2. Mike Holmgren
Mike Holmgren is the Seattle Seahawks franchise leader in games coached, wins, and losses. He guided the Seahawks to their first-ever NFC Championship in 2005 and earned a place in my heart when he loudly criticized the referees following the painful Super Bowl XL debacle.
Holmgren built a winning culture in Seattle that hadn’t been seen since the Days of Knox. He drafted Shaun Alexander, Marcus Trufant, Walter Jones, and Steve Hutchinson, traded for former Brett Favre backup Matt Hasselbeck, who he knew from his days with the Green Bay Packers, and brought his own brand of the West Coast offense to Seattle.
In ten seasons with the Seahawks, Holmgren won the AFC/NFC West division title five times. Say what you will about the man’s playcalling at times (maddening Mack Strong runs on third and long) and his inability to win challenges, he established a successful team that was competitive during his decade-long tenure. His 1999 season and division win was the Seahawks first trip to the playoffs since Knox helped them win the AFC West in 1988.
Holmgren’s fun was unprecedented in Seattle Seahawks history, but his winning culture brought in a new wave of fans, including a younger Ben. His teams were the forerunner of football culture in Seattle and, with the help of Qwest Field, made Hawks fans known throughout the football universe as some of the loudest in the NFL.
Packers fans named a street in Green Bay “Mike Holmgren Way” for winning Super Bowl XXI and going 75-37 for the Pack.
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