3. Forrest Gregg (1980 – 83)
Gregg was another coach that led the Bengals while Paul Brown was still the president of the franchise. Gregg coached the Bengals for four seasons that started off slow with a 7-9 record and a 6-10 record in his first two seasons while he was trying to develop the team. He finally succeeded in his third year with the franchise while having one of the most explosive offensive teams in history. With the likes of Ken Anderson at quarterback, tight end Dan Ross, running back Pete Johnson, wide receiver Cris Collinsworth, kicker Jim Breech, and left tackle Anthony Munoz, the Bengals dominated opponents all season long and posted their best ever record of 12-4.
That season, Gregg led the Bengals to the playoffs (he led the team to a total of two playoff appearances in four years). More importantly, he led the Bengals to their first ever playoff victory over the Buffalo Bills. The following week held one of the most infamous games in NFL history: The Freezer Bowl. The Bengals beat the San Diego Chargers in the –51 degree wind chilled weather to the tune of 27-7 and went on to their first ever Super Bowl appearance. Unfortunately, Gregg and the Bengals lost to the other Paul Brown disciple, Bill Walsh, and the Joe Montana led San Francisco 49ers. Overall, Gregg had great success with the Bengals and ended his tenure there with a 32-25 record.