The Washington Redskins have a long history in the NFL. Their first season dates back to 1932.
Since then, the Redskins have piled up 606 wins as a franchise, the fifth-most in NFL history. They also have three Super Bowl wins, making them tied for seventh-best in the league.
Washington has not exactly been the most feared team in recent years. In fact, they have been more of a laughing stock in the 2000s than anything else.
That does not negate the fact that the Redskins remain one of the most successful franchises in league history.
With that in mind, it’s obvious Washington has hd some top-tier head coaches. Let’s take a look at their top five.
5. Vince Lombardi
Vince Lombardi comes in at the fifth spot. He’s one of the greatest coaches of all-time. But Lombardi was only with the Redskins for one season; his overall pedigree in the NFL, however, lands him on the list.
In Lombardi’s lone season of 1969, Washington went 7-5-2. That was better than the two years prior, and it was better than the year after he left. It may not seem like much, but it does count for something.
Lombardi is here because he was one of the few coaches with a record over .500 with the Redskins. The fact that he is one of the greatest coaches of all-time definitely made it a little easier to place him in the top five.
4. Jack Pardee
Washington’s record with Jack Pardee as their head coach from 1978 through 1980 was just 24-24. A .500 record doesn’t seem all that special.
However, he did lead the Redskins to a 10-6 record in 1979. That was not good enough to make the playoffs (Washington never made it with him in charge). However, it was good enough to get Pardee the Coach of the Year honors.
That earns him a spot on this list. For a season, Pardee was considered the best coach in the entire NFL. It’s hard to argue with that.
3. Ray Flaherty
Washington has the fifth-most wins of all-time and the seventh-most Super Bowl wins.
With that in mind, it would be expected that they would have had a lot of great coaches. However, a hefty majority of the success the Redskins have had comes from just these last three coaches. All three Super Bowls and 275 wins come from these final three.
Ray Flaherty kicks it off. Flaherty coached Washington from 1936-1942. In that time, the Redskins went 54-21-3. They made it to four NFL Championship games and won two of them.
2. George Allen
Yes, George Allen does not have the championships that Flaherty has to his name, and it’s definitely fair to argue that because of that, these two should be flipped.
Allen has a strong argument for the second spot here, however. That argument includes a 67-30-1 record (67 wins is the second-most in franchise history) and a 1971 Coach of the Year award.
Allen coached Washington from 1971 through 1977. In those years, Allen led the Redskins to the playoffs five times. That included a trip to the Super Bowl, although they did not come away with the victory.
Perhaps most impressively, the Redskins never had a .500-or-worse record at the end of any of Allen’s seasons. That is consistency. It was also one of the few times in the history of the Redskins where it truly felt like they would be contenders every year. Allen made sure that they lived up to the hype.
1. Joe Gibbs
Is there anyone else that this could have been?
Joe Gibbs coached the Redskins from 1981 to 1992, then again from 2004 to 2007. In that time, the coach led Washington to a 154-94 record.
The second stint of his career was not as impressive as the first. Still, Gibbs saw an incredible turnaround in 2005 and had a magical run in 2007 after the tragic death of Sean Taylor.
He won Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1983. Gibbs also led Washington to all three of their Super Bowl victories.
There were plenty of reasons to put Gibbs at the top, but those three Super Bowls locked him in to the top of this list no matter what. Washington likely won’t have anyone dethrone him of this honor for a long time.