Of course, there have only been eight head coaches in Seattle’s history
The above headline may seem snarky, but in actuality the Seahawks franchise has been pretty lucky. The team has been around for 40-plus years so only having a total of eight head coaches is pretty good. For example, the Cleveland Browns have had eight head coaches in the last three years (or so it feels). Seattle has had only one head coach last just one season, Jim Mora in 2009. Mora will not be on the list. Here are the five that are, however.
5. Jack Patera
Patera was a jovial guy who loved the media and the local media loved him.
None of what I just wrote is true. Patera was the type of coach who liked to control everything, including how players held their helmets during the national anthem. He also many times would not allow players to drink water during training camp even when temperatures neared 100 degrees. In other words, he would not have stayed very long in today’s game.
Patera, though, was a decent coach with the unenviable task of helping an expansion team win. He adjusted his schemes to the talent that was on his team, players like Steve Largent. He was awarded the Associated Press Coach of the Year in 1978 when the Seahawks enjoyed their first winning season.
Patera finished with a record of 35-59 and no playoff appearances. He was fired in 1982 season.
4. Dennis Erickson
Erickson achieved almost the perfect example of mediocrity while in Seattle. His team’s went 8-8 in 1995, 7-9 in 1996 and 8-8 in 1997. Erickson’s most notable achievement was playing someone at quarterback other than Rick Mirer. Mirer was the quarterback that set Seattle back several years. Erickson was involved in the drafting of a group of Seahawks that included Joey Galloway, Shawn Springs and future Hall of Famer Walter Jones. Because of the drafts, Erickson is number four on this list.
Erickson was fired by Paul Allen before the 1999 season and had a Seattle record of 31-33.
3. Chuck Knox
Knox is one of the three coaches in Seahawks history that are far above the rest. Knox led Seattle to it’s first playoff appearance in 1983. That year Seattle had it’s first two playoffs wins. In 1984 Knox led Seattle to a 12-4 record and won the Coach of the Year award. While 1984 might also mark the height of Knox-dom in Seattle, the Seahawks still made the playoffs four times in his tenure. Seattle only had two losing seasons with Knox.
Knox left after the 1991 season to go back to coaching the Rams. The NFL had basically passed him by at this point as he simply held on to his belief that his teams needed to be very run-heavy. Still, Knox went 80-63 during his stay in Seattle and the team was always competitive.
2. Mike Holmgren
Holmgren, of course, was the coach who took Seattle to its first Super Bowl. Seattle won four straight NFC West titles between 2004-07. Matt Hasselbeck became a star under Holmgren’s tutelage after being a backup elsewhere. Shaun Alexander scored 28 touchdowns one year. As everyone knows, the Super Bowl that Seattle lost at the end of the 2005 season, they really should have won.
Holmgren brought a different offensive sensibility than Seattle had ever had. He changed the mentality of the football team and created one that believed it could win. The problem is that when Holmgren stepped down after the 2008 season, he did not leave Seattle much to rebuild with.
Holmgren went 86-74 with Seattle, including a Super Bowl loss and six playoff appearances.
1. Pete Carroll
Carroll being the best coach in Seahawks history is pretty much a certainty. He was the coach of the team when Seattle won its only Super Bowl. Seattle has reached the playoffs in six of Carroll’s first seven seasons. He took over in 2010 after Seattle had gone 9-23 in its previous two seasons. Though the Seahawks went just 7-9 in Carroll’s first year, they made the playoffs and defeated the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card game in which this occurred
Carroll’s career mark with Seattle is 70-41-1. He began 14-18. This means since 2012, Seattle has gone 56-23-1. That is pretty good. Carroll implemented a defensive philosophy that made the Seahawks the best defense in the NFL for several years. Nearly every season since Carroll took over, Seattle has been one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. 2017 will be no different. Seattle fielded one of the best teams ever in 2013 when this happened
The Seahawks did lose the following year’s Super Bowl as we all know. The last two seasons the Seahawks have not reached the NFC Championship game. But 2017 could be different. So could 2018. In fact, every year Carroll is the coach in Seattle, the Seahawks will have a chance to win a championship. He is simply the best coach in Seahawks history.