12 Eagles Coaches!! The franchise was established on July 8, 1933, and there have been 24 head coaches of the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL. Nick Sirianni has been the head coach of the Eagles since the 2021-2022 season.
The Eagles are based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and joined the league as an expansion team in 1933. They are members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC.)
Since their first season in 1933, the team has appeared in 29 playoffs and won four League championships, five Conference championships, and 16 Division championships.
The Eagles will compete for their second Super Bowl title at the Super Bowl LVII against the Kansas City Chiefs on February 12, 2023.
Four of the 24 head coaches who served for the Eagles have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But in this article, we are looking at the first 12 Eagles coaches.
So fasten your seatbelt as we travel back in time to look at the first 12 of the 24 head coaches of the Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s go!
First, take a look at the highlights of our 12 Eagles Coaches!
|12. Ed Khayat||1971-1972|
|11. Jerry Williams||1969-1971|
|10. Joe Kuharich||1964-1968|
|9. Nick Skorich||1961-1963|
|8. Buck Shaw||1958-1960|
|7. Hugh Devore||1956-1957|
|6. Jim Trimble||1952-1955|
|5. Wayne Millner||1951|
|4. Bo McMillin||1951|
|3. Greasy Neale||1941-1950|
|2. Bert Bell||1936-1940|
|1. Lud Wray||1933-1935|
12 Eagles Coaches
We have prepared our list with references from Wikipedia.org as our primary source.
12. Ed Khayat
The twelfth on the list is a former player and coach, Ed Khayat. He served as the franchise’s head coach from 1971 to 1972.
Khayat spent 36 years in NFL, where he played as a professional player for ten years and spent the remaining 26 years as a coach. He made his NFL debut as a player in 1957 after being signed as a free agent by the Washington Redskins.
In 1967, Khayat began his coaching career with New Orleans Saints. The following year, he was appointed the head coach for the Eagles.
Khayat was named head coach three games into the season. A little fact, he earned widespread resentment from the Eagles players when he imposed draconian hair and dress codes.
With the Eagles, he had an 8-15-2 record in the regular season.
11. Jerry Williams
Number 11 on the list of the first 12 Eagles coaches was a former football player and coach, Jerry Williams. He was in the head coach position for the franchise from 1969 to 1971.
As a player, Williams made his NFL debut in 1949, playing for the Los Angeles Rams. Then from 1953 to 1954, he also played for the Eagles.
From 1957 to 1963, he returned to the franchise as the team’s defensive backs coach. After handling the position of head coach for the Calgary Stampeders from 1965-1968, he was hired as the head coach for the Eagles from 1969-1971.
Williams compiled a 7-22-2 record, and the Eagles released him after losing the first three games of the 1971 season.
10. Joe Kuharich
The tenth coach on our list of the first 12 Eagles coaches is Joe Kuharich, who handled the head coach position from 1964 to 1968.
As a player, Kuharich started playing professional football in 1935 for Notre Dame. Similarly, he also played in the NFL for the Chicago Cardinals. His coaching debut was in 1946 as a line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
When Kuharich joined the Eagles as their coach, the franchise had gone through an unsteady season in 1964. However, he could not make many improvements either, as the team continued facing losses.
The only winning season for the Eagles under Kuharich came in the 1966 season when they posted a 9-5 record. The franchise recorded some of the worst records during his tenure.
Kuharich was the first coach to wear a wireless microphone for NFL Films. His final record with the Eagles was 28-41-1 with a .407 winning percentage.
9. Nick Skorich
Next on the list is another former football player who transitioned into a coach, Nick Skorich. He was the Eagles’ head coach for three seasons from 1961 to 1963.
For a brief period from 1946 to 1948, Skorich played professional football for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then in 1949, he started his coaching career as the Central Catholic HS (PA) head coach.
Prior to becoming the head coach, Skorich worked as an assistant coach for the Eagles from 1959 to 1960. He was promoted as the head coach when Buck Shaw retired from the position.
The Eagles won 10 of 14 games in the first season of his coaching. However, in the following seasons, Skorich failed to keep the success rate and, thus, got fired by the franchise. His coaching record for the team was 15-24-3.
8. Buck Shaw
Buck Shaw is the eighth head coach on our list of the first 12 Eagles coaches. The former player-turned-coach served in the position for the franchise from 1958 to 1960.
Shaw played professional football for a brief period from 1918 to 1921. He began his coaching career in 1924 with NC State. His NFL coaching debut was in 1946 with the San Francisco 49ers.
When Shaw became the head coach for the franchise, he immediately worked on rebuilding the team. His contribution helped the team advance to the 1960 NFL championship and won the title.
The win made him the oldest head coach to win the NFL championship at age 61.
Similarly, Shaw won the AP Coach of the Year and UPI NFL Coach of the Year the same season. After winning the 1960 championship, he retired.
7. Hugh Devore
The seventh Eagles coach was Hugh Devore from 1956 to 1957. He was a former professional player before becoming a coach.
From 1931 to 1933, Devore played professional football for Notre Dame. In 1934, he made his coaching debut as a freshman at Notre Dame.
