Being a head coach in the NFL is a tough job. You are tasked to handle several dozens men hell bent on hitting the juices out of their opponents. You need to make sure that everyone is on the same page so that the team can hit the ground running as the NFL has a short regular season of 16 games; at the same time, you need to ensure that the team hits its peak at just the right moment. Just one slip-up or major injury can significantly derail expectations.
These are why NFL coaches command top dollar. Here is a list of the top 10 highest paid coaches in the NFL.
10. Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers – $5 million
Mike McCarthy is the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, where he grew up as a Steelers fan. He played tight end in college at Baker University in Kansas. He first worked at the University of Pittsburgh under Paul Hackett, serving as quarterback and wide receivers coach. He then worked for the Kansas City Chiefs, the Packers, the New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers. He became the Packers’ head coach in 2006, winning the Super Bowl in 2010.
9. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers – $5.75 million
Mike Tomlin is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played tight end for the College of William and Mary while in college. He was then part of the coaching staff of Arkansas State and Cincinnati. He then joined the NFL and became a coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Minnesota Vikings. In 2007, he was appointed as head coach of the Steelers. He won the Super Bowl in 2008.
8. Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles – $6.5 million
Chip Kelly is the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. He played quarterback in high school and defensive back in college at the University of New Hampshire. He was part of the coaching staff of Columbia, New Hampshire, Johns Hopkins and Oregon, before becoming the head coach of the University of Oregon in 2009. He was consensus Coach of the Year in 2010 and led the team to the Pac 10/Pac 12 crowns from 2009 to 2011. He was appointed head coach of the Eagles this year.
7. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants – $6.67 million
Tom Coughlin is the head coach of the New York Giants. He played halfback for Syracuse in college, setting the school’s single season pass receiving record. He then became part of the staff of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse and Boston College. He then became a wide receivers coach in the NFL for the Eagles, Packers and Giants. Boston College lured him back to the college game as its head coach in 1991, before the Jacksonville Jaguars appointed him head coach in 1995. In 2004, he moved to the Giants, which he led to the Super Bowl in 2007 and 2011.
6. Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins – $7 million
Mike Shanahan is the head coach of the Washington Redskins. He played quarterback for Eastern Illinois in college. He was part of the coaching staff of several college programs before he joined the Denver Broncos as its offensive coordinator in 1984. He became the head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders in 1988, then went back to the Broncos before moving to the 49ers as the offensive coordinator. In 1995, he became the head coach of the Broncos and led the team and John Elway to two straight Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998. He moved to the Redskins in 2010.
5. Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams – $7 million
Jeff Fisher is the head coach of the St. Louis Rams. He played for the University of Southern California in college, before joining the Chicago Bears in the NFL. He earned a ring in the Bears’ Super Bowl triumph in 1985, though he was injured the entire year. He then became a defensive coordinator or coach for the Bears, Eagles, Rams, 49ers and the Houston Oilers. In 1994, he was appointed head coach of the Oilers, which later on became the Tennessee Titans. The team won the AFC in 1999.
4. Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks – $7 million
Pete Carroll is the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. He played as a free safety for the University of the Pacific in college. He then became part of the coaching staff for several college programs before joining the Buffalo Bills in the NFL. He was also the defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Jets, before the Jets made him head coach in 1994. He moved to the 49ers as a defensive coordinator, then became head coach of the Patriots in 1997. In 2001, he went back to the college game as head coach of USC. In 2010, he was appointed by the Seahawks to coach the team.
3. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs – $7.5 million
Andy Reid is the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. After stints in several college programs, he joined the Packers in 1992 as an offensive assistant. In 1999, he was appointed head coach of the Eagles, becoming Coach of the Year in 2002. He moved to the Chiefs in 2013.
2. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots – $7.5 million
Bill Belichick is the head coach of the New England Patriots. He played center and tight end for Wesleyan University in college. He joined the NFL as a special assistant for the Baltimore Colts in 1975. He became part of the staff for the Detroit Lions, Broncos, and Giants, before becoming head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 1991. After stops with the Patriots and the Jets, he became head coach of the Patriots in 2000, leading the team to three Super Bowls in the process.
1. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints – $8 million
Sean Payton is the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. He played quarterback for Eastern Illinois in college. He then coached at the college level before joining the Eagles in 1997. He also had stops with the Giants and the Dallas Cowboys before he was appointed head coach of the Saints in 2006. He won the Super Bowl in 2009.