Marvin Lewis
Head Coach


Marvin Lewis in 2013 extends his Bengals-record head coaching tenure to 11 seasons. He has led his team to the postseason in three of the last four years, making the Bengals one of only seven teams to make three or more playoff trips in that span.

Marvin Lewis in 2013 extends his Bengals-record head coaching tenure to 11 seasons. He has led his team to the postseason in three of the last four years, making the Bengals one of only seven teams to make three or more playoff trips in that span.

Lewis opens ’13 with 79 career victories, most in Bengals history by a margin of 15 over Sam Wyche (64). His record is 79-80-1 in the regular season and 79-84-1 including postseason. The Bengals went 10-6 in the 2012 regular season, tying eventual Super Bowl winner Baltimore for the best record in the AFC North Division. Cincinnati was a Wild Card playoff entry for the second straight year.

Though the past two seasons have ended with first-round playoff losses at Houston, the team remains on an upward trajectory entering ’13. The ’12 team rocketed into the playoffs with a 7-1 record in the season’s second half, tying the 1981 Super Bowl team for the best second half by a Cincinnati team in a 16-game season. The 2012 Bengals achieved a rare NFL feat, becoming only the ninth of 131 teams since 1990 to rise from a 3-5 start to the playoffs.

Cincinnati’s defense ranked sixth in the NFL last season in fewest yards allowed, with a club-record 51 sacks, and though the offense’s overall numbers did not match the defense, further strides are fully expected from a unit whose 11 starters in the playoff game included eight with four or fewer years of NFL experience.

The Bengals were widely forecast as a non-contender in 2011, but Lewis fielded a young squad with new stars that posted a 9-7 mark to reach the playoffs. Long regarded among the NFL’s top defensive minds, Lewis in 2011 brought on a new offensive coordinator in Jay Gruden, and over the last two years four Cincinnati offensive players have made one or more Pro Bowls. Gruden returns to the Bengals for 2013 after two years of being among candidates for head coaching jobs elsewhere in the NFL, and the same is true for Mike Zimmer, the defensive coordinator Lewis chose in 2008.

Lewis's 11-season total as Bengals head coach is three more than the second-place total of eight shared by Wyche and Paul Brown. Lewis has risen to second in the NFL in longest current tenure with one team, trailing only Bill Belichick, who is in his 14th-straight season with New England. In the category of most seasons as head coach with any team, Lewis in 2013 ranks seventh among active coaches.

Lewis was the consensus choice as NFL Coach of the Year in 2009, when the Bengals won the AFC North 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 finished second (behind Belichick of Super Bowl champion New England) in Associated Press Coach of the Year voting.

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 linebackers 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's 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.

PLAYING AND COACHING HISTORY - 1978-80: Played linebacker, quarterback and safety at Idaho State. 1981-84: Assistant coach (AC), Idaho State. 1985-86: AC, Long Beach State. 1987-89: AC, New Mexico. 1990-91: AC, Univ. of Pittsburgh. 1992-95: AC, Pittsburgh Steelers. 1996-2001: Defensive coordinator, Baltimore Ravens. 2002: Assistant head coach/defensive coordinator, Washington Redskins. 2003-present: Bengals head coach.

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