The Kansas City Chiefs have had 13 head coaches in their existence. While that might not seem like that many, there have been five that have stood above the rest. Who have been the best head coaches that have strolled the Chiefs sidelines?
The KC Chiefs are a Super Bowl favorite every year now, which seemed unfathomable when Andy Reid took over in 2013. Before Reid, something this franchise had seen a lot of was head coaches. For whatever reason, the Chiefs couldn’t find a good head coach to lead the squad for more than a few years.
While the Chiefs have had 13 head coaches in their long history, not many of them have been good coaches. In fact, coming up with four coaches for this list was pretty easy, but the fifth one was a bit of a struggle.
Only four coaches for the Chiefs have had winning records, and you’ll see those guys on this list. The fifth one was a tough choice, but ultimately, I went with overall record.
So, who are the five best Kansas City Chiefs head coaches? Click on to find out.
*THIS POST WAS INITIALLY WRITTEN IN MARCH OF 2016 AND WAS UPDATED IN FEBRUARY OF 2021*
Fifth Best Head Coach in Chiefs History – Gunther Cunningham (1999, 2000)
The reason why Gunther Cunningham makes this list is because he was the only Chiefs head coach remaining outside of the four obvious choices NOT to have an overall losing record. Cunningham only coached the Chiefs for two seasons and went 9-7 in his first season and 7-9 in his second to give him an overall record of 16-16.
Before he was a head coach, he spent four seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Chiefs, which is also a reason he was considered for this list. During those seasons as a coordinator, the Chiefs defense was one of the best in the league.
Unfortunately, Cunningham’s time as a head coach did not go as well.
He took over the head coaching job in 1999, after Marty Schottenheimer failed once again to lead the team to a playoff victory. Schottenheimer decided to resign, and that opened the door for Cunningham, who led the Chiefs to a 9-7 record in his first season. The Chiefs barely missed out on the playoffs that year, as they were eliminated on the final day of the regular season.
The 2000 season saw the team go 7-9 and Cunningham was fired after the final regular season game. It wasn’t too surprising that Cunningham never earned another head coaching job. He did, however, return to Kansas City as a defensive coordinator in 2004.
Cunningham joined the Detroit Lions in 2009 and held the defensive coordinator position through the 2013 season. He passed away in May 2019 from cancer.
One might wonder “Why Gunther Cunningham? He only coached for two seasons and really didn’t seem to be that good as a head coach.” Well honestly… The top four coaches were pretty easy to list off. It was this fifth spot that proved to be difficult, and ultimately, I went with the fact that Cunningham had a .500 record.
- Overall record: 16-16
- Division titles: 0
- Playoff record: 0-0