- Category : American Football Coach
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Eden 2
Michael George Holmgren (born June 15, 1948) is an American football coach and executive, most recently serving as president of the Cleveland Browns. Holmgren began his NFL career as a quarterbacks coach and later as an offensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers, in which he would earn two Super Bowl rings. Then from 1992-1998, he served as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, followed by head coaching the Seattle Seahawks from 1999 to 2008. Prior to his career in the National Football League, 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, respectively. 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 five division titles and the franchise's first Super Bowl appearance in 2005. As president of the Cleveland Browns, Holmgren failed to improve the team, which was 5-11 the season before his arrival and went 14-34 in the seasons since. Despite Holmgren's reputation as a quarterback guru, the Browns fielded three different opening day starters in his three years with the team.
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.
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, California, from 1975 to 1980 and won one Central Coast Section championship.
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 1998 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, and was previously an offensive coordinator under Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2006 to 2012.
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 1990s), 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.
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. 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.
On February 1, 2009, Holmgren served as an analyst for NBC's coverage of Super Bowl XLIII.
Cleveland Browns (2010–2012)
On December 21, 2009, Holmgren accepted the job to be president of the Cleveland Browns. On January 3, 2011, Holmgren fired Browns coach Eric Mangini after a disappointing 5-11 record. On October 16, 2012, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam announced that Holmgren will leave the team at the end of the 2012 season.
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 four granddaughters—Emma, Emerson, Mary and Isabell and three grandsons-Luke, Michael, and Samuel. 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, 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. Both of Mike Holmgren's parents were officers in the Salvation Army. Mike Holmgren is a brother in the Sigma Chi fraternity.
Holmgren Way is a street located in Green Bay, WI