Forrest Gregg was part of the NFL for 30 seasons. He played for 16 seasons, was an assistant coach for three seasons and a head coach for 11 seasons. He was a three-time Super Bowl champion, winning the first two as a key player for the Green Packers and the third in his final season with the Dallas Cowboys. He was a beloved member of the Packers family and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.
Gregg was a hard-working and versatile tackle who would play guard from time-to-time in emergencies. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler and a seven-time All-Pro. Packers coach Vince Lombardi referred to Gregg as, “The best player I ever coached.”
After a short stint as an assistant coach, Gregg got the opportunity to be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 1975 – 1977 and compiled an 18 – 23 record. From 1980 – 1983, Gregg coached the Cincinnati Bengals. His best season was 1981 when the Bengals made it to the Super Bowl but lost to the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 26 – 21. Finally, he got the opportunity to coach where it all began for him in Green Bay where he compiled a 25 – 37 – 1 record.
While his coaching record was not good, his impact as a coach is still felt in the NFL. Some of the assistants who worked under Gregg include Tom Coughlin, Dick Jaroun, Dick LeBeau and Bruce Coslet. While none of them are currently head coaches, some of their assistants are. Additionally, while with the Packers he drafted John Dorsey, current GM of the Cleveland Browns.
To have had such a long and illustrious career that still has an effect on the NFL today definitely makes Gregg worthy of such a high ranking on this list. Sadly, Gregg passed away on April 12, 2019, at the age of 85.