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Bruce Arians is about to enter an exclusive NFL club, one with an age restriction.

Bucs 2019: Arians is one of only 12 head coaches in NFL history to work beyond retirement age. Here’s how the others fared.
At age 66, the Bucs' Bruce Arians is the NFL's third oldest head coach behind Seattle's Pete Carroll, who turns 68 on Sept. 15, and New England's Bill Belichick, 67.
At age 66, the Bucs' Bruce Arians is the NFL's third oldest head coach behind Seattle's Pete Carroll, who turns 68 on Sept. 15, and New England's Bill Belichick, 67. [ "MONICA HERNDON | TIMES" | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Sep. 1, 2019

Only 11 head coaches in NFL history have coached past their 66th birthday, the current age for retirement with full Social Security benefits in the U.S.

Bruce Arians becomes No. 12 when the Bucs open at home Sept. 8 against San Francisco.

Among members of the 66-and-older club, six have won Super Bowls. Two won NFL championships. One won both.

Five are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

MORE BUCS: How Bruce Arians became Bucco Bruce

One won six Super Bowls. Another lost four of them.

Yet in 33 combined seasons coached by an NFL head coach who was 66 or older, just over half (17) ended with a winning record.

Only six included a postseason victory — four by Buffalo’s Marv Levy.

Of special note considering Arians turns 67 on Oct. 3: Only Levy, George Halas, Tom Coughlin and Dick Vermeil have coached beyond that age.

Here’s a season-by-season look at how the NFL head coaches who were still at it beyond 66 fared:


When Marv Levy was Bruce Arians' age, he was beginning a run of four straight Super Bowl appearances, all losses. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
When Marv Levy was Bruce Arians' age, he was beginning a run of four straight Super Bowl appearances, all losses. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan) [ MARK DUNCAN | AP ]

Marv Levy, Buffalo

Record after 66th birthday: 69-43 (.616)

AgeSeasonRecordNotable
66199113-3Levy, who celebrated his 94th birthday on Aug. 3, was 65 when Scott Norwood missed wide right in Tampa to lose Super Bowl 25. Super Bowl loss No. 2 came to Washington 37-24 in Minneapolis.
67199211-5Wouldn’t it be nice if this Levy team was best remembered for “The Comeback,” rallying from a 35-3 deficit to beat Houston in overtime? Unfortunately, there was that 52-17 loss to Dallas in Super Bowl 27.
68199312-4Don Beebe on how the Bills dealt with all the Super Bowl losses: “I think that comes a lot from the Winston Churchill poems and the speeches that we would get from Marv.” The streak reaches four with a 30-13 loss to Dallas in Super Bowl 28.
6919947-9Buffalo loses its last three to miss the playoffs for the first time since 1987.
70199510-6Levy and the Bills dispatch Miami 37-22 in wild-card game in 65-year-old Don Shula’s final game.
71199610-6Tom Coughlin and the Jacksonville Jaguars win their playoff debut with a 10-7 wild-card victory in Jim Kelly’s final game. There hasn’t been a home playoff game in Buffalo since.
7219976-10A rough ending for Levy, falling out of playoff contention by losing six of the last seven.

MORE BUCS: If you aren’t convinced Jameis Winston can become a star, read this


George Halas coached until age 72.  His job security was aided by the fact he also owned the Chicago Bears. (AP Photo/Dozier Mobley)
George Halas coached until age 72. His job security was aided by the fact he also owned the Chicago Bears. (AP Photo/Dozier Mobley) [ DOZIER MOBLEY | ASSOCIATED PRESS ]

George Halas, Chicago

Regular-season record: 54-39-5 (.577)

AgeSeasonRecordNotable
6619618-6A rookie tight end named Mike Ditka scored 12 touchdowns.
6719629-5The Bears were outscored 87-7 in two losses to Green Bay.
68196311-1-2Halas still stands as the oldest coach to win an NFL championship or Super Bowl by virtue of the Bears’ 14-10 title-game win over the Giants.
6919645-9Papa Bear’s title defense is devastated before it even begins by the death of former Florida A&M star Willie Galimore and teammate John Farrington in a July car accident.
7019659-5That Gayle Sayers was pretty good.
7119665-7-2The Bears were outscored 30-6 in two losses to Green Bay that led to Halas’ sixth losing season in 40 years.
7219677-6-1The season Halas introduced us to Brian Piccolo and ultimately “Brian’s Song.”



