John and Jim Harbaugh will make history Sunday as the first brothers opposing each other as head coaches in the Super Bowl.
It had to happen sooner or later. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has tallied 348 documented sets of brothers who have played professional football.
Other prominent coaching families include the Ryan clan, with Buddy Ryan, former coach of the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles; and sons Rex Ryan, head coach of the New York Jets, and Rob Ryan, former defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.
Rob Ryan won Super Bowl rings as an assistant with the New England Patriots (2002 and 2004), and Rex Ryan, as an assistant with the Ravens (2001).
Brothers Jon and Jay Gruden went to the Super Bowl together in 2003. Jon Gruden, now an ESPN analyst, was head coach of the winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His brother was offensive assistant.
We only need to look back a year to find other prominent siblings. The 2012 MVP, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, is the brother of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, MVP of the 2007 Super Bowl.
Several brothers have played on the same team in Super Bowl games. Glenn Blackwood and Lyle Blackwood played for the Miami Dolphins in 1983 and 1985. Archie Griffin and Ray Griffin played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 1982.
Keith Fahnhorst and Jim Fahnhorst were team members with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1985 bowl, although Jim Fahnhorst didn’t play.
Other brothers with Super Bowl rings:
- Bubba Smith (Baltimore Colts, 1971) and Tody Smith (Dallas Cowboys, 1972)
- Chris Bahr (Oakland Raiders, 1981 and 1984) and Matt Bahr (Steelers, 1980; New York Giants, 1991)
- Darren Sharper (New Orleans Saints, 2010) and Jamie Sharper (Baltimore Ravens, 2001)