Definitive Ranking of Copper State Cardinals Head Coaches

kerouac9

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1. Bruce Arians (41-30-1) - I'm still baffled by the number of posters here who were done with Bruce Arians after he went 8-8 in a season where Blane Gabbert and Drew Stanton combined for nine starts and 32 year Aridian Peterson was the leading rusher.

2. Ken Whisenhunt (45-51) - Haters gonna hate because Whis was on the sideline for the Super Bowl, but my lasting memory of the Great Engineer will be the stillborn 2011 season where we started 1-6 and finished 8-8.

3. Kliff Kingsbury (28-31-1) - The Arizona Cardinals were never better than the eight weeks that started the 2021 season. Don't at me.

4. Vince Tobin (28-43) - Marc Trestman was Tobin's OC from '98 until he got fired in '00. Those offenses finished 15th, 30th, and 29ths. Good lord. He went on to be the head coach of the Bears and build a fruitful relationship with Jay Cutler.

5. Joe Bugel (20-44) - Joe Bugel was Norv Turner before it was cool. His staff included legendary Eagles DC Jim Johnson. His '93 team finished in the top 10 scoring offense and defense. They went 7-9 and finished fourth in the division. Pure Cardinals.

6. Gene Stallings (12-15 in AZ) - Bro was unfairly fired! Cards schedules before State Farm Stadium were bananas. Arizona started the 1989 season with three road games (going 2-1).

7. Buddy Ryan (12-20) - I didn't really start following the Cards until '98. People get real mad talking about Buddy Ryan, but Garrison Hearst gained over 1000 yards at a 3.8 YPC clip in '95. That sounds like fun football.

8. Jonathan Gannon (4-13) - The Week 3 win over Dallas will never stop being funny. Not enough people ask how Jonathan Gannon only got one more win than Steve Wilks even though he got an extra chance.

9. Dave McGinnis (17-40) - My guy went 1-8 in relief of Joe Bugel and somehow kept the job. Just unfathomable. If kids today cared about history they'd ask how this happened.

10. Dennis Green (16-32) - Did Dennis Green kill the retread head coach forever? Maybe? Green lead a culture shift from well-meaning incompetence to fatalistic indifference. That 2004 draft was sick tho.

11. Steve Wilks (3-13) - This story lives rent-free in my head and I'll never stop thinking about it. You don't build foundations with bricks; you can't, because the ground underneath is inherently unstable.

12. Hank Kuhlman (0-5) - Kuhlman's unimpeachable record includes a 37-0 loss to the Denver Broncos in the last home game of the season. The Cardinals had 79 rushing yards in that game.
 
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Gene Stallings had some bad luck

the 1988 team was pretty good -- very good offensively -- with Neil Lomax. Beat SF ( in a crazy game) and the NYG to go 7-4 and lead the division. But Lomax was hurt vs the Giants -- and they didnt win for the remainder of the season
 

Dback Jon

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Gene Stallings had some bad luck

the 1988 team was pretty good -- very good offensively -- with Neil Lomax. Beat SF ( in a crazy game) and the NYG to go 7-4 and lead the division. But Lomax was hurt vs the Giants -- and they didnt win for the remainder of the season
That was my first ever live NFL game.
 

ajcardfan

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He was terrible. And would be the worst coach they have had if not for Mac.
The way I remember it we finished strong with a top 10 offense and a 7-9 record. Everyone was thinking playoffs next season. But Bidwill had made his stupid 8-8 mandate before the season started. Then, for some reason that escaped everybody, Bugel twisted for many days until he was finally fired.

Buddy Ryan comes in and completely dismantles the offense into garbage. Goes 8-8. And then Trainwreck the next season. I am not saying Bugel was a great head coach, but I think he would've done better than Buddy.
 

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The way I remember it we finished strong with a top 10 offense and a 7-9 record. Everyone was thinking playoffs next season. But Bidwill had made his stupid 8-8 mandate before the season started. Then, for some reason that escaped everybody, Bugel twisted for many days until he was finally fired.

Buddy Ryan comes in and completely dismantles the offense into garbage. Goes 8-8. And then Trainwreck the next season. I am not saying Bugel was a great head coach, but I think he would've done better than Buddy.
My family was not thinking that. We thought Bidwill did him a favor after not canning him after the first two seasons. EDIT: Feel free to not start that final season 3-7.
 

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The way I remember it we finished strong with a top 10 offense and a 7-9 record. Everyone was thinking playoffs next season. But Bidwill had made his stupid 8-8 mandate before the season started. Then, for some reason that escaped everybody, Bugel twisted for many days until he was finally fired.

Buddy Ryan comes in and completely dismantles the offense into garbage. Goes 8-8. And then Trainwreck the next season. I am not saying Bugel was a great head coach, but I think he would've done better than Buddy.
You are remembering correctly. Won 4 of last 5 games, including a win over playoff bound NY Giants Only lost ONE game by more than one score.
 

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Gene Stallings had some bad luck

the 1988 team was pretty good -- very good offensively -- with Neil Lomax. Beat SF ( in a crazy game) and the NYG to go 7-4 and lead the division. But Lomax was hurt vs the Giants -- and they didnt win for the remainder of the season

That SF game converted me to the Cards. I couldn't get off work that day to go to the game, so I had it on the radio in the office. I was jumping around the office through the 4th quarter, so exciting. First time I'd heard the "Cardiac Cardinals" expression. Little did I know that for most of the next 35 years, it'd refer to a lack of a pulse from the team.
 

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Any coach that can produce an overall winning record in their tenure with this franchise should have a statue built in their honor. Much respect for Bruce.

Buddy Ball was painfully boring at times, but he did go 8-8 in '94 with one of the worst Cardinal offenses ever, which included Jim McMahon's final pro start. That offense only threw for 11 TDs all year! And the team's big free agent signing that season was a 32-year-old Wilber Marshall who brought a wacky color wheel prop to his opening interview and said he was going to hypnotize offenses.
 

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Any coach that can produce an overall winning record in their tenure with this franchise should have a statue built in their honor. Much respect for Bruce.

Buddy Ball was painfully boring at times, but he did go 8-8 in '94 with one of the worst Cardinal offenses ever, which included Jim McMahon's final pro start. That offense only threw for 11 TDs all year! And the team's big free agent signing that season was a 32-year-old Wilber Marshall who brought a wacky color wheel prop to his opening interview and said he was going to hypnotize offenses.
That season was doomed when Buddy benched Beuerlein in the 2nd game and never gave him another chance.
 
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