Tom Coughlin departure from the New York Giants at age 69 was initially characterized as a mutual decision, though Coughlin later admitted he was forced out. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King, File)
Tom Coughlin departure from the New York Giants at age 69 was initially characterized as a mutual decision, though Coughlin later admitted he was forced out. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King, File) [ ANDY CLAYTON-KING | AP ]

Tom Coughlin, N.Y. Giants

Record: 28-40 (.411)

AgeSeasonRecordNotable
6620129-7Worth remembering: Coughlin went 9-7 and won the Super Bowl at age 65.
6720137-9The Giants became the first team in NFL history to have a five-year span in which they won the Super Bowl in year three and missed the playoffs every other year.
6820146-10The Eagles’ role in Coughlin’s downfall: He lost 10 of his last 13 versus Philly.
6920156-10The kind of stuff that gets two-time Super Bowl winners fired: The Giants became the first team in NFL history start 0-2 by blowing wo blow double-digit, fourth-quarter leads.


RELATED: A Bucs Odyssey. Imagining how this season will go.


When Dick Vermeil announced his third retirement, this one at age 69 in 2005, he stayed retired. (AP Photo/Dick Whipple).
When Dick Vermeil announced his third retirement, this one at age 69 in 2005, he stayed retired. (AP Photo/Dick Whipple). [ DICK WHIPPLE | AP ]

Dick Vermeil, Kansas City

Regular-season record: 34-22 (.607)

(Editor’s note: Vermeil’s birthday is Oct. 30)

AgeSeasonRecordNotable
6620024-4The Chiefs, who averaged 29.2 points. had the second largest offense-defense imbalance from 1992-2010, according to Football Outsiders. The largest discrepancy: the 1992 Seahawks.
67200313-3In Vermeil’s last postseason game, the Chiefs lost 38-31 to Indianapolis in a game in which neither team punted.
6820047-9The Chiefs’ 483 points were the highest total in NFL history for a team that finished with a losing record.
69200510-6One of 21 in NFL history to finish 10-6 and fail to make the playoffs, a list that includes the 2010 Bucs, Arians’ 2013 Cardinals and Todd Bowles’ 2015 Jets.



Ted Marchibroda's unique NFL career as a player and coach included being hired and fired by Bob Irsay (twice) and Art Modell, and coaching two Baltimore franchises. (AP Photo/Bethb A. Keiser)
Ted Marchibroda's unique NFL career as a player and coach included being hired and fired by Bob Irsay (twice) and Art Modell, and coaching two Baltimore franchises. (AP Photo/Bethb A. Keiser) [ BETH A. KEISER | AP ]

Ted Marchibroda, Baltimore

Record: 12-19-1 (.390)

AgeSeasonRecordNotable
6619976-9-1Marchibroda’s unique place in NFL history: The reserve quarterback the Steelers kept over Johnny Unitas; the coach Art Modell hired to replace Bill Belichick.
6719986-10Replacing Vinny Testaverde with Jim Harbaugh didn’t work out too well.


Seattle's Pete Carroll, who turns 68 on Sept. 15, is the NFL's oldest active head coach. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Seattle's Pete Carroll, who turns 68 on Sept. 15, is the NFL's oldest active head coach. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) [ JIM MONE | AP ]

Pete Carroll, Seattle

Regular season record: 18-13 (.580)

(Editor’s note: Carroll’s birthday is Sept. 15)

AgeSeasonRecordNotable
6620178-7Feels like a good place to mention the Nov. 3 Bucs-Seahawks game in Seattle will mark the first meeting in NFL history between head coaches age 66 or older.
67201810-6With Seattle’s 24-22 loss at Dallas on Jan. 5 in the wild-card round, Halas, Levy and Belichick (see below) are the only NFL head coaches over 65 to win a playoff game.



