Pass This NFL Hall of Fame Coaches Challenge and Stay Out of the Red Zone!

SPORTS

By: Gavin Thagard

7 Min Quiz

Image: NFL

About This Quiz

Even in a team sport like football, credit for winning is usually put on the players, as they have the more recognized brands that bring fans to the games. But, as the saying goes, the fish rots from the head down, and that means a head coach tends to be the determining factor on exactly how far a team can go. Without a strong voice at the top, a team has no direction, and it shows on the football field.

There are a variety of ways for a coach to go about providing direction for a team to be successful, but the best coaches, the ones who end up in the Hall of Fame, definitely have a few things in common. First, they know the game down to the smallest details because, in the end, preparation is always the key to victory. They also understand players and how to deal with them on an individual level, which might be one of the most important factors in a team sport with so many personalities on the roster. These attributes, combined with wins, are what separate a good coach from a legendary coach.

Are you ready to test your knowledge on the greatest NFL coaches to ever wear a headset? If you are, get started and see if you can separate the contenders from the pretenders when it comes to the Hall of Fame. 

Are you familiar with this Hall of Fame coach who helped Joe Montana win his first Super Bowl?

Bill Walsh was an important figure when it came to training future head coaches. Under his tutelage, names like Mike Holmgren and George Seifert all established themselves as some of the brightest minds in the game, going on to have successful coaching careers themselves.

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Who is this Hall of Fame head coach who established the Washington Redskins as one of the top teams in the NFL throughout the '80s?

After leaving the NFL in 1992, Joe Gibbs turned his attention to NASCAR, where he had established Joe Gibbs Racing a year prior. Under his ownership, racers have won five NASCAR Cup Series and two NASCAR Xfinity Series. Because of his contributions, he was added to the NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2020.

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Can you identify this head coach who mentored many future coaches during his Hall of Fame career?

Bill Parcells' greatest accomplishment was taking poor-performing teams and turning them into championship contenders. During his career, he reached the playoffs with four different teams and made the Super Bowl with two of those teams.

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How well do you know this Hall of Fame coach who helped establish the Dallas Cowboys as one of the top teams in the NFL?

The first head coach in Cowboys history, Tom Landry is credited with creating the 4-3 defense, a staple in the NFL today. This defensive style helped Landry win 250 regular-season games, which included 20 consecutive winning seasons.

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The 1972 Miami Dolphins is the only NFL team to ever go undefeated under the guidance of which Hall of Fame coach shown here?

Split between two teams, Don Shula coached 33 straight seasons in the NFL, which is an NFL record. He reached six Super Bowls during that lengthy run and walked away with two championships, establishing a legacy that few others have matched.

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Was Dennis Green able to finish his career as a Hall of Famer?

Dennis Green found immediate success with the Minnesota Vikings when he took over the squad in 1992, leading the team to the playoffs in his first three seasons. However, by the time he left the team in 2001, the Vikings had never made it past the NFC Championship Game under his watch.

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Can you recall if Jim Mora put together enough playoff wins to make the Hall of Fame?

Considering Jim Mora had an 0-6 record in the NFL Playoffs, it's no wonder that he didn't want to talk about the postseason when reporters brought it up. Still, six losses also meant he was able to coach his teams to six playoff appearances, finishing his regular-season career with a 125-106 record.

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Posting a winning postseason record during his lengthy career, do you know if Chuck Noll is a Hall of Famer?

Chuck Noll had his best season as a head coach in 1978 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he coached the team to a 14-2 record. They went on to defeat the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl, giving Noll his third title as a head coach.

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Are you familiar with this Hall of Fame coach who became one of the most recognized voices in sportscasting after he retired?

John Madden was such an influential figure in the NFL that the top NFL football game, "Madden NFL," was named after him. He first endorsed the game in 1988 and has continued to provide advice to the developers even though he's retired.

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This Hall of Famer reached the playoffs every season he was with the Indianapolis Colts. Who is he?

During the 2006 NFL season, Tony Dungy reached Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts. That year, Dungy and Lovie Smith, who coached the opposing team, were the first black head coaches to reach the Super Bowl, with Dungy winning to become the first black head coach to win the championship.

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Are you familiar with this Hall of Fame coach who helped found the Cleveland Browns?

After helping start the franchise, Paul Brown became the first head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 1946. He led the Browns to several championships, first in the AAFC and then in the NFL before being forced out of the Browns organization following the 1962 season.

