American Football Wiki
Mike Holmgren

Browns Team President Holmgren in press conference, 2011

Mike Holmgren

Date of birth June 15 1948 (1948-06-15) (age 76)
Place of birth San Francisco, California
NFL Draft 1970 / Round 8/ Pick 201 / Pick: by the
Career highlights
Coaching Record / Statistics
Super Bowl
1996 Super Bowl XXXI
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Career player statistics (if any)
Team(s) as a player (if any)
Team(s) as a coach/administrator (if any)










Lincoln High School
(offensive coordinator)
Sacred Heart High School
(offensive coordinator)
Oak Grove High School
(assistant coach)
San Francisco State University
(offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach)

Brigham Young University
(quarterbacks coach)
San Francisco 49ers
(quarterbacks coach)
San Francisco 49ers
(offensive coordinator)
Green Bay Packers
(head coach)
Seattle Seahawks
(head coach)
Cleveland Browns
(team president)

Michael George Holmgren (born June 15, 1948) is a former American football coach and executive. He began his NFL career as a quarterbacks' coach and later as an offensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers, where they won Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV. He served as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1992 to 1998, where he won Super Bowl XXXI, and of the Seattle Seahawks from 1999 to 2008. His last role in the NFL was as team president of the Cleveland Browns from 2010 to 2012. Prior to his career in the NFL, Holmgren coached football at the high school and collegiate levels.

Holmgren is noted for his role in molding quarterbacks such as Steve Young, Brett Favre and Matt Hasselbeck during his tenures in San Francisco, Green Bay and Seattle. Under Holmgren's leadership and play calling the Green Bay Packers were consistent winners. He became known as one of the best coaches in the NFL, leading the Packers to their twelfth league championship in Super Bowl XXXI. Under Holmgren the Seahawks also became a frequent playoff team, including a trip to the franchise's first Super Bowl in 2005.


Playing career[]

Holmgren started out as a tight end before becoming a standout quarterback at San Francisco's Abraham Lincoln High School where he was named "Prep Athlete of the Year" in 1965 and graduated in 1966. He continued his playing career as a quarterback at the University of Southern California, from 1966-69. As a sophomore he was on USC's national championship team of 1967, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1970. He played behind starter Steve Sogge in 1967–68, and a knee injury put him behind sophomore Jimmy Jones in 1969. Although a back-up, Holmgren was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth round (201st overall) of the 1970 NFL Draft and went to camp with both the Cardinals and the New York Jets that year.

Coaching career[]

High school[]

Holmgren's coaching career began in 1971 at his alma mater Lincoln High School in San Francisco, where he also taught history. One year later, he moved to San Francisco's Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory as a teacher and assistant coach. He also coached at Oak Grove High School in San Jose, from 1975 to 1980 and won one Central Coast Section championship.[1]


In 1981 Holmgren became the Offensive Coordinator/Quarterback Coach for the San Francisco State Gators, working for the legendary Vic Rowen.

From 1982 to 1985, Holmgren was the quarterbacks coach at Brigham Young University under LaVell Edwards. During his four-year tenure at BYU, Holmgren not only helped coach the team's potent offense to a national championship in 1984, but in that period mentored and developed two of BYU's future NFL quarterbacks, Steve Young and Robbie Bosco, and one future NFL head coach, Andy Reid.

Bosco would make it to Green Bay several years before Holmgren, but Holmgren's eventual appointment as Packers head coach would bring him back into contact with Andy Reid and Steve Young.

Under Holmgren, Bosco led the Cougars to a national championship in 1984, finished third in Heisman Trophy balloting and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1985. Bosco's NFL career was cut short by an arm injury, and he returned to BYU as a quarterbacks coach.

In addition to mentoring quarterbacks at BYU, Holmgren also worked with Reid, at the time a graduate assistant. Reid went on to become an offensive line coach at Holmgren's previous school, San Francisco State, and in 1992 rejoined Holmgren in Green Bay as offensive assistant coach. In 1988 Reid became quarterbacks coach and assistant coach, then in 1999 was named head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Professional football (NFL)[]

San Francisco 49ers, 1986–1991[]

