10 Elite NFL Coaches Who Will Never Win a Super Bowl

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10 Elite NFL Coaches Who Will Never Win a Super Bowl

Coaches
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Only six current head coaches have won a Super Bowl as a head coach in their career. It shows how difficult claiming the game’s biggest prize truly is. Bill Belichick (three), Tom Coughlin (two), Mike McCarthy (one), Mike Tomlin (one), Sean Payton (one) and John Harbaugh (one) all deserve to be called elite head coaches because they have reached the top of the highest peak in the NFL. However, this slideshow isn’t about these fine men. It’s about the elite head coaches who will never win a Super Bowl.

Some of the head coaches on the list have won a Super Bowl at some point in their career, but the slideshow only concentrates on what they have accomplished as a head coach. Also, it might seem difficult to label some of the head coaches on the countdown as elite. However, the fact is each man has either won enough games or proven in a short amount of time that they have what it takes to be considered in the better half of all head coaches in the league.

There is a good chance one or more of these coaches will win a Super Bowl in the next few years. As of right now, I don’t believe they have shown enough to get the job done, which is why they find themselves on the countdown.

Make sure to click through the slideshow to see the 10 elite NFL head coaches who will never win a Super Bowl. Also, make sure to comment below if you believe any of the 10 coaches do have what it takes to lead their team to the promise land.

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10. Pete Carroll

Carroll
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Pete Carroll could very well be removed from this list in just two weeks, but I believe the Denver Broncos will defeat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Seahawks definitely have enough talent to get back to the big dance in the ensuing years. Unfortunately, I’m just not convinced they have enough to get over the hump, similar to what the San Francisco 49ers have faced.

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9. Chip Kelly

Kelly
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Chip Kelly’s first time as a NFL head coach occurred in 2013, I believe he showed enough in his first season to be considered elite. He brought a college offense to the pros and made it successful with a quarterback that hadn’t shown much prior to 2013. In fact, I can’t imagine anyone thought Nick Foles would take the starting job away from Michael Vick so soon. The Philadelphia Eagles may have a high-flying offense, but I don’t see them winning their first Super Bowl in franchise history anytime soon.

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8. Jeff Fisher

Fisher
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Fisher got close to winning a Super Bowl in 1999. In fact, we’re talking about the difference of a yard is how close he was to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Fisher did win a Super Bowl as a player in 1985, but he never had the privilege as a coach. The sad truth for him is there’s no way it happens with him coaching his current team.

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7. Jim Caldwell

Caldwell
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Caldwell won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts as the quarterbacks coach during the 2006 season. He then reached the big game as the head coach of the Colts a few years later but fell short. He then got his second ring as the offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens last season. The Detroit Lions have enough talent to reach the Super Bowl at some point over the next few years, but it seems that the team always finds a way to screw it up.

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6. Jim Harbaugh

Harbaugh
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh got real close to taking the Lombardi Trophy last season, but he lost out to his brother and the Ravens. The 49ers have gone to three consecutive NFC Championship games with only one Super Bowl berth to show for it. If history can tell us anything, it would seem that San Francisco is on their way down going forward.

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5. Lovie Smith

Smith
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Love Smith is back to being a head coach after taking a season off. He did coach the Chicago Bears to Super Bowl XLI but was beat out by the Colts. The fact is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a long ways away from even thinking about a Super Bowl berth.

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4. Mike Smith

Smith
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Like Harbaugh, Mike Smith has been a part of a team that has stayed up too long without winning anything. The Atlanta Falcons proved in 2013 that they are a team on the down, which means Smith may never get another shot at playing for a Super Bowl berth.

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3. Marvin Lewis

Lewis
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Marvin Lewis has coached the Cincinnati Bengals since 2003 and has five playoff berths to show for it. Unfortunately, he is 0-for-5 in those attempts, which gives the indication that he may never get a ring as a head coach. Having the inconsistent Andy Dalton at quarterback certainly doesn’t help.

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2. Rex Ryan

Ryan
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rex Ryan so desperately wanted to give the New York Jets a Super Bowl win that he told the media it would happen on two separate occasions. Both times the season ended with a loss in the AFC Championship. Ryan may be a good enough defensive coach to lead a team to the big game, but I don’t see the Jets doing it anytime soon.

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1. Andy Reid

Reid
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Reid has a Super Bowl ring from his time with the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, he can't get the job done as a head coach. I'm still not convinced the Kansas City Chiefs have what it takes to get there. The man has had the most success of any current head coach without a ring to show for it. It’s quite the sad story, as there’s no question he is an elite coach who deserves some success to come his way.


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  • Saffs

    This is all subjective, but…

    Horrible list. Absolutely horrible.

    10. Pete Carrol: The guy’s in this super bowl! I feel like Denver will win too, but to say the coach who’s in the Super Bowl with a young team that’s been great since he took over is crazy. Maybe he misses out this year. But he’ll stand a great chance the next couple years.

    9. Chip Kelly: Only 50 years old, turned a horrible team into a playoff one in his first year in the league. He’s got plenty of time left, and has shown the ability to put together a good team.

    8. Jeff Fisher: He’s greatly improved his team, and can make it way better in the next year or two. Definitely one of the more unlikely ones, but far from impossible.

    7: Jim Caldwell: I don’t like him as a HC. But he did inherit a team whose biggest flaw was the coaching. So if he corrects that, they could easily be in the super bowl next year.

    6: Jim Harborugh: Another 50 year old coach who came into a lossing team, and made them great. They’ve got alot of talent that’ll be around for awhile, and he easily has enough time to stick around and get a ring.

    5: Love Smith: It’ll be interesting to see how he does with TB. But he’s still relatively young, so I can’t write him off.

    4: Mike Smith: Another HC who took over a bad team, and made them great. One down year doesn’t equal no chance going forward.

    3: Marvin Lewis: Has a great team with one major weakness. If Cinci sticks with him (hasn’t been alot of talk of them not) he could easily fix it. But another I won’t bet to high on.

    2: Rex Ryan: A coach I used to hate. But he’s got a talent of overachieving. Crazier things have happened, and there is plenty of time for it to happen.

    1: Andy Reid: Has a good team, was one of the best in the league. And has pretty good job security on that team. Ludicrous to think he’s got no chance.

    Once again, all subjective. But the article’s your opinion, this is mine. No disrespect meant.

    • Michael Terrill

      Thanks for the read buddy! The reason I picked these 10 coaches is because I think they are the best in the league among coaches who haven’t won a Super Bowl. Of course I believe each one has an opportunity to accomplish the rare feat, but I just gave reasons why I don’t think these 10 will. Obviously, Pete Carroll could prove me wrong in less than two weeks.

      It would be ridiculous to write any of these coaches off considering half of them coached playoff teams in 2013 and all of them have seen success in the postseason (with the exception of Marvin Lewis). But let’s be honest, if you told me a decade ago that Andy Reid would still be a head coach in the year 2014 without a Super Bowl ring I would have called you crazy.