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A coaching star in the early years of the Super Bowl era, is Hank Stram in the Hall of Fame?

Hank Stram was a star coach in the AFL before that league joined with the NFL in the 1970 merger. As a coach in the AFL, Stram was a three-time champion, which included a Super Bowl victory in the 1969 season.

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One of the first members of the Hall of Fame, who is this?

George Halas served as the head coach of the Chicago Bears on three separate occasions, first interrupted by WWII and later by his desire for a break from the game. In his final tenure with the team, Halas was twice named AP Coach of the Year and won his final championship in 1963.

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Does Buddy Ryan have a Hall of Fame plaque?

Buddy Ryan only had a .500 winning percentage as a head coach, but that doesn't take away from what he was able to accomplish as an assistant coach. His greatest season was as the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears when they won Super Bowl XX behind one of the fiercest defenses in NFL history.

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A legend for the Raiders, has Tom Flores made it into the Hall of Fame?

Tom Flores is one of only two people to win a Super Bowl as a head coach, assistant coach and player. His three coaching championships all came with the Raiders, and he won his other Super Bowl as a quarterback for the Chiefs.

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Brett Favre played some of his best football under Mike Holmgren, but did the two accomplish enough to get Holmgren in the Hall of Fame?

After a successful stint with the Green Bay Packers from 1992 through 1998, Mike Holmgren decided to leave the team to take an eight-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks. Holmgren reached the Super Bowl once with the Seahawks but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He ended his coaching career three years later.

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Was Mike Shanahan ever honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Mike Shanahan had two stints with the Denver Broncos as an assistant coach early in his NFL career. After his second departure, he joined the San Francisco 49ers but eventually returned to the Broncos as a head coach. With the help of veteran quarterback John Elway, Shanahan was able to win two Super Bowls in Denver.

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Do you know if Bum Phillips was able to earn a spot in the Hall of Fame?

Bum Phillips only served 11 seasons in the NFL as a head coach, splitting time between the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints. His final three seasons with the Oilers were the best of his career, as he reached the playoffs each season with two appearances in the AFC Championship Game.

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Can you identify this coach who is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame?

Bud Grant coached the Minnesota Vikings throughout the '70s, reaching the playoffs every year throughout the decade except two. During this time, the Vikings were defined by tough defensive play, led by a defensive line known as "The Purple People Eaters."

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After 21 seasons as an NFL head coach, is Marty Schottenheimer able to call himself a Hall of Famer?

Marty Schottenheimer's final stint as a head coach in the NFL was with the San Diego Chargers from 2002 through 2006. Despite a 14-2 record in 2006, Schottenheimer was fired due to what was classified as dysfunction in the organization.

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What's the name of this head coach who was named NFL Coach of the Year on two different teams?

George Allen's head coaching career included stints with the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Redskins. He coached both of these teams to an overall record of 116-47 during the regular season, but Allen often struggled in the playoffs, finishing with only two career playoff wins.

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One of the greatest champions in NFL history, has Bill Belichick made it into the Hall of Fame yet?

The only reason Bill Belichick is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is because he hasn't retired from coaching yet. After all, Belichick holds several NFL records including Super Bowl appearances and Super Bowl wins.

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Did Dan Reeves have enough success as a head coach to get an invitation to the Hall of Fame?

Despite their success together, Dan Reeves did not get along with John Elway during his time with the Denver Broncos. When he took over for the Atlanta Falcons, he led the team to Super Bowl XXXIII, where they faced his former team and quarterback. The Falcons lost that game 34-19.

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Was a .648 winning percentage enough to get George Seifert into the Hall of Fame?

George Seifert had the tough job of replacing Bill Walsh as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers when Walsh retired in 1988. Seifert did not disappoint, however, as he won two championships with the team before moving on from the 49ers in 1996.

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The first-ever Super Bowl was won by which Hall of Fame coach depicted in this image?

Known for his ability to inspire players in big moments, Vince Lombardi had an incredible 9-1 playoff record during his time in the NFL, all spent with the Green Bay Packers. Lombardi not only guided the Packers to wins in the first two Super Bowls, but he also won five NFL championships as a head coach.

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Was Tom Coughlin's success with the New York Giants enough to get him into the Hall of Fame?