Holmgren began his NFL coaching career as an assistant coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 1986 to 1991. He coached the 49ers’ quarterbacks from 1986-1988 under head coach Bill Walsh, working with Joe Montana and Steve Young, whom he also coached at BYU. When George Seifert took over as head coach, Holmgren became the team's offensive coordinator and served from 1989 to 1991. During his tenure with San Francisco, the 49ers posted a 71-23-1 (74.7%) regular season record to reach the postseason each year except 1991. San Francisco won Super Bowl XXIII over the Cincinnati Bengals 20-16 and Super Bowl XXIV over the Denver Broncos 55-10, setting records for most points, most offensive points, and margin of victory in a Super Bowl. As offensive coordinator in 1989, Holmgren's 49er offense was ranked number one in the NFL. His years with the 49ers have led to later success mentoring other young assistants and Holmgren is one of the larger branches of the Sid Gillman coaching tree, from which Walsh and Seifert descended.

Green Bay Packers, 1992–1998[]

Holmgren was head coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1992 to 1998, which became one of the most successful coaching stints in NFL history. As head coach of the Packers, Holmgren posted a 75–37–0 (67.0%) regular-season record, a 9–5 (64.3%) postseason mark, and two Super Bowl appearances, including a 35-21 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI. By winning at least one game in five consecutive postseasons (1993–1997) Holmgren joined John Madden (1973–1977) as the only coaches in league history to accomplish the feat. Holmgren's Packers posted an NFL-best 48–16 (75.0%) record, finished first in the NFC Central Division three times, second once, and set a 7–3 mark in the playoffs between 1995 and 1998. By taking the Packers to six consecutive postseasons (1993–1998), Holmgren set a franchise record with a team that had had just two winning seasons in the 19 years before he was hired.

Many of Holmgren's 1992 assistant coaches, including Andy Reid, Steve Mariucci, Dick Jauron, Ray Rhodes and Jon Gruden, would go on to head coaching careers in the NFL. Marty Mornhinweg, an assistant hired later in Holmgren's tenure at Green Bay, also became an NFL head coach, but is now the offensive coordinator under Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Seattle Seahawks, 1999–2008[]

Mike Holmgren resigned from the Green Bay Packers after the 1998 season to accept an eight year head coach contract offered by the Seattle Seahawks. Originally, Holmgren was the Executive Vice President/General Manager and Head Coach of the Seahawks. Following the 2002 season, Holmgren was terminated as Seahawks General Manager.

Holmgren took the Seahawks to their first postseason since 1988 during his first season with the club in 1999, breaking a 10-year playoff drought. Holmgren has posted a 72-56 (56.3%) regular-season record and a 3-4 (42.9%) postseason record, including an AFC West Division title (1999), one NFC Wildcard berth (2003), four consecutive NFC West Division titles (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007), an NFC championship (2005), and the Seahawks' first-ever berth in a Super Bowl.

Holmgren's (and the Seahawks') best season to date was 2005. The team posted the best regular-season 13-3 (81.3%) record in franchise history, set a team record 11 consecutive wins, and won their first playoff game since 1984. Holmgren also molded former Green Bay backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck into a Pro Bowl and Super Bowl quarterback in the 2005 NFL season (much as he did with Favre in the 90s), and coached Shaun Alexander to the NFL's MVP, a 2005 rushing title, and an NFL record 28 touchdowns in a single season.

With the 2005 NFC Championship win, Mike Holmgren became the fifth member of a small coaching fraternity that has taken two different NFL franchises to the Super Bowl, joining Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves, Don Shula, and Dick Vermeil. Had the Seahawks won Super Bowl XL, he would have become the first head coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with two different franchises, however they fell short, losing 21-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although NFL referee Bill Leavy later apologized for mistakes he made in Super Bowl XL,[2] the NFL continues to deny the game was officiated incorrectly.[3]

On January 22, 2008, Mike Holmgren announced he would serve out the remaining year of his contract with a lame duck year and end his tenure as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the 2008 NFL season.[4] Jim L. Mora, the defensive backs coach, succeeded Holmgren upon his departure.

On December 19, 2008, Mike Holmgren received the Steve Largent award, becoming the first coach in Seahawks history to attain the accolade.[5]

Post-coaching career[]

On February 1, 2009, Holmgren served as an analyst for NBC's coverage of Super Bowl XLIII.

Cleveland Browns 2010–present[]

On December 21, 2009, Holmgren accepted the job to be president of the Cleveland Browns.[6][7] On January 3, 2011, Holmgren fired Browns coach Eric Mangini. As of the morning of January 3, 2011 Holmgren and the Browns were currently in search of a replacement head coach. On the morning of January 13, 2011, the Cleveland Browns, with the help of Mike Holmgren, announced that former St. Louis Rams Offensive Coordinator, Pat Shurmur, would be the new head coach for the upcoming 2011-2012 NFL season.

