Top 20 coaches of all time

Most modern coaches have long way to go to catch the greats

Updated: June 11, 2013, 2:39 PM ET
By Herm Edwards | ESPN Insider

Coaching in the NFL isn't an easy job. But there are certain guys who stand above the rest and have sustained periods of success. And it doesn't always happen right away. Tom Landry, one of the best coaches of all time, went 0-11-1 in his first season with the Dallas Cowboys; Bill Parcells was 3-12-1 in his first season with the New York Giants; and even the great Bill Walsh was 2-14 with the San Francisco 49ers in 1979.

It takes time to develop a personal style that resonates with the players and it can take time to get the personnel in place to fit your style. And part of what you need is a patient organization that lets you perfect your style and get those players. One theme running among my picks for the top coaches in NFL history is that ownership gave them a chance after their initial struggles. And in most cases, they rewarded that ownership with a Super Bowl title or two. Here are my top 20 coaches of all time: