Ranking every Seattle Seahawks head coach in the history of the franchise

Seattle has had nine head coaches since their inception in 1976. Who are they and how do they rank against each other?
Mike Holmgren with the Seattle Seahawks
Mike Holmgren with the Seattle Seahawks / Focus On Sport/GettyImages
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3. Chuck Knox (1983-91)

After failing to reach an agreement on a renewed contract with the Buffalo Bills, head coach Chuck Knox accepted the role with the Seattle Seahawks in 1983. In his first season in Seattle, Knox led the Seahawks to a 9-7 record and their first-ever playoff berth as a franchise.

In the wildcard round, Seattle decimated their then-division rival Denver Broncos in the wildcard round. In the divisional round, Knox and the Seahawks, a heavy underdog, defeated the Miami Dolphins to advance to the AFC Championship.

Seattle lost the conference championship to the Raiders, but it was a wildly successful season. In 1984, Knox led Seattle to their best record in franchise history, notching 12 wins behind a dominant defense. Hall of Fame safety Kenny Easley recorded 10 interceptions that season, while cornerback Dave Brown added 8 himself. Seattle won their wildcard matchup with the Rams but lost in the divisional round. Knox was named AP NFL Coach of the Year.

Seattle remained at .500 or better for the next four seasons, including in 1988, when the team won their first AFC West divisional title in franchise history. Knox became the first head coach in NFL history to win the division for three different teams. However, after Knox's first season in which they reached the conference championship, the Knox-led Seahawks never reached another conference championship. Knox left the Seahawks in 1991 following several mediocre seasons.

Chuck Knox will be remembered for being the first great Seahawks coach. With 80 wins, Knox ranks third all-time in wins in franchise history. His .559 winning percentage ranks second in franchise history. Knox is one of only two Seahawks head coaches to win Coach of the Year. Knox also popularized the retro blue Seahawks flatbill hat that was worn by Geno Smith during the throwback game in 2023, and by Mike Macdonald in one of his press conferences earlier this year.

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2. Mike Holmgren (1999-2008)

Before he was a Seattle legend, Mike Holmgren was beloved in Green Bay as the Packers' head coach. From 1992-98, Holmgren led the Packers to a 75-37 record with a 9-5 postseason record, including a Super Bowl win in 1996. The Holmgren coaching tree in Green Bay included coaches like Andy Reid, Steve Mariucci, and Jon Gruden. After resigning with the Packers in 1998, Holmgren accepted an eight-year deal to coach the Seattle Seahawks.

In his first season in Seattle, Holmgren led the Seahawks to their first playoff berth in ten seasons after winning the AFC West. His next four seasons were underwhelming and the Seahawks looked like they'd remain in mediocrity forever. Holmgren was signed to an eight-year contract, but fans thought it may be ending soon. In 2002, Seattle had fallen to 7-9.

However, in 2003, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who Holmgren had brought over with him to Seattle from Green Bay, took a huge leap forward. He made his first Pro Bowl and led Seattle to a 10-win season. Running back Shaun Alexander was also sensational, racking up over 1,400 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. However, Seattle lost to Holmgren's former team, the Packers, in the Wild Card round.

After a 9-7 year in 2004, the Seahawks needed a big year in 2005 to warrant the contract they gave Holmgren. He absolutely delivered. Seattle won the NFC West at 13-3, earning the first seed in the NFC. Led by Hasselbeck and Alexander, Seattle had the league's best offense.

Shaun Alexander was named league MVP after rushing for nearly 1,900 yards and 27 touchdowns. After a first-round bye, Seattle cruised past Washington in the wildcard round 20-10 and easily defeated the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship 34-14 to advance to the franchise's first-ever Super Bowl.

We don't have to talk about that game. It was easily the worst officiated Super Bowl ever and Seattle never even had a chance against a Pittsburgh Steelers team that the league really liked. Seattle finished above .500 for the next two seasons, until 2008, when the Holmgren era officially died.

In 2008, for his contributions to the team, Holmgren was named the recipient of the Steve Largent Award. Holmgren finished his tenure in Seattle with an 86-74 record, the second-most wins in franchise history. Holmgren led the Seahawks to four NFC West division titles, six playoff berths, an NFC Championship, and a Super Bowl appearance.