At age 67, Paul Brown guided the Cincinnati Bengals to the AFC playoffs and an 11-3 record before retiring. (AP Photo/Gene Smith)
At age 67, Paul Brown guided the Cincinnati Bengals to the AFC playoffs and an 11-3 record before retiring. (AP Photo/Gene Smith) [ GENE SMITH | ASSOCIATED PRESS ]

Paul Brown, Cincinnati

Regular season record: 18-10 (.642)

AgeSeasonRecordNotable
6619747-7Brown remained a brilliant offensive mind until the end. Ken Anderson won the 1974 NFL passing championship, completing 64.9 percent. Having Bill Walsh as your quarterback coach doesn’t hurt.
67197511-3Retired after 45 coaching seasons four days after a 31-28 playoff loss to Oakland.



Joe Gibbs won three Super Bowls in his first stint in Washington. His second ended at age 67 following two playoff appearances and one postseason victory. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Joe Gibbs won three Super Bowls in his first stint in Washington. His second ended at age 67 following two playoff appearances and one postseason victory. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) [ KATHY WILLENS | AP ]

Joe Gibbs, Washington

Regular season record: 11-11 (.500)

(Editor’s note: Gibbs’ birthday is Nov. 25)

AgeSeasonRecordNotable
6620062-4*Turned 66 six days after a 20-17 loss at Tampa Bay, one of six losses in last eight games.
6720079-7Announced his retirement after a 35-14 loss at Seattle in the wild-card round.



At age 66, Bill Belichick, shown here during the Patriots' Super Bowl 53 victory parade, became the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl when New England beat the Los Angeles Rams, 13-3. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
At age 66, Bill Belichick, shown here during the Patriots' Super Bowl 53 victory parade, became the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl when New England beat the Los Angeles Rams, 13-3. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) [ MICHAEL DWYER | AP ]

Bill Belichick, New England

Regular season record: 11-5 (.688)

AgeSeasonRecordNotable
66201811-5At age 65, Tom Coughlin became the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl when his Giants defeated the Belichick’s Patriots, 21-17 on Feb. 5, 2012. Seven Super Bowl and three Patriots Super Bowl titles later, Belichick eclipsed Coughlin for that distinction when the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowl 53 last February.



Jim Mora is remembered more for what he said than what he did in his final season in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Don Heupel)
Jim Mora is remembered more for what he said than what he did in his final season in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Don Heupel) [ DON HEUPEL | AP ]

Jim Mora, Indianapolis

Record: 6-10 (.375)

AgeSeasonRecordNotable
6620016-10Remember the post-game tirade, “Playoffs? Don’t talk about -- playoffs?! Playoffs? I just hope we win a game!” That happened this season. Tony Dungy took it from there.



Weeb Ewbank, left, and Joe Namath, right, won Super Bowl III, but failed to produce a winning season their last five years together.  (AP Photo/Harry Harris)
Weeb Ewbank, left, and Joe Namath, right, won Super Bowl III, but failed to produce a winning season their last five years together. (AP Photo/Harry Harris) [ HARRY HARRIS | AP ]

Weeb Ewbank, N.Y. Jets

Record: 4-10 (.286)

AgeSeasonRecordNotable
6619734-10Ewbank won NFL titles with the 1958 and ’59 Colts and Super Bowl III with the Jets. But Joe Namath’s gimpy knees and terms of the Jets’ Shea Stadium lease doomed Weeb’s last season. The Jets were forced to open with six straight road games, due in part to the Mets’ run to the 1973 World Series.

Contact Mike Sherman at msherman@tampabay.com. Follow @mikesherman