2. Blanton Collier: 1963-1970
Blanton Collier had two separate stints with the Cleveland Browns, both thanks to legendary head coach Paul Brown. He was hired as an assistant coach under Brown in 1946 and was part of the incredible run of dominance in the AAFC. After four titles there, he helped the Browns win again in the NFL until the 1954 season, which was when he took a head coaching job at the University of Kentucky.
Colier was the Wildcats coach for eight seasons and boasted a record of 41-36-3. Once he was let go by the university, Brown and Collier reconnected and he was signed again as an assistant in 1962. This time, he remained an assistant for only one season.
Brown and team owner Art Modell had a power struggle which led to Brown’s departure and the promotion of Collier. Known as a real student of the game, Collier was well-liked by the players who had also taken some issue with Brown.
Collier was also considered a real stand-up guy and he felt loyalty to Brown, so he made sure his former boss was okay with him succeeding him. Once Brown gave him the thumbs up, he once again made the team a powerhouse.
In his first two seasons, Collier won 10 games and was the NFL Champion in 1964. He never coached them to a losing season, with a 7-7 mark in 1970 as his worst performance. Overall, Collier was 76-34-2 with a 3-4 mark in the postseason.
He never had the success of Brown but he kept the team relevant and that’s a lot more than we can say for some of the many coaches who have followed.