Super Bowl 2022: Here’s how head coaches fared on first trip to big game like Bengals’ Zac Taylor

Legacy is an overarching theme for any Super Bowl. A victory puts you in an exclusive club made up of the few who have reached the top of the NFL. For some, it may also be the crown jewel for how they are viewed in league history compared to some of the game’s best. While a lot of this legacy talk will center around the two quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow, there’s also a lot at stake for the head coaches of the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams.

In the case of Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor, he reached the Super Bowl for the first time in his head coaching career. The 38-year-old is in his third season with the Bengals and currently has his team serving as NFL Cinderella history after defeating the No. 1-seeded Titans in the Divisional Round and rallying to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl.

After digging through the NFL history books to see if Taylor will have beginner’s luck on his side, it looks more like a draw for the Bengals head coach.

In the previous 55 Super Bowls, 58 head coaches have reached the big game for the first time in their careers. Together, these coaches are just under .500, possessing a 28-30 record. Of course, analyzing these stats is a bit more difficult, especially in the early years of the Super Bowl, as several head coaches were playing in the game for the first time. However, even when you look at recent history, it seems like a true 50-50. Since the 2000 season, coaches reaching the Super Bowl for the first time have gone 13-13.

History of Super Bowl coaches for the first time


Super Bowl I

Vince Lombardi, Packers (W), Hank Stram, Chiefs (L)


Super Bowl 2

John Rauch, Raiders (L)


Super Bowl 3

Weeb Ewbank, Jets (F), Don Shula, Colts (L)


Super Bowl 4

Bud Grant, Vikings (L)


Super Bowl V

Don McCafferty, Colts (F), Tom Landry, Cowboys (L)


Super Bowl VII

George Allen, Washington (left)


Super Bowl IX

Chuck Noll, Steelers (F)


Super Bowl XI

John Madden, Raiders (F)


Super Bowl XII

Red Miller, Broncos (L)


Super Bowl XIV

Ray Malavasi, Rams (L)


Super Bowl XV

Tom Flores, Raiders (W), Dick Vermeil, Eagles (L)


Super Bowl XVI

Bill Walsh, 49ers (W), Forrest Gregg, Bengals (L)


Super Bowl XVII

Joe Gibbs, Washington (F)


Super BowlXX

Mike Ditka, Bears (W), Raymond Berry, Patriots (L)


Super Bowl XXI Bill Parcell, Giants (W), Dan Reeves, Broncos (L) 10-12
Super Bowl XXIII Sam Wyche, Bengals (L) 10-13
Super Bowl XXIV George Seifert, 49ers (F) 11-13
Super Bowl XXV Marv Levy, Bills (L) 11-14
Super Bowl XXVII Jimmy Johnson, Cowboys (F) 12-14
Super Bowl XXIX Bobby Ross, Chargers (L) 12-15
Super Bowl XXX Barry Switzer, Cowboys (W), Bill Cowher, Steelers (L) 13-16
Super Bowl XXXI Mike Holmgren, Packers (F) 14-16
Super Bowl XXXII Mike Shanahan, Broncos (F) 15-16
Super Bowl XXXIV Jeff Fisher, Titans (L) 15-17
Super Bowl XXXV Brian Billick, Ravens (W), Jim Fassel, Giants (L) 16-18
Super Bowl XXXVI Bill Belichick, Patriots (W), Mike Martz, Rams (L) 17-19
Super Bowl XXXVII Jon Gruden, Buccaneers (W), Bill Callahan, Raiders (L) 18-20
Super Bowl XXXVIII John Fox, Panthers (L) 18-21
Super Bowl XXXIX Andy Reid, Eagles (L) 18-22
Super Bowl XLI Tony Dungy, Colts (W), Lovie Smith, Bears (L) 19-23
Super Bowl XLII Tom Coughlin, Giants (F) 20-23
Super Bowl XLIII Mike Tomlin, Steelers (W), Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals (L) 21-24
Super Bowl XLIV Sean Payton, Saints (F), Jim Caldwell, Colts (L) 22-25
Super Bowl XLV Mike McCarthy, Packers (F) 23-25
Super Bowl XLVII John Harbaugh, Ravens (F), Jim Harbaugh, 49ers (L) 24-26
Super Bowl XLVIII Pete Carroll, Seahawks (F) 25-26
Super Bowl 50 Gary Kubiak, Broncos (F), Ron Rivera, Panthers (L) 26-27
Super Bowl LI Dan Quinn, Falcons (L) 26-28
Super Bowl LII Doug Pederson, Eagles (F) 27-28
Super Bowl III Sean McVay, Rams (L) 27-29
Super Bowl LIV Kyle Shanahan, 49ers (left) 27-30
Super Bowl LV Bruce Arians, Buccaneers (F) 28-30

While first-time coaches have lost three of the last five Super Bowls they’ve been to, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians managed to win last year on his first crack, so there’s momentum. positive towards Taylor.

Meanwhile, Rams head coach Sean McVay is playing his second Super Bowl and found himself on the unfortunate side of that split in the 2018 season when LA fell to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl III. He now enters this game as a betting favorite, so he could be on the verge of winning his first career title. If that happens, McVay would also become the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl in NFL history, leapfrogging Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who was 36 years and 11 months old. when Pittsburgh won Super Bowl XLIII. If Taylor wins, he would become the second-youngest coach to lift the Lombardi Trophy.

Already, McVay, 36, and Taylor, 38, are poised to rewrite the record books as they become the youngest head coaching game in Super Bowl history.

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