green Bay Packers Coaches

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Vince Lombardi

Green Bay Packers coaches, ranked

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Vince Lombardi lights a cigarette

Even though the Green Bay Packers history stretches back all the way to 1919, they’ve only had 15 head coaches. Some of them were very good, others were downright terrible and one is legendary.

We’re going to rank them from 15 all the way to No. 1 right here. Why? Because ranking things is fun and we’ve got nothing better to do.

But really, Mike McCarthy is supposedly getting his own street in Green Bay. That got us to thinking about where he ranks among the Packers coaches. Here’s a hint: it’s not in the top three.

Here’s the other thing about these rankings. Yeah, we could have done this just by looking at winning percentage, but that would be too easy (and stupid, really). So we decided to take some other things into account like, you know, the general manager (or lack of one), roster, impact on the franchise and, of course, the playoffs.

And away we go!

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About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

29 Comments on "Ranking All 15 Green Bay Packers Coaches"

  1. Tyko Steamboat

    Ray Rhodes was a terrible coach that the players didn’t respect.

    Lindy Infante actually gave my dad a pair of Packers Zubaz back in ’88 :) Kinda cool

    & McCarthy’s “6-10 Disaster Season” in 2008, was actually one in which we lost 8 of those 10 games by 4 points or less & Crosby still sucks…

    • E. Wolf

      2008–it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. We saw how great Rodgers was. But it was so frustrating to watch him pull games out of his ass, only to have the defense give it up, or Crosby shank a field goal. That defense was unreal. They could not stop the run if they were given machine guns to fire at the opposing backs. …

    • Andy

      ill chalk that 6-10 season up to “transition Year” Rodgers first starting and he showed a bunch in what was his “worst” season throwing 4000 plus yards and figuring out how to be a bad ass. In hindsight its not so bad ‘eh?

  2. the real russ letlow

    Ronzani gets an atta boy bonus for hiring Jack Vainisi.!!! Wow! too bad for everyone not named Lombardi that they couldn’t coach ’em up! Jack Vainisi was a HUGE factor in the 60’s glory years, and any credit he gets is well deserved.

  3. Buster Bluth

    Your nuts if you think Infante belongs at 6. This guy had zero personality or leadership ability.
    Starr and Greg did more damage as coaches than Infante and Rhodes. But then you should have said that up front.

    • Savage57

      I’m not sure I can get comfortable with hanging the word ‘damage’ on Starr, but I think you could link that word up with Gregg in all capital letters and still understate the reality of the situation.

      The teams that Gregg fielded in those years at the helm were not only embarrassing to watch play, but as the classless goons and thugs they became notorious for, they took a lot of the pride from the organization for the players and especially the fans.

      For a while I always thought the Pack had turned into the Raiders – not very good from the snap to the end of the play, but man were they some kinda bad-asses after the whistle blew.

        • Savage57

          A little harsh, don’t you think?

          I remember them being pretty mediocre with Bengston and Devine before him.

          5 NFL titles in his lifetime – he gets a pass.

  4. MarcoBrusa

    No doubt Lombardi stands up there, I would never question that, but I’d also like to mention that he was kind of a douche. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the results he got are unbelievable, but he’s never been an innovator or anything, he was just that kind of coach that calls players pussies and tell them to kick the other team’s butt big time. It was like an ante-litteram Al Pacino from Any Given Sunday (god i hate that movie)

    • Phatgzus

      Yeah, Lombardi was a douche, that’s why he’ s revered as a demi-god by virtually every football player, coach, or personnel man that ever came into contact with him for more than 10 minutes. That’s why the Super Bowl trophy is named after him. That’s why he’s one of the most influential people of the 20th century. He was a hard-ass, not a douche, if you respected and believed in him he would reciprocate. BIG difference between a hard-ass that expects the best from those around him and a douche.

      As for not being an innovator, ever hear of the Packer (Power) Sweep? He used to have an 8-hour seminar on that one play, John Madden (one of the best coaches in his own right) went to that seminar and afterwards recounted that upon hearing Lombardi speak on one play for 8 hours that he (Madden) knew nothing about football.

      • MarcoBrusa

        I knew I would get a harsh reply. As I said, I do recognize him as a winner, a legend and whatnot, he’s clearly the no.1 coach in the history of the Packers and no doubt he deserves his name on the trophy.
        I had just pointed out what in my opinion is a downside of his legacy, the birth of a generation of cliche-Lombardi-wannabes who think that you can win championships just saying crap like “winning is awesome, and if you lose you’re just a bunch of sissies”.

        As for the innovation, okay, the packer sweep,
        He coached like 25 years before i was even born, and everything i know about the 60s packers is taken from books and documentaries, but in one of them they said that most of the times he used the same 15 plays over and over.
        Would you compare it with what other non-packer coaches in the history of The Game had done? Hell, people like Paul Brown basically invented the modern way of coaching football.

        • Phatgzus

          “People like Paul Brown basically invented the modern way of coaching.” So it took numerous people to change the face of the game, it wasn’t just one individual who single-handedly revolutionized coaching strategy. I am not trying to diminish Brown, merely pointing out that Lombardi was just as revolutionary as he and others, while maintaining a higher ratio of success. To that point, coaching is not simply about strategy, the work ethic Lombardi instilled in and required of his players, as well as the dynamic he had with them is legendary and has inspired many great coaches, in all sports, to at least partially emulate it to this day (Tom Coughlin and Jimmy V. are paragons).
          Furthermore the Packers averaged over 6 yards per run on the Packer Sweep, even though the opponent knew what was coming. If you are a coach, you go with what works until it no longer does. The fact that Lombardi was that successful whilst only running 15 different plays per game impresses me that much more-this tells me he had the play style of that era nailed down.

