Five Big-Named NFL Coaches That You Probably Forgot Played For the Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles sure have had a lot of players suit up for their storied franchise. Some former Birds have gone on to the other side of the ball and became successful head coaches in the National Football League, while others have ended up as coordinators. The following list is compiled of some of the most well-known head coaches the league has ever seen, who got their start in this business wearing green jerseys on the gridiron.

Bud Grant

The Eagles were the only team that the greatest Vikings coach of all time would play for. He was in Philadelphia from 1951-1952, but he finished his playing career for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Grant coached the Vikings from 1967-1983 and had a second stint with Minnesota for one season in 1985. He coached the Vikings to four Super Bowls and won one NFL Championship in 1969. For his accomplishments as a coach, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.


Mike Ditka

The legendary Bears head coach originally played as a tight end for the Birds for two seasons from 1967-1968. Unfortunately, after Ditka's stint in Philadelphia was over he became a Cowboy. While becoming the only Bears head coach to lead them to a Super Bowl victory, he helped the Eagles out by mentoring Buddy Ryan in Chicago before Ryan ended up coaching in Philly.

Herm Edwards

Philadelphia was where Edwards played the longest in his NFL career. During his time as a player, he was most remembered for being responsible for the Miracle at the Meadowlands in 1978. Herm played for the Eagles from 1977-1985, and his 135 games played as an Eagle are the 22nd-most in team history. He wound up becoming the head coach for the New York Jets from 2001-2005, and served as the head coach for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2006-2008. Right now, Edwards is in his second season as the head coach for the Arizona State Sun Devils, and in year one led the Sun Devils to a 7-6 record, and this past season they came off of an 8-5 season with a Sun Bowl victory.


Bill Cowher

The legendary Steelers head coach had two stints for the Eagles, the first was as an undrafted signing by Philadelphia in 1979. Cowher spent three seasons with the Cleveland Browns from 1980-1982 before finishing his playing career with the Birds from 1983-1984. Cowher had a fantastic run with the Steelers, culminating in a Super Bowl XL championship. Let's just say he is a Steagle at heart.

Doug Pederson

Our current Super Bowl-winning head coach played for the Birds for one season and started nine games after he followed Andy Reid from Green Bay. Pederson was eventually benched for #2 overall pick Donovan McNabb to show if he could really be a franchise quarterback. Reid mentored Pederson and took him under his coaching tree when Pederson returned as an offensive quality control coordinator. When Reid was fired, Pederson followed him from Philadelphia to Kansas City, where he was promoted to offensive coordinator. He later found his way back to Philadelphia when the team was looking for Chip Kelly's replacement for the 2016 campaign. You know the rest of the story -- Pederson brought an overdue Lombardi Trophy back to Philadelphia after winning the Super Bowl in the 2017 season. He has led the Eagles to the playoffs in three of his first four seasons, helping bring the team back to prominence


There have been a few other head coaches and coordinators in the National Football League that coached and played in Philadelphia, such as former Titans and Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, current Eagles running backs and assistant head coach Duce Staley, and current Super Bowl-winning defensive coordinator Steve Spagnola. Fisher, Harbaugh, and Spagnola did not play in Philadelphia, but they coached in the City of Brotherly Love. This storied franchise is responsible for producing not just good players but good coaches also, and, personally, I hope it continues to stay that way in Philadelphia.

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