Greatest Coach Of All Time

I did a subject search and to my shock this has not been covered.

Question for debate is : who is the greatest coach ?

1 - Frank Clair

2 - Bud Grant

3 - Hugh Campbell

4 - Don Mathews

5 - Wally Buono

6 - Audible to another coach not mentioned.

There are variables involved: wins / seasons active / championships / strategy.

What I mean by strategy is like when in the 03 GC , Don Mathews started 2 rookie db's and Ricky Ray ripped them apart.
Bad strategy and did not make the change in the second half.

As a Stamps and Lions fan Wally Buono drove me nuts as he was always to loyal to starting qb's

In Calgary he should have switched to Jeff Garcia in the 95 GC.When it was clear Doug Flutie could not handle the conditions or defense .
In 99 he should have pulled an injured Dave Dickenson in the GC in favor of strong arm Mike Mccoy.
In the 04 GC he started Dave Dickenson while MOP Casey Printers sat on the bench.

He is top regular season coach , but may have cost himself a couple of rings.

Sorry Cats fans,

I missed Ralph Sazio on my list.

thank goodness/Buono for that. :stuck_out_tongue:

McCoy seemingly had a hot hand every single time he was inserted into the lineup that year.
a shame he retired at such a young age and after only 1 season of play as he could have had a great career up here.


Cal Murphy should be considered. He had nine Grey Cup rings ! Must have done something right.

I thought about him . He got most of his rings as an assistant though. He was a genius coach regardless.

No contest, Hugh Campbell. :cowboy:

He took over a good team from Ray Jauch then built a dynasty that will never be matched. Not only won 5 in a row , but mentored 2 greats as well. I would say his best year as a coach was 82. Esks were 3-5 in last place. Went on a 8 game win streak then 2 more in the play-offs.

Annis Stukus, I just like the name. Gives a whole new meaning to a coach calling a player a “dumb ass”

I guess it would have to be Cito Gaston… As for TFC’s greatest head coach…hmmmmmm…
Anyways… Wally was a choke artist in the playoffs… You have to go with Campbell or Mathews… Mathews got stained a bit coming back for 0-7 with the Argos

It felt like Campbell coached forever. However it was only 6 years, an unbelievably successful 6 years. He only coached one more year than did Trestman. Like Trestman, Campbell really was an abject two year failure as an NFL head coach.

I think you have to go with Buono who had to build and maintain two different teams, a multitude of QBs and went on to record the most wins and was a career coach.

Credit to Mathews as well but he had a short shelf life wherever he went.

Certainly Hufnagel is in this class as well as a current guy. We may be looking at Kent Austin soon in this way too. However I always get the feeling he has one foot out the door. Although it will be a snowy day in hell before NFL looks to CFL again for a HC.

I have to put in a word for Bud Grant here. He took teams to the GC in 1957, 58, 59, 61, 62 and 65: four GC wins and two losses over 9 years. 1960 should have been a gimme after a 14-2 regular season but Ploen got injured in the playoffs. Won Coach of the Year 1965.

Unlike Campbell and Trestman he was a success in the NFL too, with 4 Super Bowl appearances and 1969 Coach of the Year.

Yeah.. If you asked a general fan of gridiron football in the world, I'm pretty sure that Grant and Levy would win hands down. Former CFL coaches are 0-8 in the Super Bowl.. After Trestman debackle... It will be decades until a former CFL coach gets to make it 1-8.. Or even 0-9.

Systems, procedures, delegating, assessing talent, managing men - these are all qualities at which Wally Buono excelled as a Head Coach, and a big reason why he has more wins than any other CFL head coach.

However, where he was weak IMHO, was in-game decision making and conservatism. For example, I recall one game in Regina where he had McCallum punt through the end zone to effectively win the game, where a field goal would have cinched it. A dodgy strategy at best. The punt didn’t travel far enough and we lost.

Then there was the time in Montreal where we had 5 cracks from the 1 to score and insisted on running up the gut each time. We lost that one too.

Dave Dickenson was not the reason BC lost to Toronto in the 2004 Grey Cup. But there’s no question in mind when things bogged down in the 2nd half the league’s MOP could have come off the bench and ignited the squad. Also, the decision to continually punt away from Levingston backfired big time. O’Mahoney CONSTANTLY punted short (one punt travelled 9 yards) and gave the Argos excellent field position each time.

Great Topic.

Hard for me to evaluate coaches like Clair & Grant & Sazio etc since they were either before my time or I was quite young at the time. So, as far as not selecting either of them is not meant with any disrespect since I am sure they are more than deserving.

I would have to go with “The Don”. Know quite a few guys who played for him and they all say the same thing; “Best Coach They Ever Played For!” Hands down - no hesitation - it’s the first thing that comes out of their mouths.

Modern Era: Don Mathews

1960's and previous: Bud Grant

Actually to my mind (where Truth resides, and recuperates after battling MadJack :wink: ) if only Kenny hadn't been injured and the Bombers had won the 1960 Grey Cup, Grant would have had the 5 Cups in a row a couple of decades before Campbell.

Who won the most games?

1 Don Schula 347
2 George Halas 324
3 Bud Grant 280 (Nfl & Cfl)
4 Wally Buono 276 (incl playoffs)
5 Tom Landry 270
? Don Mathews 250 (incl playoffs)

I didn't realize that Buono was that close to Grant's record.

My apologies.

When I started this thread , I should have stated CFL coach. I just assumed that because this is a CFL forum and all the coaches I listed were in the CFL that it was implied.

My bad. Next time I will be more clear.

Sorry, it was my post that was confusing. I listed the winningest coaches in history but should have bolded the CFL guys.

I meant to imply that Grant was the best.