        • Shawn Iltarion

          Your ignorance of Vince Lombardi is as Darth Vader would say- “most impressive.”

          You seem to think that Vince became legend by simply screaming at people.

          If that were the case, then Mike Ditka would have 5 championships too. If that were the case, then Forest Gregg would have been a great coach here.

          There is a HELL of a lot more to Vince Lombardi than “what the hell’s going on out there!”

          He was one of the first to aggressively draft african american players. He was one of the first to draft offensive players to play defense, believing that defense was about athleticism whereas offense was about execution.

          On the road in the south he would only bring the team to hotels and restaurants who wouldn’t discriminate.

          He ran 15 plays because they ran them so good that no one could stop them. His 1962 squad is among the highest scoring teams of all time- on 15 plays.

          Some of our most well-known axioms are quotes from Lombardi.

          “If we chase perfection, we can attain excellence.”

          “Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in a while…you do them right all the time.”

          “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

          “Leaders are made, they are not born.”

          • Phatgzus

            This.

            “I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”

            “The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.”

            “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”

            “If you can accept losing, you can’t win.“

  5. Mike R

    You can’t take out the 2010 playoff run for McCarthy, it is part of his record. It’s like saying, if you take out Rodgers super bowl win in 2010, he has 0 super bowl wins. Not sure I understand that argument. MM is a real good coach, definitely not without faults, but a good coach.

    Sherman was a good coach, horrible GM. It usually doesn’t end well when you get demoted from the GM position like he did.

  6. E. Wolf

    I really liked this article a lot, and learned some things about this team I love so much. Dan Devine was a little before my team, so it was nice to learn how his Al Davis move fucked us over into the next decade. Based on that maybe that guy should be ranked even lower.
    A few points–

    –Sherman is probably at least somewhat responsible for you-know-who coming to think that he is bigger than the Packers, bigger than the NFL, and ultimately his turn to the dark-side. So many of the playoff choke jobs happened under his tenure. One happened under McCarthy, and Mac,, it is speculated, decided to usher in the Rodgers era because of that.

    –Holmgren is the ONLY man who was ever able to properly mentor, instruct, and coach Number Four, and thus the only coach who could channel and harness his awesome power. Everyone else who tried to coach the guy failed—and all of them lost their job, except Mac, who again is speculated to have pushed Four towards retirement.

    –this last point illuminates what potential Mac has to move up in this list and to be considered one of the greats. He may be a big reason why Rodgers is who he is. I know I am not alone in my hope that McCarthy can fulfil the promise of capturing multiple Lomardi trophies, putting them where they BELONG–in GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN!

    • Phatgzus

      McCarthy is definitely partly responsible for Rodgers’ success, the man is the best QB developer in football and that’s not debatable.

  7. Shawn Iltarion

    MM should eclipse Mike Holmgren in the next couple years.

    Ray Rhodes is overrated because he has a .500 win percentage. He had a team that had just gone to two Super Bowls and returned to double digit wins right after he left. He was a terrible head coach while in Green Bay.

    Mike Sherman trashed the Lambeau Field mystique and his teams choked in the playoffs. He deserved what he got.

    Don’t get me wrong, Lombardi would #1 on my list as well, but one can make a pretty strong case for Lambeau. 31 years as head coach versus 9. 6 titles to 5. Starr was the only QB Lombardi won with. Lambeau won with multiple QBs. Without Lambeau there would be no Lombardi.

    And the 1962 Packers WERE the best team in NFL history.

  8. DD

    I love how the most psychotic loser on this website finds a way to bring Favre into this. Obsessed much? Laces out Dan. I’m in Psychoville and Finkel’s the mayor… I wonder if E. Wolf has had a sex change like Ray Finkel as well.

    • Fuck Off

      Glad you could take brent’s dick out of you mouth long enough to spew your traitor backing nonsense. Obsessed much?

    • E. Wolf

      Gee snookems, I just don’t know what to say. I guess I must concede one point to you–I am psychotic!
      Anyway, since the man in question played here for the better part of twenty years, and has defined three of the coaches mentioned, what I said is highly relevant. And it is also true. And as time goes on, each of these considerations WILL be regarded as definining milestones of each of these men’s careers, particularly Holmgren. You heard it here first.

  9. Mark L

    Why do you count Lombardi’s Championship in 1956 in ranking the “Green Bay Packer Coaches”? He was the offensive backfield coach for the New York Giants in 1956, and although they won a championship that year, I don’t see how that adds to his Packers legacy. Why don’t you add Ray Rhodes’ Super Bowls as an assistant for the 49ers?

    • Monty McMahon

      Yeah, that was my fault. No one gets credit for winning titles as an assistant on this list, otherwise Bengtson would be a lot higher.

  10. the real russ letlow

    Lombardi lighting up a schmeg on the sidelines……., priceless man. And if you watch some film, you’ll see Phil Bengston smoking during games when he was DC. times have changed for sure….

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