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The 20 Richest NFL Coaches of All Time

Have you ever watched your favorite NFL team and realized that these guys are getting paid big bucks to do what they love for a living? It's true, but in all fairness of all the big sports out there, football players are not really paid all that much when you consider it as hazard pay, plus the fact that no contracts are guaranteed. The coaches on the other hand have less risk of injury, although their jobs depend on their ability to motivate the players to bring home the wins, which is no easy task. A few bad years could mean the end of their career with some of the better ranked teams, so the pressure to perform is high for these guys.  In case you were wondering, we did a little research and have come up with this of the 20 richest NFL coaches of all-time.

20. Mike McCarthy - Net worth: $7 million

With a net worth of $7 million, he's done well for himself. McCarthy, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, started out playing tight end at University of Baldwin City, Kansas, eventually becoming the quarterbacks coach at the University of Pittsburgh from 1989 through 1991. His first job with the NFL was as offensive quality control assistant with the Kansas City Chiefs. He eventually moved to quarterbacks coach from 95' to 98'. He then moved on to QB coach for the Green Bay Packers in 1999, then as offensive coordinator for the Saints in 2000. He then moved to the 49ers in 2005 as offensive coordinator. He finally landed a head coaching job with the Green Bay Packers in 2006. Under his leadership, the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2010. He was recognized as Motorola NFL Coach of the Year in 2007. McCarthy signed an extension with the Packers in 2014 that will run through 2018.

19. Charlie Weiss - Net worth $8 million

Charlie Weiss is most known as being a college coach but he makes the list because like many college coaches, he transitioned over to the NFL after his tenure as head coach of Notre Dame went way worse than people expected.   Weis has served as head coach for the Kansas Jayhawks, then as offensive coordinator for the Florida Gators.  Eventually he became the head coach for Notre Dame but then made a transition to the NFL as offensive coordinator for the New York Jets, the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots.

18. Bruce Arians - Net worth $10 million

Bruce Arians is a native of Peterson, New Jersey. He began his career as a college football player for Virginia tech as starting quarterback in his senior year. He then moved on to become the running back and wide receivers coach for Mississippi State in the late seventies, and then for Alabama in the early 80s.  Arians eventually served as NFL tight ends coach for the New Orleans Saints in 1996, then as offensive coordinator at Alabama in the following year. In '98, he was the Indianapolis Colts' quarterbacks coach until he moved to offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns in the early 2000s. Next, he went to the Pittsburgh Steelers as wide receivers coach, then offensive coordinator until 2011. He was head coach for the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 after a year of serving as interim coach at which time he was named the AP Head Coach of the Year.  He's still coach of the Cardinals.

17. Kenneth Moore Whisenhunt - Net worth: $11 million

Whisenhunt was a former pro football player for the Washington Redskins from 1989 to 1990 who then moved to the New York Jets the next year. He began coaching with special teams, tight tends and half backs at Vanderbilt University in 1995. This was his first coaching position period. His first head coaching position was with the Arizona Cardinals beginning in 2007 which ran through 2012. He became offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers in 2013, then left for a job for the Tennessee Titans the following year.  Under Whisenhunt's management the Steelers won a Super Bowl Championship in 2006, and on top of that, the Cardinals won the NFC Championship while he was their head coach in 2008.

16. Lovie Smith - Net worth: $11 million

Lovie Smith is a native of Gladewater, Texas. He's a coach who has always been known for his "tireless work ethic" in leading his teams forward. He currently serves as the head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Prior to that he was head coach for the Chicago bears from 2004 to 2012. He's led teams to the Super Bowl on two occasions. The first was when he was defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams in 2001, and again in 2006, as head coach of the Chicago Bears. He was fired from the Bears in 2012 after the team did not reach the playoffs even though they started with a 7-1 record at the halfway point of the season.

15. Jim Caldwell - Net worth: $12 million

Caldwell was born in Beloit, Wisconsin. He played as a defensive back for the University of Iowa. In the late 1970s, he served as wide receiver’s coach for Southern Illinois, then moved to offensive assistant coach for Northwestern in '81. He landed several coaching positions in College football, but his first head coaching position was in 1993 for Wake Forest and lasted until 2000. It was in 2001 that he joined the NFL  He served as quarterbacks’ coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for six years in the early 2000s, and also as assistant head coach for the Indianapolis Colts.  His first head coaching job in the NFL was for the Colts in 2009 which lasted for two seasons. He then moved to an offensive coordinator position with the Baltimore Ravens in 2012 for one season. In 2014 he became the head Coach for the Detroit Lions where he's still coaching.

14. Sean Payton - Net worth: $12 Million

Sean Payton has made the majority of his fortune as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. He still occupies the position even though he's had plenty of issues along with way (the latest being Adrian Peterson). He brings in an annual salary of $8 million.  While his salary is so high it may seen weird that his net worth is only $12 million but after taxes, living expenses and the suspensions that he's been plagued with through his career, he hasn't built up as large a fortune as he could have. He was involved in the bounty scandal of 2012 with the Saints which earned him a suspension for the entire 2012 NFL season not to mention he's racked up plenty of fines for being outspoken.   Payton's still one of the top paid coaches in the league though.

