This list may seem unfair to the avid football fan. Four of the five men on the list are great for the game whether the reader likes it or not. The reality of sports is that long-tenured coaches will lose quite a lot. Bill Fitch was once the owner of the NBA wins and losses record at the same time because he career was vast. This article tells the tale of four men who do not deserve to be called losers, one who receives residual sympathy and a league that is difficult to succeed in.
#1: Tom Coughlin
Tom Coughlin has two Super Bowl rings because he learned how to work with his players on their level. He changed his tune at the right time, and the Giants beat the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl. They did it again to the Patriots years later, but his career loss total is high because of time spent coaching the Jaguars. Tom Coughlin is a great coach with a long career who lasted long enough to see success.
#2: Don Shula
Don Shula owns the career wins record coaching the Colts and the Dolphins. He is one of the greats of the game, and he lost quite a few games in his long career. There is nothing to suggest that Don Shula is a bad coach. He was a fine coach who spent enough time in the NFL to lose games left and right. No one is perfect, and Don should not be held to a standard of perfection. The only perfect team in history was his 1972 Dolphins.
#3: Tom Landry
Cowboys fans will never forgive Jerry Jones for firing Tom Landry. Landry has a long and storied career that saw good and bad seasons. He went to the Super Bowl four times, and they won two. He coached Dandy Don Meredith, Bob Hayes, Roger Staubach and countless greats in his time in Dallas. The team could not be expected to win every game, and places Landry on a list of losers is not at all fair to his skill, his legacy and the greatness of the Cowboy star.
#4: Dan Reeves
Dan Reeves has taken three franchises to the Super Bowl a total of five times. No one in history can sport a track record with such depth. He did not win a Super Bowl, but he was a very good player with the Cowboys who won a title. He is placed on this list because he did not win a championship in so many chances, but carrying Chris Chandler and Kerry Collins to the Super Bowl on teams that did not deserve to be there is an accomplishment in its own right.
#5: Jeff Fisher
Jeff Fisher is the only coach who may be called a loser on this list. He is a .500 coach who receives sympathy because his Titans came within a yard of winning the Super Bowl. The death of Steve McNair offers a bit of extra sympathy because Fisher was so close to him. He has underachieved at his two stops in the NFL, and he does not get fired when it is his time. The other four men on this list are hall of famers, but Jeff Fisher is mediocre.
It is terribly unfair to call coaches with long careers losers. Tom Landry, Dan Reeves, Don Shula and Tom Coughlin are greats of the game who may offer insight into football that is unmatched. Only Jeff Fisher must be put out to pasture because he is not the success his extended tenure implies.