clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Where do Falcons head coaches past and present stand on the all-time NFL coaching leaderboards?

New, comments

You probably guessed this isn’t pretty and sadly, you’re right.

Atlanta Falcons vs Houston Texans

We come to the end of our little series on where players and now coaches rank on the all-time leaderboards across NFL history.

I think what we’ve seen is that especially on offense, the Falcons have had some true greats and some forgotten, excellent players who made their marks on the history books in ways I didn’t fully appreciate. Tragically, the franchise hasn’t matched their success, but it’s still fun to take a look back and see where players rank.

Coaches? That’s a less fun exercise. The Falcons have been full-on inept for better than half their history and have really only enjoyed a couple of stretches of sustained success, so their coaches either have had more success elsewhere or haven’t turned in careers like the Don Shulas of yesteryear, or even Andy Reids of today.

Still, there will be some surprises here. Join me!

Games Won

#10: Dan Reeves, 190

#72: Mike Smith, 66

#73: Norm Van Brocklin, 66

#80: Jerry Glanville, 60

Games Lost

#1: Dan Reeves, 165

#27: Norm Van Brocklin, 100

#50: Marion Campbell, 80

#66: Jerry Glanville, 69

#66: Leeman Bennett, 69

Games Tied

#15: Norm Van Brocklin, 7

#79: Dan Reeves, 2

Winning Percentage

#43: Mike Smith, .589

#72: Dan Quinn, .538

Playoff Games Coached

#11: Dan Reeves, 20

#76: Dan Quinn, 5

#76: Mike Smith, 5

#96: Leeman Bennett, 4

Playoff Wins

#11: Dan Reeves, 11

#56: Jerry Glanville, 3

#56: Dan Quinn, 3

#96: Mike Smith, 1

Playoff Losses

#12: Dan Reeves, 9

#56: Mike Smith, 4

#76: Leeman Bennett, 3

#87: Dan Quinn, 2

Playoff Winning Percentage

#24: Dan Quinn, .600

#38: Dan Reeves, .550

#66: Jerry Glanville, .429

#87: Leeman Bennett, .250

#91: Mike Smith, .200


What to make of this? Dan Reeves as a great all-time coach but didn’t do all his best work with the Falcons, minus that magical 1998 season, but he’s comfortably just outside the top 10 more or less across the board. He’s an underrated guy.

The Falcons have a lot of ineptitude on this list from the olden days, but Mike Smith and Dan Quinn stand out here for different reasons. Smitty was a well-regarded coach for a reason, as he got some pretty lackluster Falcons squads to winning records consistently, posting the 43rd best winning percentage ever and the 72nd highest number of wins in just 7 seasons in Atlanta. Dan Quinn lags behind him in the regular season, but he’s had far more success in the postseason, with the 24th-best playoff winning percentage ever (the Super Bowl run and the 2017 win over the Rams keying that) while Smitty’s teams managed just a single win.

The Falcons have not exactly had a stellar history of coaching, is the chief takeaway here, as there’s not a single Hall of Famer in the lot and no true franchise legend. They’ve been more fortunate in the last 20-plus years, but unless Quinn pulls some magic out of his hat in the near future, it looks like the team will continue to have coaches littering the all-time leaderboard without a whole lot of jaw-dropping track records of success.