Lou Saban

Coaching Record

Years Coached Record Win % Playoff record Playoff win %
16 97-111-7 46.74% 2-2 50.00%

Coaching Tree


Joe Collier, Mike Holovak, Harvey Johnson, Dick MacPherson, John Mazur, Red Miller, Jim Ringo, Sam Rutigliano


Table of Contents

Career Summary

Lou Saban was a football coach in the National Football League (NFL) from 1960 to 1976, finishing his career as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Over his sixteen years of coaching his teams compiled a cumulative win/loss record of 104-112-8. During his career he was a head coach for sixteen seasons, first with the Boston Patriots. He led the Patriots for two seasons, compiling a record of 14-13-1. His next head coaching stint was with the Buffalo Bills from 1962 to 1965, as he led the team to a 36-17-3 record. During his time leading the Bills the team won the championship in 1964 and 1965. His third head coach placement began in 1967 with the Denver Broncos. He coached them for five seasons and the team had a 22-45-3 record during his tenure. His last opportunity as head coach began in 1972 with the Buffalo Bills. He coached them for five seasons and the team had a 32-37-1 during his tenure with the team. During his entire head coaching career, his four teams combined for a record of 104-112-8 across sixteen seasons including going 2-2-0 in the playoffs.

Career Awards

As the head coach of the Buffalo Bills he coached three players to award-winning seasons: Cookie Gilchrist, AP AFL Player of the Year in 1962; Jack Kemp, AP AFL Player of the Year in 1965; O.J. Simpson, AP Offensive Player of the Year in 1973; O.J. Simpson, Most Valuable Player in 1973.

Lou Saban Coaching Tree

During his time as head coach, eight assistant coaches, (Red Miller, Joe Collier, Mike Holovak, John Mazur, Harvey Johnson, Dick MacPherson, Sam Rutigliano, and Jim Ringo) on his coaching staff were hired as head coaches across the league. His coaching tree has combined for a record of 170-210-10 in the regular season and 3-7 in the playoffs during their twenty-seven seasons as head coach after serving on his coaching staffs.

Personal Information

Saban was born on Thursday, October 13, 1921 in Brookfield, Illinois. He died on Sunday, March 29, 2009 at the age of 87.


Year Position Record Playoff record
1976 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 2-12-0 0-0
1975 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 8-6-0 0-0
1974 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 9-5-0 0-1
1973 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 9-5-0 0-0
1972 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 4-9-1 0-0
1971 Denver Broncos Head Coach 4-9-1 0-0
1970 Denver Broncos Head Coach 5-8-1 0-0
1969 Denver Broncos Head Coach 5-8-1 0-0
1968 Denver Broncos Head Coach 5-9-0 0-0
1967 Denver Broncos Head Coach 3-11-0 0-0
1965 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 10-3-1 1-0
1964 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 12-2-0 1-0
1963 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 7-6-1 0-1
1962 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 7-6-1 0-0
1961 Boston Patriots Head Coach 2-3-0 0-0
1960 Boston Patriots Head Coach 5-9-0 0-0

Coach history guide

Seasons with a championship win Seasons with a conference championship

Coach facts

  • Years as head coach: 16
  • Championships won: 1964 and 1965
  • Second in total wins for the Buffalo Bills.
  • Fourth in winning percentage for the Buffalo Bills.
  • Past teams coached for: Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Boston Patriots
  • Date of Birth: Thursday, October 13, 1921 (87 years old), Brookfield, Illinois
  • Lou Saban served as Yankee's Team President as a favor to his friend George Steinbrunner (1982)