5 longest tenured head coaches in Chiefs history: Where does Andy Reid rank?

The Chiefs have an all-time great currently manning the sidelines, but who are the longest-tenured coaches in team history?
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The Chiefs have an all-time great currently manning the sidelines, but who are the longest-tenured coaches in team history?

The Kansas City Chiefs have had their fair share of incredible head coaches in their storied history—going all the way back to the AFL. From the past to the present, some of the game's greatest innovators have led the Chiefs' franchise. Other times, the Chiefs have gotten rid of head coaches who went on to do great things elsewhere.

Let's look at the five longest-tenured head coaches in Chiefs history.

Hank Stram (15 seasons)

If you want to be stingy with Hank Stram, you can credit him with 12 seasons. If you give him his full tenure with the same franchise (which you should), then he leads this list 15 seasons as the franchise's head coach—three of which came with the Dallas Texans back in the earliest AFL days.

Stram was the head coach that put the Chiefs on the map in the first place and served as their leader for the entire decade of the '60s and well into the '70s. In that span, the Chiefs not only played in a couple of championship games but won their first and only Super Bowl until the present regime, establishing a gold standard that gave fans at least something in the team's past to point at with pride.

Stram would remain on the Chiefs' sidelines until 1975 after a 5-9 season in '74 that got him fired, but at that point, he'd already established a Hall of Fame resume built upon coaching up players like Len Dawson, Buck Buchanan, Willie Lanier, Bobby Bell, Otis Taylor, and more. He was a champion of diversity and an imaginative schemer who developed two tight end sets and the I-formation. The Chiefs were fortunate to have him.

Andy Reid (12 seasons)

It feels reasonably safe to assume that, at some point in the near future, the top of this list will change and Andy Reid will ascend to take Stram's place. The Chiefs just gave Reid a new contract extension and the veteran coach shows no shortage of passion for the game. And why would he? He's on the verge of numerous career NFL records and could mke history as long as Patrick Mahomes remains his starting quarterback.

Reid is getting ready to begin his 12th season calling plays for the Chiefs, which is itself a remarkable achievement. But no one could have known he would be in a position to coach in K.C. even longer than his 14 seasons in Philadelphia as the long-term leader for the Eagles. Yet here we are.

In the end, Reid is a true legend on the Mount Rushmore of NFL head coaches who led the Chiefs in one of the most glorious runs of success in NFL history.

Marty Schottenheimer (10 seasons)

Following the conclusion of the 1988 season, Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell and head coach Marty Schottenheimer came to the same conclusion: they didn't like working with one another. That was sad for the Browns' fan base that had enjoyed a 44-27 record in Schottenheimer's first five seasons with the team—including two playoff wins. But the tensions were too great and the head coach was allowed to walk.

It was here that the Chiefs were able to recruit Schottenheimer to their side and they reaped the rewards for the next decade.

From 1989 to 1998, Marty Schottenheimer would make a deep impact felt all over Chiefs Kingdom as the most beloved head coach in franchise history since Hank Stram. With the Chiefs, Schottenheimer would make the postseason in seven of this 10 seasons. He also delivered the team's first postseason win in two decades and brought them to a conference championship in 1993 before suffering a shocking loss to the Buffalo Bills when Joe Montana was knocked out of the game with a concussion.

Schottenheimer would end his career with the Chiefs with 101 wins and 58 losses.

Marv Levy (5 seasons)

While some instances on this list feature the Chiefs cashing on on other teams' castoffs, Marv Levy is one head coach that the Chiefs likely should have kept if they could go back and redo some things.

Levy is best known to modern football fans as the storied head coach of the Buffalo Bills through the team's incredible run of success in the '80s and '90s with Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith, and Jim Kelly. Unfortunately he only got to Buffalo in the first place after being fired by the Chiefs.

The Chiefs gave Levy his first head coaching shot in the NFL after serving in the role with several college teams including William & Mary, Cal, and New Mexico along with the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League. Levy's record of 31-42 doesn't look good on the stat sheet for the Chiefs, but Levy took over a miserable team in '78 and gradually increased the team's wins steadily over time—from a 4-12 record in his first season to records of 7-9, 8-8, and then 9-7 in his final full season with the team.

In 1982, a strike shortened the NFL season, but Levy's Chiefs sat at 3-6 through 9 games and that was enough for the franchise to push for a change.

Dick Vermeil

Vermeil was a familiar face to NFL fans everywhere before coming to the Chiefs after serving as a head coach for both the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams. In fact, he'd won NFL Coach of the Year on two occasions before joining K.C.

Fresh off of a Super Bowl win in 1999 ("The Greatest Show on Turf"), Vermeil decided to retire and sat out the 2000 season. However, he was talked back into coaching with the Chiefs and took the reins for another five seasons before permanently retiring following the '05 campaign.

What's most interesting (and frustrating) about Vermeil's run as the Chiefs head coach is that he enjoyed a nice 44-36 record overall yet only made the playoffs in one of five seasons. In 2005, the Chiefs went 10-6 and still couldn't manage to earn a playoff spot in a competitive AFC.

Vermeil was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2022.