Featured image for blog post on the 1992 NFL Head Coaching Carousel. It shows Mike Holmgren talking with Bill Cowher
      Coaches

      In Depth Look at the 1992 NFL Head Coaching Hires

      The 1992 NFL season witnessed a significant coaching shakeup, with nine teams welcoming new head coaches. Among them, the Green Bay Packers stood out, hiring Mike Holmgren, arguably the standout coach of the class, who never experienced a losing season during his tenure in Green Bay. However, not all teams enjoyed the same success.

      Second Stints

      Two coaches returned to helm teams they had previously led.

      Ted Marchibroda coached the Baltimore Colts from 1975 until 1979 and made the playoffs three times but never won a game. His second run with the Indianapolis Colts wasn’t much better. He had several average seasons before making a playoff run in 1995 only to fall to fellow 1992 hire Bill Cowher in the AFC Championship game. 

      Similarly, Chuck Knox coached the Rams from 1973 until 1977 and won 10 or more games each season. He made the playoffs each season but was eliminated by either the Cowboys or Vikings and never made it to a Super Bowl. In his second stint with the Rams was not nearly as successful. He won 6 games in his first year, which was a 3 game improvement from John Robinson’s team the year prior, but each subsequent year was worse.

      From One Team to Another

      Two coaches found new homes in 1992 after being fired or resigning from their 1991 teams. 

      Sam Wyche was ousted by the Bengals after a 3-13 record in 1991. It was only three years after their last minute Super Bowl loss to the 49ers at the end of the 1988 season. He would replace Richard Williamson in Tampa after he also went 3-13 in 1991. Wyche would never make the playoffs during his tenure in Tampa.

      Chuck Knox, leaving the Seahawks to return to the Rams, faced similar challenges, unable to recreate the achievements of his earlier coaching days.

      Super Bowl Coaches

      Three coaches from the 1992 coaching carousel ultimately made it to the Super Bowl. Bobby Ross was the first coach of this class to reach the Super Bowl by beating fellow 1992 coaching class coach Bill Cowher in the 1994 AFC Championship Game. The Chargers would get blown out by the 49ers in the Super Bowl and would be there only Super Bowl appearance to date.

      A year after losing to Ross and the Chargers, Cowher and Steelers beat the Ted Marchibroda led Colts to claim a spot in Super Bowl XXX. They would face the Cowboys, who had beaten Mike Holmgren and the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. The Cowboys would win a close contest. Although Cowher had a lot of wins and playoff appearances, it wouldn’t be until the 2005 season when he made it back to the Super Bowl again. This time he faced fellow 1992 coaching classmate Mike Holmgren, but Holmgren now led the Seattle Seahawks instead of the Packers. This time Cowher would win the Super Bowl. He would retire from coaching a year later.

      A year after losing to the Dallas Cowboys in the 1995 NFC Championship game, Mike Holmgren led the Green Bay Packers to a 13-3 record and home field advantage in the playoffs. They beat the Carolina Panthers to make it to Super Bowl XXXI where they faced Bill Parcells and the Patriots. The Packers would win 35-21 to become the first coach from the 1992 class to win a championship. They would make the Super Bowl the next year before losing to the Denver Broncos in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.

      Coaching Carousel Winners and Losers

      The three best coaches from this class were Holmgren, Cowher, and Dennis Green of the Vikings. They consistently had their teams in the playoffs and playing meaningful football in January. 

      The worst coaches were Tom Flores, David Shula, Sam Wyche, and Chuck Knox. Those coaches never made the playoffs with their team. Flores took a good team and ran it into the ground while the others were never able to rebuild poor teams.

      Tom Flores – Seattle Seahawks

      • Team Record Previous Year: 7-9
      • Team Record First Year: 2-14
      • Record with Team: 14-34
      • Playoff Appearances With Team: 0
      • Super Bowl Appearances With Team: 0
      • Championships Won With Team: 0
      • Years Coached With Team: 3
      • Best Record With Team: 6-10
      • Worst Record With Team: 2-14

      Sam Wyche – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

      • Team Record Previous Year: 3-13
      • Team Record First Year: 5-11
      • Record with Team: 23-41
      • Playoff Appearances With Team: 0
      • Super Bowl Appearances With Team: 0
      • Championships Won With Team: 0
      • Years Coached With Team: 4
      • Best Record With Team: 7-9
      • Worst Record With Team: 5-11

      David Shula – Cincinnati Bengals

      • Team Record Previous Year: 3-13
      • Team Record First Year: 5-11
      • Record with Team: 19-52
      • Playoff Appearances With Team: 0
      • Super Bowl Appearances With Team: 0
      • Championships Won With Team: 0
      • Years Coached With Team: 5
      • Best Record With Team: 7-9
      • Worst Record With Team: 1-6

      Chuck Knox – Los Angeles Rams

      • Team Record Previous Year: 3-13
      • Team Record First Year: 6-10
      • Record with Team: 15-33
      • Playoff Appearances With Team: 0
      • Super Bowl Appearances With Team: 0
      • Championships Won With Team: 0
      • Years Coached With Team: 3
      • Best Record With Team: 6-10
      • Worst Record With Team: 4-12

      Ted Marchibroda – Indianapolis Colts

      • Team Record Previous Year: 1-15
      • Team Record First Year: 9-7
      • Record with Team: 30-34
      • Playoff Appearances With Team: 1
      • Super Bowl Appearances With Team: 0
      • Championships Won With Team: 0
      • Years Coached With Team: a
      • Best Record With Team: 9-7
      • Worst Record With Team: 4-12

      Bobby Ross – San Diego Chargers

      • Team Record Previous Year: 4-12
      • Team Record First Year: 11-5
      • Record with Team: 47-33
      • Playoff Appearances With Team: 3
      • Super Bowl Appearances With Team: 1
      • Championships Won With Team: 0
      • Years Coached With Team: 5
      • Best Record With Team: 11-5
      • Worst Record With Team: 8-8

      Dennis Green – Minnesota Vikings

      • Team Record Previous Year: 8-8
      • Team Record First Year: 11-5
      • Record with Team: 97-62
      • Playoff Appearances With Team: 8
      • Super Bowl Appearances With Team: 0
      • Championships Won With Team: 0
      • Years Coached With Team: a
      • Best Record With Team: 15-1
      • Worst Record With Team: 5-10

      Bill Cowher – Pittsburgh Steelers

      • Team Record Previous Year: 7-9
      • Team Record First Year: 11-5
      • Record with Team: 149-90-1
      • Playoff Appearances With Team: 10
      • Super Bowl Appearances With Team: 2
      • Championships Won With Team: 1
      • Years Coached With Team: 15
      • Best Record With Team: 15-1
      • Worst Record With Team: 6-10

      Mike Holmgren – Green Bay Packers

      • Team Record Previous Year: 4-12
      • Team Record First Year: 9-7
      • Record with Team: 84-42
      • Playoff Appearances With Team: 6
      • Super Bowl Appearances With Team: 2
      • Championships Won With Team: 1
      • Years Coached With Team: 7
      • Best Record With Team: 13-3
      • Worst Record With Team: 9-7

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