13. Jim Harbaugh - Net worth: $15 million

Jim Harbaugh began as an NFL QB for the Chicago Bears but has also been involved with the Baltimore Ravens, The San Diego Chargers, and the Indianapolis Colts. He spent six years playing for the Bears after being a 1987 NFL Draft pick. When he was with the Colts, the team went on to win an AFC Championship at the 95/96 NFL playoffs. He was named comeback player of the year for his excellent performance. During his time with the Chargers, the team had an 8-8 record. It was after playing briefly for the Lions and Carolina Panthers that he decided to switch over to coaching. He landed a QB coaching job with the Oakland Raiders in 2001 and soon became the head coach at the university of San Diego at Stanford.  In 2011, he signed a $25 million five-year contract, committing to the head coach position for the San Francisco 49rs.  Harbaugh almost made it to the promised land reaching the Super Bowl but losing to his brother.  He eventually left the NFL ranks seeking greener pastures in the NCAA where he's currently coach of Michigan who in only a couple years became powerhouse under his leadership.

12. Kirk Ferentz - Net worth: $16 million

Kirk Ferentz began his football career as a high school player. The native of Royal Oak, Michigan, played for Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh, Penn, then took his talents as linebacker to the University of Connecticut. He served as graduate assistant with the coaching staff at the University of Pittsburgh in the early 1980s, then became the offensive line coach for the University of Iowa. After three seasons as head coach of the University of Maine, he joined the NFL as offensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns.  He stayed with them until the team made the change and transitioned to the Baltimore Ravens. Upon leaving the Browns, he became the offensive line coach at Iowa and still occupies this position.

11. Jeff Fisher - Net worth: $16 million

Jeff Fisher started his career in the NFL as a player who was known for his hard work ethic and his intense loyalty to the team. Fisher was a stable member of the NFL family and become one of the most beloved with fans as well as those who worked with him.  He spent fifteen years as coach of the Tennessee Titans.  Fisher established the longest tenure of any head coach within the organization and during the time that he served.  He not only built a solid reputation that commanded the respect from his cohorts, he also built a fairly nice nest egg in the process.

10. Tom Coughlin- Net worth: $16 million

Tom Coughlin is known for his colorful language both on and off of the field. He's got a set of lungs and he knows how to use them, but even though he has an old school toughness about him, he's known as a coach that has motivated his players to play some of their finest football.  Coughlin spent 12 seasons with the National Football League and is known as one of the most respected coached ever, particularly during his time with the Giants.  Coughlin began coaching at the Rochester Institute of Technology as head coach. He spent three years with this team before moving on to Syracuse University as a QB coach.  Currently Couglin's an executive withe Jacksonville Jaguars (who he also coached prior to his stay with the Giants).

9. Mike Holmgren -Net worth: $16 million

Holmgren is native of San Francisco, California and was born in 1948. He began his football career as QB for USC winning a national championship. The St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in the 1970 NFL Draft. His career as a player didn't pan out very well and he eventually moved into coaching. His first job was as offensive coordinator for a series of high school teams. He also coached for several college teams throughout the 1970s and 80s. He joined the NFL as QB coach for the San Francisco 49ers, then moved up to offensive coordinator for the team. In 1992, he became the head coach for the Green Bay Packers, then for the Seattle Seahawks from 1999 to 2008. After the Hawks, he became team president of the Cleveland Browns. During his career as an NFL coach, he won three NFC Championships and one Super Bowl.

8. Mike Tomlin - Net worth: $16 million

Mike Tomlin is currently the head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He built his net worth while becoming one of the youngest coaches in the history of the NFL as well as being the first black head coach of the Steelers. Tomlin has never played professional ball, but he was a high school football player. He began coaching football as a wide receiver coach for Virginia Military Institute. He went on to coach various positions for college teams prior to joining the NFL as assistant coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His first head coaching job was in 2007 for the Pittsburgh Steelers, taking them to their victory of Super Bowl XLIII. He is the youngest head coach to lead a winning team in a Super Bowl at the age of just 36.

7. Steve Mariucci - Net worth: $16 million

Steve Mariucci is a native of Iron Mountain, Michigan. He played QB for Northern Michigan University, earning the distinction of three-time All American, including a a win of the NCAA division II National Football Championship. He also played for a brief time for the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger Cats. He began his coaching career in 1978, working with college teams. He joined the NFL in 1992 as the QB coach for the Green Bay Packers, coaching Brett Favre. He left for a head coaching job with the San Francisco 49ers, leading them to the NFC Championship game. He also served as head coach for the Detroit Lions. After ending his coaching career, he became an analyst, working with the NFL Network.

