George Seifert

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George Seifert
Personal information
Date of birth (1940-01-22) January 22, 1940 (age 75)
Place of birth San Francisco, California, U.S.
Career information
Position(s) Guard/linebacker
College Utah
Head coaching record
Regular season 114–62–0 (.648)
Postseason 10–5 (.667)
Career record 124–67–0 (.649)
Super Bowl wins 1989 XXIV
1994 XXIX
Championships won NFC (1989, 1994)
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1964 University of Utah (GA)
1965 Westminster College
1966 University of Iowa (GA)
1967–1971 University of Oregon (DB)
1972–1974 Stanford University (DB)
1975–1976 Cornell University
1977–1979 Stanford University (DB)
1980–1982 San Francisco 49ers (DB)
1983–1988 San Francisco 49ers (DC)
1989–1996 San Francisco 49ers
1999–2001 Carolina Panthers

George Seifert (born January 22, 1940) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head coach for the San Francisco 49ers[1] and the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL).[2] Seifert joined the 49ers' coaching staff under Bill Walsh in 1980 as defensive backs coach and served as the team's defensive coordinator from 1983 to 1988.


Born in the same place he would later coach, the childhood fan Seifert was raised in San Francisco, ushering at 49ers home games while in high school.[3] Seifert attended the University of Utah, playing guard and linebacker for the Utes. He served as graduate assistant for a year before being hired as head coach of Westminster College in Salt Lake City at age 25,[4] where he led the Parsons to a 3-3 record.

After working as an assistant at the University of Iowa, the University of Oregon and Stanford University,[5] Seifert was hired as head coach at Cornell University. He was fired after going 3-15 in two seasons.[6] He then returned to Stanford in 1977, where he met Walsh. When Walsh moved to the 49ers in 1979, Seifert remained at Stanford for one more year before joining him.

As a 49er assistant, his defenses finished in the top ten in fewest points allowed in each of his six seasons in that capacity: fourth in 1983, first in 1984, second in 1985, third in 1986 and 1987, and eighth in 1988. His final two defenses, 1987 and 1988, finished first and third in fewest yards allowed, respectively. On his 49th birthday, the 49ers won the Super Bowl in 1989.

Head coaching[edit]

In 1989, he was elevated to head coach. He is one of only 13 NFL head coaches with more than one Super Bowl victory, winning in both the 1989 and 1994 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. In Super Bowl XXIV he became the first rookie head coach to win the Super Bowl since Don McCafferty coached the Baltimore Colts to victory in Super Bowl V. In all, Seifert coached on five Super Bowl champion teams with the 49ers, being 1 of only 17 men to have won 5 or more championships. Seifert was forced to resign in 1996.

After two years out of the game, he was tapped by the Carolina Panthers as head coach. He was also de facto general manager as well; the Panthers hadn't had a general manager since Bill Polian's departure in 1997. During his first training camp with the Panthers, he told his players that they shouldn't act like wildebeests. He explained that wildebeests usually give up when caught by a lion. "Don't be that wildebeest," he said. "Don't give up."[7]

In his first season, Seifert led the Panthers to an 8-8 record, a four-game improvement from 1998. The most notable play of that year came when quarterback Steve Beuerlein scored a game-winning touchdown on a fourth-and-five quarterback draw with five seconds left in overtime to defeat the Green Bay Packers. They went into the final day of the regular season in contention for a playoff berth. However, their victory margin over the New Orleans Saints needed to be 18 points greater than the Packers' margin over the Arizona Cardinals in order to have a chance to make the playoffs. While the Panthers routed the Saints 45-13, the Packers beat the Cardinals 49-24, leaving the Packers ahead on point differential and eliminating the Panthers.

The Panthers were competitive for most of 2000 as well, but needed to win their season finale against the Oakland Raiders to finish at .500. However, the Raiders drilled them 52-9, still one of the most lopsided losses in franchise history. Despite this, things appeared to be looking up for the Panthers in 2001. Seifert presided over an draft that netted the Panthers Steve Smith and Kris Jenkins, who would go on to be among the cornerstones of the franchise. Behind rookie quarterback Chris Weinke, they raced past the Minnesota Vikings 24-13. However, they wouldn't win another game all season and would finish 1-15--easily the worst record in franchise history. The 15 consecutive losses would be an NFL record for futility until the 2008 Detroit Lions went 0-16. Their final two games were played before what are still the two smallest crowds in franchise history (in terms of turnstile count)--including a 38-6 rout at the hands of the New England Patriots that drew only 21,000 people. Seifert was fired the next morning. To date, he is the only Panthers coach to have never had a winning season or coached a playoff game

Head coaching record[edit]

National Football League[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
SF 1989 14 2 0 .875 1st in NFC West 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl XXIV Champions.
SF 1990 14 2 0 .875 1st in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to New York Giants in NFC Championship Game.
SF 1991 10 6 0 .625 3rd in NFC West - - - -
SF 1992 14 2 0 .875 1st in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Dallas Cowboys in NFC Championship Game.
SF 1993 10 6 0 .625 1st in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Dallas Cowboys in NFC Championship Game.
SF 1994 13 3 0 .813 1st in NFC West 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl XXIX Champions.
SF 1995 11 5 0 .688 1st in NFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Green Bay Packers in NFC Divisional Game.
SF 1996 12 4 0 .750 2nd in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Green Bay Packers in NFC Divisional Game.
SF Total 98 30 0 .766 10 5 .667
CAR 1999 8 8 0 .500 2nd in NFC West - - - -
CAR 2000 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC West - - - -
CAR 2001 1 15 0 .062 5th in NFC West - - - -
CAR Total 16 32 0 .333 - - -
Total [8] 114 62 0 .648 10 5 .667


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Westminster Parsons (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) (1965)
1965 Westminster 3–3
Westminster: 3–3
Cornell Big Red (Ivy League) (1975–1976)
1975 Cornell 1–8 0–7 8th
1976 Cornell 2–7 2–5 T–5th
Cornell: 3–15 2–12
Total: 6–18

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "49ers Select Mariucci As Seifert's Successor". New York Times. 17 January 1997. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Associated Press (4 January 1999). "FOOTBALL: N.F.L. NOTEBOOK". New York Times. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Sports Illustrated (29 January 1990). "Bumpy Road To Success". Times Daily. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Associated Press (21 January 1990). "Seifert builds own image". Times Daily. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Nissenson, Herschel (7 December 1976). "Blackman Is Returning To Ivy League (Cornell)". The Argus-Press. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Fowler, Scott (2004). Tales from the Carolina Panthers Sideline. Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 1582618356. 
  8. ^ George Seifert Career Record @ Pro Football Reference