Personal life[]

Mike Holmgren and his wife, Kathy, met at age 12 and have been married for 38 years. Holmgren first proposed marriage to Kathy when he was age 15. They have four daughters—twins Calla and Jenny (born 1973), Emily (1977), and Gretchen (1981). They also have five granddaughters—Emma, Emerson, Mary, Isabelle and Eloise and four grandsons-Luke, Micheal, Samuel and Theodore. The Holmgren family is heavily involved in the Evangelical Covenant Church and the denomination's North Park University, in Chicago. In 2004, they led the fundraising drive to build the university's Holmgren Athletic Complex. Holmgren's grandfather, Jens Bugge,[8] who served briefly as a commandant at West Point and wrote a book on military strategy, also had the distinction of being eulogized by Gen. Douglas MacArthur.[9][10] Both of Mike Holmgren's parents were officers in the Salvation Army. Mike Holmgren is a brother in the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Head coaching record[]

     NFL Champions
Team Year Regular season Post-season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
GNB 1992 9 7 0 .563 2nd in NFC Central - - - -
GNB 1993 9 7 0 .563 3rd in NFC Central 1 1 .500 Lost to Dallas Cowboys in NFC Divisional Game.
GNB 1994 9 7 0 .563 2nd in NFC Central 1 1 .500 Lost to Dallas Cowboys in NFC Divisional Game.
GNB 1995 11 5 0 .688 1st in NFC Central 2 1 .667 Lost to Dallas Cowboys in NFC Championship Game.
GNB 1996 13 3 0 .813 1st in NFC Central 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl XXXI Champions.
GNB 1997 13 3 0 .813 1st in NFC Central 2 1 .667 Lost to Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII.
GNB 1998 11 5 0 .688 2nd in NFC Central 0 1 .000 Lost to San Francisco 49ers in NFC Wild-Card Game.
GNB Total 75 37 0 .670 9 5 .643
SEA 1999 9 7 0 .563 1st in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Miami Dolphins in AFC Wild-Card Game.
SEA 2000 6 10 0 .375 4th in AFC West - - - -
SEA 2001 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC West - - - -
SEA 2002 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC West - - - -
SEA 2003 10 6 0 .625 2nd in NFC West 0 1 0.000 Lost to Green Bay Packers in NFC Wild-Card Game.
SEA 2004 9 7 0 .563 1st NFC West 0 1 0.000 Lost to St. Louis Rams in NFC Wild-Card Game
SEA 2005 13 3 0 .813 1st NFC West 2 1 0.667 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL.
SEA 2006 9 7 0 .563 1st NFC West 1 1 0.500 Lost to Chicago Bears in NFC Divisional Game.
SEA 2007 10 6 0 .625 1st NFC West 1 1 0.500 Lost to Green Bay Packers in NFC Divisional Game.
SEA 2008 4 12 0 .250 3rd NFC West - - - -
SEA Total 86 74 0 .541 4 6 .400
Total 161 111 0 .592 13 11 .542

Coaching tree[]

NFL head coaches under whom Mike Holmgren has served: Bill Walsh

Assistant coaches under Mike Holmgren who have become NFL head coaches: Jon Gruden, Marty Mornhinweg, Mike Sherman, Andy Reid, Dick Jauron, Jim Zorn, and Ray Rhodes.


  1. CCS Football Champions Year-By-Year
  2. Allen, Percy. "Referee Bill Leavy apologizes to Seahawks", The Seattle Times, August 6, 2010. 
  3. Unknown. "NFL Notebook: Game 'properly officiated'"; Feb. 8, 2006, Associated Press; URL accessed October 12, 2010.
  5. Williams, Eric. (2008, December 19). Friday practice -- Holmgren receives Largent award. Retrieved December 21st, 2008 from
  8. "COLONEL JENS BUGGE.; West Point Official Dies After Service Overseas", The New York Times, July 18, 1919. Retrieved on May 12, 2010. 
  9. Bishop, Greg. "Seahawks' Holmgren, a Football Lifer, Ponders Life After Football", The New York Times, December 21, 2008. Retrieved on May 12, 2010. 

External links[]