Ranking Kansas City Chiefs coaches by most career wins

Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs / Focus On Sport/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs don't have a long list of strong coaches, but they do have their fair share and a list of the best head coaches in team history takes fans from the earliest days of the franchise all the way through the present day.

While this order will be changing soon, let's look at the Chiefs record books to see which coaches have the most wins in team history.

1. Hank Stram (124)

Former Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt is credited with a lot of brilliant ideas and one of those concerned the decision for who should lead his franchise in their first seasons in the AFL: Hank Stram

Stram took over the then-Dallas Texans franchise to begin his career in the AFL/NFL and went on to enjoy 124 regular season wins over the first 14 seasons of the team's history, a run that included two Super Bowl appearances and one victory. Stram was also a brilliant coach who changed the game with numerous innovations on both sides of the ball.

If the seasons were longer than 14 regular-season contests, this win total would be quite a bit higher, but even then, Stram is still the Chiefs all-time wins leader (for now).

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2. Andy Reid (117)

It's amazing to think that this list will be obsolete in less than a year—perhaps even a half season, knowing how hot the Chiefs might play in the first half of the season. Andy Reid has only been around the Chiefs for a decade, but he's already scaled the all-time wins list to the point where Hank Stram's record is likely toast by the midpoint of the '23 season.

Andy Reid was already in the conversation as a Hall of Fame coach after being fired by the Philadelphia Eagles following 14 seasons and 130 regular season wins with that franchise. By placing the Chiefs upon his shoulders, Reid is now in the conversation for the greatest coach of all time. It will be interesting to see his list of accolades when he decides to hang it up knowing he has Patrick Mahomes under center for the foreseeable future.

This is truly the golden era of Chiefs football and Reid's success is one of the best ways to illustrate just how incredible the franchise has been since he arrived. Not only did he take over a last place team fraught with despair, but he instantly turned them into a sustained playoff contender and ultimate Super Bowl champs with a dynasty on their minds.

3. Marty Schottenheimer (101)

If the Chiefs were to ever create a Mount Rushmore of coaching, there would only be three faces. While there are others who enjoyed varied levels of success in their own stints with the team, the truth is that there are only three big winners on the list of all-time Chiefs head coaches.

Marty Schottenheimer is the third after Stram and Reid with an impressive 101 wins as he coached the team through the excitement of the 1990s. From 1989 to 1998, Schottenheimer guided the Chiefs to numerous playoff appearances and established them as perennial contenders. Under his leadership, the team boasted a tough, physical defense and a relentless running game spearheaded by the likes of Christian Okoye and Marcus Allen.

Though they fell short of a Super Bowl victory during his tenure, Schottenheimer's Chiefs were consistently competitive and became a source of pride for the fanbase. The Joe Montana years were especially thrilling and made the Chiefs a central subject in the NFL in a way not again seen until Patrick Mahomes landed with the team.

4. Dick Vermeil (44)

Dick Vermeil's legacy with the Chiefs is one of transformation and resurgence. Taking the helm in 2001, Vermeil inherited a struggling team and infused it with his trademark passion and intensity. Under his guidance, the Chiefs experienced a remarkable turnaround, going from a 6-10 record in his first season to an AFC West title and playoff berth the following year.

Vermeil's impact extended beyond wins and losses. He instilled a culture of hard work, discipline, and accountability, earning the respect and admiration of players and fans alike. His commitment to developing young talent led to the rise of stars like Priest Holmes and Tony Gonzalez, while his offensive prowess unleashed a high-powered attack that thrilled spectators.

Though Vermeil's tenure in Kansas City was relatively short, his imprint on the franchise was indelible. He returned the franchise to a level of success and excitement not seen since Schottenheimer's chapter had closed, and Chiefs Kingdom will remember Vermeil favorably for it.

5. Marv Levy (31)

It's almost shocking to see Marv Levy's name on a list of the most successful coaches of the Kansas City Chiefs considering how synonymous he is with Buffalo Bills football. However, from 1978 to 1982, Levy was a fixture for the Chiefs for a half-decade—his first seasons in the National Football League.

Levy worked his way up the coaching ranks in an interesting fashion, moving from being a high school coach through several years in college before calling the shots himself as head coach for the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League (with whom he won two Grey Cups).

Despite coaching for nearly 30 years before joining the Chiefs, Levy had only three seasons in the NFL to his credit at the time as a special teams coach for the Eagles, Rams, and Redskins. Then came a five-year stint in K.C. in which his teams showed slight improvement year over year before crashing back to earth with a 3-6 record in '82.

Given the misery of the Chiefs through the entire '80s decade, it's a shame that Levy couldn't accomplish even a fraction of what he did in Buffalo while in K.C.