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The wrong former AFC West Head Coach was nominated into the Hall of Fame

Tom Flores is going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a coach. Mike Shanahan and Dan Reeves are getting passed over once again.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Flores is the last head coach to make and keep the Oakland, Los Angeles, Oakland, Las Vegas Raiders relevant. He led the Raiders to two Super Bowl victories, had a playoff record of eight wins and three losses, and an overall record of 83-53 with the Raiders. His enshrinement is partially due to his playoff record with the Raiders and partially due to his two Super Bowl victories. You can judge for yourself how much of a role each played in his enshrinement.

His three year stint as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks (who were in the AFC West at that point) was quite terrible. He compiled a record of 14-34 there, so he was 30 games over .500 with the Raiders and 20 games under with the Seahawks. He was 97-87 overall as a head coach.

He currently stands at 44th in all-time coaching victories. Usually 44th is not good enough to get you into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There are 24 coaches with more head coaching wins than he has who are not currently in the Hall of Fame including Marty Schottenheimer (who is 8th), Dan Reeves (who is 10th), Chuck Knox (who is 11th) and Mike Shanahan (who is 15th). Andy Reid and Bill Belichick are also way ahead of Flores, but both will be in the Hall after they retire. Schottenheimer had more than twice as many total victories (200) and Reeves had almost twice as many (190).

From a winning percentage perspective Flores is 77th. Again, 77th generally doesn’t get you into the Hall of Fame. So what did get Flores into the Hall of Fame? It has to be the two Super Bowl victories, right?

So let’s look at the playoff records of two former Denver Broncos head coaches, Reeves and Shanahan. Reeves, of course, never won the big game despite getting two different franchises there a total of four times. Reeves was only 11-9 in the playoffs (but he finished with a better winning percentage than Flores). So what about Shanahan?

Mike Shanahan, who also has two Super Bowl victories under his belt, had a career playoff record of 8-6. So maybe that is why Flores is getting in while Shanny is not (at least not yet). Only 13 NFL head coaches have led their teams to two or more Super Bowl victories. The only two who currently are not in the Hall of Fame are Flores and Shanahan.

For what its worth, Shanny, like Flores, had a similarly poor “second act” (yes, I know Shanny was the head coach in Oakland before Denver) as a head coach when he compiled a 24-40 record as the head coach in Washington. He did lead them to the playoffs in one of his four seasons there, though. Flores never got close to leading the Seahawks to the playoffs. The best he did was 6-10.

The expectation is that Shanahan should be inducted soon. I doubt that Dan Reeves ever will despite being 10th all time on the wins list. I expect that both he and Jeff Fisher will never have the honor of donning the gold jacket.


Who is the most HOF worthy head coach on this list:

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Tom Flores
    (43 votes)
  • 8%
    Dan Reeves
    (65 votes)
  • 85%
    Mike Shanahan
    (641 votes)
749 votes total Vote Now