Marvin Lewis

Coaching Record

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

Coaching Tree

Parents:

Brian Billick, Bill Cowher, Ted Marchibroda, Steve Spurrier

Children:

Leslie Frazier, Hue Jackson, Mike Zimmer, Jay Gruden, Vance Joseph


Biography

Table of Contents

Career Summary

Marvin Lewis was a football coach in the National Football League (NFL) from 1992 to 2018, finishing his career as the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. Over his twenty-seven years of coaching his teams compiled a cumulative win/loss record of 227-201-4. He was the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003 until the 2018 season, during which time the Bengals went 131-122-3. During his career he was a head coach for sixteen seasons. He was fired from the Bengals on Monday, December 31, 2018. Lewis was fired from the Bengals after three straight losing seasons and never advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs.

Career Awards

Lewis won the NFL's Coach of the Year award in 2009 after guiding the Bengals to a 10-6-0 record and a a berth in the playoffs. During his time as defensive coordinator and head coach he coached three players to award-winning seasons. As the head coach for the Bengals Jon Kitna won Comeback Player of the Year. As the defensive coordinator for the Ravens Peter Boulware won AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and Ray Lewis won AP Defensive Player of the Year.

Marvin Lewis Coaching Tree

Before he was a head coach, Lewis served as an assistant coach for Bill Cowher, Ted Marchibroda, Brian Billick, and Steve Spurrier. Four of these years were spent on Cowher's coaching staff. During his time as head coach, five assistant coaches, (Leslie Frazier, Hue Jackson, Mike Zimmer, Jay Gruden, and Vance Joseph) on his coaching staff were hired as head coaches across the league. His coaching tree has combined for a record of 147-199-4 in the regular season and 2-5 in the playoffs during their twenty-three seasons as head coach after serving on his coaching staffs.

Personal Information

Lewis was born on Tuesday, September 23, 1958 in McDonald, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

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 Commanders 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.


History

Year Position Record Playoff record
2018 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 6-10-0 0-0
2017 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 7-9-0 0-0
2016 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 6-9-1 0-0
2015 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 12-4-0 0-1
2014 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 10-5-1 0-1
2013 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 11-5-0 0-1
2012 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 10-6-0 0-1
2011 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 9-7-0 0-1
2010 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 4-12-0 0-0
2009 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 10-6-0 0-1
2008 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 4-11-1 0-0
2007 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 7-9-0 0-0
2006 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 8-8-0 0-0
2005 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 11-5-0 0-1
2004 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 8-8-0 0-0
2003 Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach 8-8-0 0-0
2002 Washington Redskins Assistant Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator 7-9-0 0-0
2001 Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator 10-6-0 1-1
2000 Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator 12-4-0 4-0
1999 Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator 8-8-0 0-0
1998 Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator 6-10-0 0-0
1997 Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator 6-9-1 0-0
1996 Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator 4-12-0 0-0
1995 Pittsburgh Steelers Linebackers Coach 11-5-0 2-1
1994 Pittsburgh Steelers Linebackers Coach 12-4-0 1-1
1993 Pittsburgh Steelers Linebackers Coach 9-7-0 0-1
1992 Pittsburgh Steelers Linebackers Coach 11-5-0 0-1
1991 Pittsburgh Panthers Linebackers Coach 6-5-0
1990 Pittsburgh Panthers Linebackers Coach 3-7-1
1989 New Mexico Lobos Linebackers Coach 2-10-0
1987 New Mexico Lobos Linebackers Coach 0-11-0

Coach history guide

Seasons with a championship win Seasons with a conference championship

Coach facts

  • Years as head coach: 16
  • Years as a coordinator: 7
  • Championships won: 2000
  • Conference Championships won: 1995 and 2000
  • Coach of the Year: 2009
  • First in total wins for the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • Second in winning percentage for the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • Past teams coached for: Cincinnati Bengals, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • College Attended: Idaho State Bengals
  • Family Members: Marcus Lewis, Son
  • Date of Birth: Tuesday, September 23, 1958 (64 years old), McDonald, Pennsylvania