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Marvin Lewis

Coaching Record

Years Coached Record Win % Playoff record Playoff win %
27 227-201-4 53.01% 8-12 40.00%

Coaching Tree



Playing Career

Idaho State University

Marvin Lewis always was interested in football, starting at the young age of 9 up to when he got a scholarship to Idaho in 1977. He played as a linebacker for the school up through the 1980 season. Throughout his college playing career he won all-Big Sky Conference honors three out of the four years that he was playing. It’s been stated that the only reason he wasn’t able to begin a career in the NFL is 50lbs and a couple inches.

Coaching Career

Idaho State University

While playing for the Idaho State Bengals Lewis demonstrated a leadership skill that the coaches didn’t want to let go of, so they hired him as a graduate assistant before the 1981 season. Before he finished up his master’s degree in athletic administration he was hired on as the linebackers coach, teaching other students exactly what it meant to be a better linebacker through his own experiences as well as the teams program. His very first season on the coaching staff the team went 12-1 and won the Division I-AA championship. He left Idaho State after the 1984 season concluded and headed for Long Beach. Lewis has since been honored by the school during their 2012 Homecoming for Distinguished Alumnus.

California State University- Long Beach

He began the 1985 season in Long Beach University as their new linebackers coach under Head Coach Mike Sheppard. The team would go 6-6 his first season with them and 6-5 the next, with only a slight improvement. He remained with the team until the 1986 season’s end and left for New Mexico.

University of New Mexico

In 1987 Lewis was hired on as the linebackers coach for the New Mexico Lobos football team under the teams new head coach, Mike Sheppard. During his time with the school the team went 0-11 his first season and 2-10 the remaining two, the worst the team had done in 18 years. After the 1989 season ended, he left New Mexico and was hired on by Pittsburgh.

University of Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Panthers hired Lewis to be their new linebackers coach in 1990 where he would remain until the end of the 1991 season. The 1990 season began looking like it was going to be another dismal time for him, with the team’s record going 3-7-1, the worst the team had done in 5 years. The team had slight improvement the next year, posting a record of 6-5 in his final season with Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Lewis got his grand entrance to the NFL in 1992 with the Pittsburgh Steelers as their new linebackers coach. For three of the four years he was coaching their linebackers, Outside Linebacker Rod Woodson went to the Pro Bowl and earned 1st-Team All Pro. Lewis’ entire time with the team they never had a losing record, the worst they ever went was 9-7 in 1993. The final year he was with the team they made it to the Super Bowl versus the Dallas Cowboys and lost 17-27. He left the team early 1996 for a job opportunity in Baltimore.

Baltimore Ravens

Lewis got his first big break since coming to the NFL in 1996, when he was hired on by the Baltimore Ravens as their defensive coordinator. It has been widely considered the best defensive unit in NFL history was Lewis’ during the 2000 season. The team set a record for fewest points allowed in a 16 game season with just 165, averaging out at 10.3 a game – about a touchdown and a field goal per game. This would also mark the first time the Ravens would win the Super Bowl. Linebacker Ray Lewis was sent to the Pro Bowl and earned 1st-Team All Pro, other players to make the Pro Bowl from Lewis’ defense were Free Safety Rod Woodson and Defensive Tackle Sam Adams. He left the team after the conclusion of the 2001 season and went to Washington.

Washington Redskins

After departing the Ravens he was hired on as the Washington Redskins defensive coordinator in 2002. He remained with the team for just a single season but sent both Left Linebacker LaVar Arrington and Left Cornerback/Punt Return Champ Bailey to the Pro Bowl. He left the team after the end of the Redskins 2002 season with the 5th best NFL defensive ranking.

Cincinnati Bengals

Lewis finally got his own team in 2003 after being hired by the Cincinnati Bengals as their new head coach, where he remains to this day. He became the 8th African American head coach in NFL history and his hire marked the phrase “Once a Bengal, always a Bengal,” for both the ISU crowd and Cincinnati fans alike. This is also the year he began his charity group, the Marvin Lewis Community Fund that has helped athletes and students alike with scholarships and school programs. Upon his hire the team became the most improved in the NFL finishing his first season with them with an 8-8 record, a vast improvement from their 2-14 record from the previous season.

When 2009 rolled around he earned more than one honor, being named Associated Press Coach of the Year as well as the Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America Coach of the Year, becoming the second coach in Bengals history to earn the honors. It was also the season where the team swept the AFC North Division, for the first time in Bengals history.

Beginning at the 2011 season and going up to the 2014 season he managed to take the team to the playoffs every single year, the first time the Bengals had ever gone to the playoffs three straight seasons. With the end of the 2014 season Lewis became the 37th coach in NFL history to record 100 regular season wins and holds the most wins of any Bengals coach.


Year Position Record Playoff record
2018 Head Coach 6-10-0 0-0
2017 Head Coach 7-9-0 0-0
2016 Head Coach 6-9-1 0-0
2015 Head Coach 12-4-0 0-1
2014 Head Coach 10-5-1 0-1
2013 Head Coach 11-5-0 0-1
2012 Head Coach 10-6-0 0-1
2011 Head Coach 9-7-0 0-1
2010 Head Coach 4-12-0 0-0
2009 Head Coach 10-6-0 0-1
2008 Head Coach 4-11-1 0-0
2007 Head Coach 7-9-0 0-0
2006 Head Coach 8-8-0 0-0
2005 Head Coach 11-5-0 0-1
2004 Head Coach 8-8-0 0-0
2003 Head Coach 8-8-0 0-0
2002 Assistant Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator 7-9-0 0-0
2001 Defensive Coordinator 10-6-0 1-1
2000 Defensive Coordinator 12-4-0 4-0
1999 Defensive Coordinator 8-8-0 0-0
1998 Defensive Coordinator 6-10-0 0-0
1997 Defensive Coordinator 6-9-1 0-0
1996 Defensive Coordinator 4-12-0 0-0
1995 Linebackers Coach 11-5-0 2-1
1994 Linebackers Coach 12-4-0 1-1
1993 Linebackers Coach 9-7-0 0-1
1992 Linebackers Coach 11-5-0 0-1

Coach history guide

Seasons with a championship win Seasons with a conference championship