In 1953, he made his NFL coaching debut as an assistant for the Green Bay Packers, and later in 1956, he was assigned the head coach position at the Philadelphia Eagles.
Devore spent two seasons with the Eagles, during which he struggled and failed to achieve notable wins.
During his two-year tenure, his compiled record was 7-16-1. As a result of the poor record, Devore was fired from the position on January 11, 1958.
6. Jim Trimble
Jim Trimble was the sixth head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. The former gridiron football coach served in the position from 1952 to 1955.
As their assistant coach, Trimble made his coaching debut with the Eagles in 1951. When he was appointed in the head coach position, he became the youngest NFL head coach of the time and was for decades.
In his first three seasons with the team, the Eagles finished second to the Cleveland Browns each season. After the Browns defeated the team in the 1955 NFL season, the Eagles fired Trimble.
His compiled record during his four years with the team was 25-20-3. Trimble is among the few in the sport’s history to retire with a Super Bowl Ring and Grey Cup Ring.
Similarly, his legacy is connected with the modern-day Slingshot Goal Post.
5. Wayne Millner
Wayne Millner was a former professional football player known for his clutch play as an offensive and defensive end. He was the fifth Eagles head coach who served in the position for one season in 1951.
Millner made his debut and played for the Washington Redskins from 1936 to 1941 and in 1945. Similarly, he made his coaching debut in 1949 as an assistant for the Chicago Hornets.
In 1951, Millner was hired as an assistant coach for the Eagles. But when the then head coach Bo McMillin was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer, he was appointed the interim head coach.
However, his Eagles tenure was brief, and he resigned from the position before the start of the 1952 NFL season. His reason for leaving was health problems.
4. Bo McMillin
On number 4, we have the College Football Hall of Famer, Bo McMillin. He was a former football player and coach at the collegiate and professional levels.
As a player, McMillin played as a quarterback from 1917 to 1922. He made his football coaching career debut in 1922 with the Centenary. Similarly, he worked as a basketball coach from 1925 to 1928.
McMillin was hired as the Eagles’ head coach on February 8, 1951. Under his coaching, the team won two games; however, he had to undergo surgery after the win.
Soon McMillin was diagnosed with stomach cancer and as a result, his coaching career ended. He died of a heart attack on March 31, 1952.
3. Greasy Neale
The third coach on our list for the first 12 Eagles coaches is Greasy Neale. He was a former football and baseball player, and coach who served as the head coach for the Eagles from 1941 to 1950.
From 1913 to 1919, Neale played professional football. He began coaching in 1915 for the Muskingum while still being a professional player.
Under his skillful coaching, the Eagles finished in first place three times during the six seasons and in second place three times. Similarly, they also won the NFL championship in 1948 and 1949.
Those wins made the Eagles the first team to win back-to-back titles since the 1940-41 seasons. Neale was awarded the Sporting News Coach of the Year in 1948.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969 and the Eagles Hall of Fame in 1987. For the Eagles, he had a 63-43-5 record.
2. Bert Bell
Bert Bell was an NFL commissioner from 1946 until he died in 1959 and the second head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1936 to 1940. He contributed to making the NFL a financially sound enterprise and a prominent sports attraction in America.
Bell is also credited for promoting NFL’s popularity and improving its commercial viability. He made his debut as an assistant coach for Penn in 1920.
From 1933 to 1940, he was the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, and worked as the head coach from 1936 to 1940. However, the team could not make any breakthrough during his tenure.
Moreover, the franchise recorded their worst ever record during Bell’s tenure. The 1938 season was the Eagles’ first profitable season, and they finished the 1940 season with a 1-40 record.
Statistically, Bell’s coaching tenure was the worst in the franchise’s history, with a .185 win/loss percentage.
1. Lud Wray
Lud Wray was the first-ever head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a former player, coach, and co-founder of the franchise, along with his college teammate Bert Bell.
Wray played professionally from 1918 to 1922 and then moved on to a coaching career. In 1923, he began as an assistant coach for Penn.
Bert Bell convinced Wray to become head coach for the Eagles in 1933. His tenure spanned from 1933 to 1935, during which the team could not make notable achievements.
The franchise suffered significant financial losses by 1936. Consequently, it was put up for sale at a public auction, and on April 28, 1936, Wray parted his way with the Philadelphia Eagles.
So these were the first 12 Eagles coaches, and the current head coach is Nick Sirianni. Jeffrey Lurie is the owner and CEO of the franchise.
The Philadelphia Eagles are among the best NFL teams, and since the 1999 season, they have sold out every game. In attendance also, the Eagles are one of the best in the league.
Some Honorable Mentions
- Pro Football Weekly Coach of the Year (1979)
- Sporting News Coach of the Year (1979)
- UPI NFC Coach of the Year (1978)
- AP Coach of the Year (1995)
- Sporting News Coach of the Year (1995)
- UPI NFC Coach of the Year (1995)
- AP Coach of the Year (2002)
- Pro Football Weekly Coach of the Year (2002)
- Sporting News Coach of the Year (2000, 2002)
- NFL Super Bowl LII Championship (2018)