There’s always talk and hype about great football players and their collectibles. Not so much about the sport’s great coaches. Head coaches are the driving force behind any team. Sure, you have to possess great on-field talent, but if you don’t have a good coach to manage the talent, you won’t have a successful team.
Throughout the NFL’s illustrious history, fans have witnessed great coaches of every style. From hard-nosed, in-your-face variety to subdued geniuses, many of the greatest teams of all time have a great commander in chief on the sideline.
While collectibles from head coaches tend to be less valuable than player memorabilia, they’re still important pieces that can enhance any collection.
Here are a few collectibles from some of the greatest NFL coaches.
Autographed Vince Lombardi Speech Collage
When the subject of great coaches comes up, the name Vince Lombardi is always toward the top of the list. His tenure with the Green Bay Packers is one of the most successful coaching achievements of all time. He won championships with the Packers in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, and 1967. In short, he created a football dynasty.
This unique collectible is a signed collage of his two most famous speeches. Lombardi was known for his motivational speeches. Copies of them hang in offices of top corporate executives. In addition to copies of his speeches, this collectible has a signed personal check and a photo of the coach. It’s valued at well more than $2,000.
Don Shula Signed Orange Bowl Seat
Don Shula led the Miami Dolphins through the team’s most successful years. The pinnacle of his success came in 1972 when he coached the Dolphins to the NFL’s only full perfect season in history. He will forever be in the history books for this accomplishment.
The Dolphins experienced much of their success in the confines of the Orange Bowl. This collectible features the autograph of Don Shula on a seat from the Orange Bowl. It’s a stadium collectible that would stand out in almost any collection. Surprisingly, it’s quite affordable at $250.
Bill Walsh Autographed Football
During the 1980s, Bill Walsh popularized the West Coast offense. It was an exciting style of play that captured the attention of football fans across the nation. His record with the San Francisco 49ers was 102-63-1. During this time, he won three Super Bowl rings.
This Walsh collectible is an autographed football featuring the legendary 49ers coach. Collectors should store this in a glass case in a dark, cool area. Most Walsh footballs sell for less than $300.
Eric Brantner is a baseball fan and freelance writer living in Houston.
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