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Are NFL Head Coaches Overweight?

Has anyone noticed that mostly thin coaches win Super Bowls? Among the greats are Tom Landry, Joe Gibbs, Dick Vermeil, Tony Dungy, Mike Tomlin, and Jon Gruden.

Now, take a look at a few of the heavyweights in the league, both current and former: Andy Reid, Rex Ryan, Eric Mangini, and Mike Holmgren.

What’s the point? Just take note that if your team’s head coach is abundantly overweight, your team might not be making an appearance anytime soon at the Super Bowl. When Bill Parcells and Mike Holmgren won their championships, they were much leaner but still the heaviest men to win the title. This, of course, is not a hard and fast rule because we all know that thin NFL coaches lose too.

On a more serious note though, I want to present a couple of ideas on the seemingly increasing weight issues of NFL coaches and why they need to stand up and pay attention.

Everyone makes time to train and eat properly except the coach

Players are paid to weight train, eat properly, and keep their bodies in optimal condition. While players are sweating off the pounds in the weight room and on the field, the coach is sitting, watching game film and planning depth charts. He works an inhuman amount of hours. Even though he has field time, he is mainly directing traffic.

He is unable to stay focused on his own health

A head coach is like a CEO of a corporation. He leads, he inspires, and he makes sure everyone else is taken care of, all to the detriment of his own health. When you’re running the show, even though you have a supporting cast, it’s extremely easy to not see the warning signs of gradual, and ultimately massive weight gain. All of a sudden, it’s out of control.


Sure, head coaches make a few mil a year but it’s what he has to endure to make that salary. If you think you have a stressful job, peek into the life of an NFL coach and you’ll come away thinking your job is a cake walk.

Often, he’s up in the wee hours of the morning to start his day of analyzing game film, overseeing grueling practices, and meeting with GM’s and other staff. Job security? A thing of the past with the average coach’s career lasting about 4 years at the most. If a coach’s grueling schedule is not enough, add a few extra dozen pounds to the mix and here comes high blood pressure, hyper-tension, and heart disease.

Andy Reid trimmed down slightly a couple of seasons ago but seems to have gained it all back and more. It’s easy to do with the hours, the increased pressure to win, and eating whatever’s available at the time. Not a healthy combination.

Trying to win games to move toward a Super Bowl in front of millions of people every week can be utterly overwhelming. Heavyweight coaches must turn to eating to soothe their nerves and calm their over pressured hearts. What’s the answer?

  • Step down as head coach to manage and coach his personal health. This decision could be made for him, with increased pressure to win from the powers that be.
  • Reach out to national organizations for help. Nutrisystem has helped numerous coaches gain the edge over the battle of the bulge.
  • Family members step in with intervention. A few families have done just this when they contacted the popular show, “The Biggest Loser” in an attempt to help their unhealthy, family member/head coach.
  • The coach must take control of his own health and equip himself with the tools and resources available to make permanent lifestyle changes. An overweight, unhealthy coach will not have the stamina to lead his team to the big one.


Image by keithallison

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5 Responses to Are NFL Head Coaches Overweight?

  1. ChrisMcKinney January 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Michelle – you always have the best pics! Are you a subscriber to Getty? If so, how much?

  2. WinningProof January 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    @ChrisMcKinney Hi Chris! I wish I could take credit for the fabulous pics but sportsnetworker inserts them after I submit my article. Thanks very much though; glad you like them.

  3. ランニングシューズ 注目 November 2, 2013 at 3:56 am #

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