Marvin Lewis in 2014 extends his Bengals-record head coaching tenure to 12 seasons. He has led his team to the postseason in four of the last five years, including three straight. The Bengals are one of only five NFL teams to be in the playoffs every year since 2011, and they are one of only six clubs to qualify as many as four times in five years.
In total, Lewis has coached five Bengals playoff teams, also a franchise record. Paul Brown is second in the category, with three.
Lewis opens the 2014 season with 90 career victories, the most in Bengals history by a margin of 26 wins over Sam Wyche (64). Lewis’ record is 90-85-1 in the regular season and 90-90-1 including postseason.
The Bengals went 11-5 in the 2013 regular season and won the AFC North Division championship by two games over Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The campaign ended in abrupt disap¬pointment, however, as Cincinnati lost at home to underdog San Diego in the first round of the playoffs.
“Obviously, we can’t wait for 2014 to get started,” Lewis says. “We have a bad taste in our mouths from the playoff game, and the only way to get rid of it is to start working and winning again. We have a lot of positives to build on. This team knows that week in and week out, we can play with the best teams, and there’s no reason we can’t do it in the playoffs, too. We have to be a team on a mission.”
In 2013, the Bengals ranked in the NFL’s top 10 in scoring (tied for sixth), scoring defense (tied for fifth), net offense (10th) and net defense (third). QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green, each in only his third NFL season, continued to add entries to the team record book, including Dalton marks for passing yards (4293) and TD passes (33) in a season. The defense’s No 3 finish in net yards tied the second-best performance in franchise history, and young defensive stars returning will include All-Pro DT Geno Atkins and Pro Bowl LB Vontaze Burfict, as well as playmaking DE Carlos Dunlap.
Lewis got a rare coaching-tree compliment after the 2013 season when his offensive and defensive coordinators, Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer, both moved on to head coaching jobs. Gruden was hired by Washington and Zimmer by Minnesota. The Bengals quickly filled the vacancies from within Lewis’ deep staff, promoting former Raiders head coach Hue Jackson to offensive coordinator and Zimmer protégé Paul Guenther to the defensive coordinator position.
Lewis’ 12-season total as Bengals head coach is four more than the second-place total of eight shared by Wyche and Paul Brown. Lewis is second in the NFL in longest current tenure with one team, trailing only Bill Belichick, who is in
his 15th straight season with New England. In the category of most seasons as head coach with one or more teams, Lewis in 2014 ranks sixth among active coaches, behind Belichick (20th season in 2014), Jeff Fisher (20), Tom Coughlin (19), Andy Reid (16) and John Fox (13).
Last year’s division title was Cincinnati’s third in the Lewis era. Lewis was the consensus choice as NFL Coach of the Year in 2009, when the Bengals won the title while sweeping all six division games. The Bengals were AFC North champions under Lewis also in 2005.
Named the ninth head coach in Bengals history on Jan. 14, 2003, Lewis started quickly. His ’03 club finished 8-8, six games better than the ’02 club, good for the biggest improvement in the NFL.
Lewis came to the Bengals with credentials as a record-setting NFL defensive coordinator, having played a huge role in a championship season. His six seasons (1996-2001) as Baltimore Ravens coordinator included a Super Bowl victory in 2000, when his defense set the NFL record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game campaign (165). That team clipped 22 points off the previous mark. The 2000 Ravens are always an entry in discussions regarding the best NFL defensive units of all time.
In 2002, the season before he joined the Bengals, Lewis led the Washington Redskins to a No. 5 NFL defensive ranking, serving as assistant head coach as well as defensive coordinator.
He had his first NFL assignment from 1992-95, as line¬backers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He aided the development of four Pro Bowl players — Kevin Greene, Chad Brown, Levon Kirkland and Greg Lloyd.
Lewis began his coaching career as linebackers coach at his alma mater Idaho State from 1981-84. ISU’s team (also nicknamed the Bengals) finished 12-1 in Lewis’ first season there and won the NCAA Division 1-AA championship.
Lewis played LB at Idaho State, earning All-Big Sky Conference honors for three consecutive years (1978-80). He also saw action at quarterback and free safety during his college career. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Idaho State in 1981, and earned his master’s in athletic administration in ’82. He was inducted into Idaho State’s Hall of Fame in 2001.
Born Sept. 23, 1958, Lewis attended Fort Cherry High School in McDonald, Pa. (near Pittsburgh), where he was an all-conference quarterback and safety. He also earned high school letters in wrestling and baseball. He and his wife, Peggy, have a daughter, Whitney, and a son, Marcus. Marcus Lewis has joined the Bengals’ coaching staff for 2014.
Playing and coaching history: 1978-80—Played linebacker, quarterback and safety, Idaho State. 1981-84—Assistant coach (AC), Idaho State. 1985-86—AC, Long Beach State. 1987-89—AC, New Mexico. 1990-91—AC, University of Pittsburgh. 1992-95—AC, Pittsburgh Steelers. 1996-2001—Defensive coordinator, Baltimore Ravens. 2002—Assistant head coach/ defensive coordinator, Washington Redskins. 2003-present—Head coach, Cincinnati Bengals.