Tom Coughlin was known for his strict style of coaching, which caused a problem or two in the locker room. At one point, Coughlin went as far as fining players for not showing up five minutes before a team meeting. However, his style resulted in a lot of wins and two Super Bowl titles.

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Is Dick Vermeil, a retired head coach with an overall winning record, in the Hall of Fame?

Dick Vermeil helped usher in "The Greatest Show on Turf" with the St. Louis Rams at the end of the '90s. Utilizing players like Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk, the Rams offense put up huge numbers under Vermeil, who took the team from a 4-12 record in 1998 to a 13-3 record in 1999. Before that, he spent several years coaching the Eagles.

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This coach won championships in the AFL and NFL on his way the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Who is he?

Weeb Ewbank started his coaching career in the high school system in Ohio. He then moved onto college, where he was the head coach at Washington University. This was his final stop before he joined the Cleveland Browns as an assistant coach in 1949, launching his Hall of Fame career.

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Do you know if Bill Cowher, the longtime head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is in the Hall of Fame?

Bill Cowher might not be in the Hall of Fame, but that doesn't take away what he was able to accomplish as a head coach. Serving as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1992 until 2006, Cowher reached two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh, walking away with one victory in Super Bowl XL.

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Did Curly Lambeau win enough games to make the Hall of Fame?

Curly Lambeau was one of the founders of the Green Bay Packers when the team started in 1919. Not long after that, he took over as the head coach of the team, guiding the Packers to six NFL championships before moving on to coach the Chicago Cardinals and later the Washington Redskins.

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Does Don Coryell's resume include enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Don Coryell changed the NFL with his pass-heavy offensive schemes that became known as "Air Coryell." His offensive schemes required timing and rhythm between quarterbacks and receivers but allowed offenses to utilize the entire field as they sought to find a weakness in the defense.

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Is Sid Gillman a Hall of Famer after posting a franchise record 86 wins with the Chargers?

One of football's many innovators, Sid Gillman encouraged downfield passes, transitioning the NFL from a running back's league to a quarterback's league. His coaching tree includes names like Al Davis, Chuck Noll and Dick Vermeil.

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Do you know if winning championships with three different teams got Guy Chamberlain into the Hall of Fame?

Serving as a head coach for three different organizations, Guy Chamberlain finished his head coaching career with a 58-16-7 record. That gives him a .759 winning percentage, the best in NFL history.

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Did Jimmy Johnson make it into the Hall of Fame after leading the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl titles?

Jimmy Johnson rose to prominence as the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes from 1984 until 1988. He was able to win a national championship with Miami in 1987, and when he won Super Bowl XXVII, Johnson became the first coach to win both a Super Bowl and college football championship.

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Chuck Knox worked his way from being a high school coach to the pros. Would his coaching journey end in the Hall of Fame?

Chuck Knox was the head coach of three NFL teams during his professional career, leading all three teams to the playoffs at different points. His success on each team was honored by three AP NFL Coach of the Year awards.

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Marv Levy's on the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame, but does that mean he's also in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Marv Levy introduced a no-huddle offense to the Buffalo Bills, which was a rare sight in the late '80s. The offense put up huge numbers and helped the Bills reach four straight Super Bowls, but in a tragic turn of events, the team lost every one of those games.

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What's the name of this Hall of Famer who served as a player and coach near the end of his playing career?

Steve Owen had a successful career as a player prior to becoming a head coach in 1930. Beginning his professional career in 1924, Owen was named to the NFL 1920s All-Decade Team and even won a championship in 1927.

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Can you identify this legendary coach from the '30s and '40s?

Ray Flaherty started his head coaching career with the Boston Redskins, who moved to Washington D.C. the year after he took over the position. During his first season in Washington D.C., Flaherty led the Redskins to an NFL championship over the Chicago Bears.

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Identify this head coach who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964.

Jimmy Conzelman won his first championship while both coaching and playing for the Providence Steam Rollers in 1928. After leaving the NFL to coach in college throughout most of the '30s, Conzelman returned to the NFL to win one final championship in 1947.

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Previously a head coach in college for both basketball and baseball, did Greasy Neale focus enough on his NFL career to receive an invitation to the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Greasy Neale first joined the NFL in 1941 as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. He struggled to find any real success until 1947 when he took the Eagles to their first of three straight championship appearances. They lost the 1947 contest but won the next two, giving Neale two championships on his Hall of Fame resume.

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