6. Gary Kubiak - Net worth: $18 million

Gary Kubiac is a Houston, Texas native who played football, basketball, track and field and baseball during his high school years. After graduation, he played football for Texas A&M, setting a conference record in his junior year. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 1983 and continued playing for them through 1991. His coaching career began in 1992 at Texas A&M. He joined the NFL as QB coach for the San Francisco 49ers, winning Super Bowl XXIX. He then moved to offensive coordinator and QB coach for the Broncos, winning two Super Bowl titles. He has also coached the Houston Texans and the Baltimore Ravens. He's currently head coach of the Broncos.

5. Andy Reid - Net worth: $20 million

Andy Reid is a native of Los Angeles, California  who attended BYU playing offensive guard. After graduation, he landed an assistant coaching job, then became offensive line coach for a variety of different schools. He joined the NFL as assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers during the early '90s. He then moved on in 1999 to become head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. The team had one of the worst records that was ever recorded in the history of the league, but under his guidance, they rallied to win the Eastern Division title for times from 2001 to 2004. The team went on to win the NFC Championship and made it to Super Bowl XXXIX, but lost. Reid has the record for being the head coach with the longest tenure for an NFL team.  Currently he's head coaching the Kansas City Chiefs.

5. Pete Carroll - Net worth $20 million

Pete Carroll has made waves as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks and is one of the few that took his college success and made it work in the NFL.  He is known as a players' coach and uses positive reinforcement to bring his team together in a common goal.  The Hawks have achieved six divisional round playoff appearances and they also made it to the Super Bowl two consecutive years in a row with a win in the first go. Carroll initially spent fifteen years coaching in the NFL, but decided that it was time for him to go back to school. After coaching USC and turning their program into a force to be reckoned with, he then rejoined the NFL.  He's all set with a contract extension to stay with the Hawks through 2019 and we'll see what they pull out of their hats this season.

4. Don Shula - Net worth: $30 Million

Don Shula started out as a player for the Cleveland Browns in 1951, moving to the Baltimore Colts, then the Washington Redskins. He began his coaching career as head coach for the Baltimore Colts in 1963. During his coaching stint with the Colts, the team won 71 games only losing 23. He went on to coach the Miami Dolphins in 1970 and during this time he earned the distinction of becoming the first coach in the NFL history to ever win 100 games in ten seasons. The Dolphins, under his leadership, went undefeated through their entire season, including the playoffs and a nice tidy Super Bowl win in the 1972-3 year. He has earned a part of his massive net worth through his coaching career, but his investments in a steakhouse chain and a line of condiments have also contributed to the fortune that he now has. He is the fourth richest NFL coach of all time.

3. Mike Shanahan - Net worth: $30 Million

Mike Shanahan is a native of Oak Park, Illinois and began his football career as a player. He has a very interesting back story. As a teen, he and a friend were in a motorcycle accident that claimed the life of his buddy, but Mike survived. The following year as he was playing football during his junior year at spring football practice for Eastern Illinois, he experienced a near fatal hit.

His kidney had been split in half. It was an emergency trip to the hospital a few hours before physicians knew if he would survive the injury. The family even called in a priest to administer last rites. His heart had actually stopped beating during the tragedy. It was a miracle that he fully recovered, but he was informed that he could never play football again.

Since he had such a profound love for the game, he turned to the option of coaching. He accepted several different jobs coaching in various capacities for college teams. He joined the NFL as the wide receiver’s coach for the Denver Broncos. After one season, he was promoted to the job of offensive coordinator and this was the year that Shanahan led the team on to the Super Bowl in 1986 and then again in 1987.

It was clear that he was on a roll, even though neither year saw a win. He took a year off and then joined the Washington Redskins. He was fired as coach after a really rough season. Even though Shanahan has had his share of ups and down, he remains one of the most famous coaches in NFL history with 148 career wins, as well as being the third richest NFL coach of all time.

2. Bill Belichick Net worth: $35 million

Bill Belichick is arguably the best coach in the history of the NFL.  He's also the second riches NFL coach of all time with a net worth of $35 million. The native of Nashville, Tennessee serves as the head coach of the New England Patriots where he's taken them to what appears to be countless Superbowls winning an astounding 5 of them. . He first started coaching with the Baltimore Colts in 1975. He moved on as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, then on as head coach for the Cleveland Browns.  He landed with the Patriots in 2000 where the rest as they say is history.

1. Jimmy Johnson - Net worth: $40 million

Jimmy Johnson is the richest coach NFL history. With a current net worth of $40 million, he's built a fortune coaching, but he's also built a legacy. He began his career as a football coach in 1965 as an assistant coach for Louisiana Tech University. He assumed coaching positions for a variety of colleges, rebuilding the struggling University of Miami team, and turning around their losing streak.

The team that had previously had many more losses than wins went on to have an undefeated year under his guidance. He left Miami to join the NFL as coach of the Dallas Cowboys. The team went on to victory in two consecutive Super Bowl Championships back in the 90s.  He left Dallas to take the job of head coach for the Miami Dolphins.  While he didn't achieve the same success that he'd had with the Cowboys Johnson is considered one of the finest coaches in NFL history.  He has gone on to become one of the bigger news personalities for football.

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Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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