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Coaching Hires In The NFL Since 2000

In 2000, the Raiders head coach was Jon Gruden. He was traded to Tampa Bay and replaced by Bill Callahan, who was fired after two years. Norv Turner then took over for two years before he was fired. Oakland then brought back Art Shell for one season, before finding the team’s coach of the future with Lane Kiffin. That lasted just over a season; Tom Cable took over as interim head coach and was retained for the full-time gig for a couple of years. Then it was Hue Jackson, and then Dennis Allen, and now Jack Del Rio.

That’s 9 head coaching hires since 2000, the most in the NFL. The table below shows the number of head coaches (excluding interim coaches) for each team since 2000, the year Bill Belichick came to New England. There were 142 of them:

Tm# HCCoaches
OAK9Jon Gruden; Bill Callahan; Norv Turner; Art Shell; Lane Kiffin; Tom Cable; Hue Jackson; Dennis Allen; Jack Del Rio
CLE8Chris Palmer; Butch Davis; Romeo Crennel; Eric Mangini; Pat Shurmur; Rob Chudzinski; Mike Pettine; Hue Jackson
SFO7Steve Mariucci; Dennis Erickson; Mike Nolan; Mike Singletary; Jim Harbaugh; Jim Tomsula; Chip Kelly
WAS7Norv Turner; Marty Schottenheimer; Steve Spurrier; Joe Gibbs; Jim Zorn; Mike Shanahan; Jay Gruden
BUF7Wade Phillips; Gregg Williams; Mike Mularkey; Dick Jauron; Chan Gailey; Doug Marrone; Rex Ryan
DET6Bobby Ross; Marty Mornhinweg; Steve Mariucci; Rod Marinelli; Jim Schwartz; Jim Caldwell
KAN6Gunther Cunningham; Dick Vermeil; Herman Edwards; Todd Haley; Romeo Crennel; Andy Reid
TAM6Tony Dungy; Jon Gruden; Raheem Morris; Greg Schiano; Lovie Smith; Dirk Koetter
MIA6Dave Wannstedt; Nick Saban; Cam Cameron; Tony Sparano; Joe Philbin; Adam Gase
ATL5Dan Reeves; Jim Mora; Emmitt Thomas; Mike Smith; Dan Quinn
MIN5Dennis Green; Mike Tice; Brad Childress; Leslie Frazier; Mike Zimmer
NYJ5Al Groh; Herman Edwards; Eric Mangini; Rex Ryan; Todd Bowles
CHI4Dick Jauron; Lovie Smith; Marc Trestman; John Fox
IND4Jim Mora; Tony Dungy; Jim Caldwell; Chuck Pagano
ARI4Dave McGinnis; Dennis Green; Ken Whisenhunt; Bruce Arians
DAL4Dave Campo; Bill Parcells; Wade Phillips; Jason Garrett
DEN4Mike Shanahan; Josh McDaniels; John Fox; Gary Kubiak
JAX4Tom Coughlin; Jack Del Rio; Mike Mularkey; Gus Bradley
NOR4Jim Haslett; Sean Payton; Aaron Kromer; Sean Payton
TEN4Jeff Fisher; Mike Munchak; Ken Whisenhunt; Mike Mularkey
STL4Mike Martz; Scott Linehan; Steve Spagnuolo; Jeff Fisher
SDG4Mike Riley; Marty Schottenheimer; Norv Turner; Mike McCoy
CAR3George Seifert; John Fox; Ron Rivera
CIN3Bruce Coslet; Dick LeBeau; Marvin Lewis
HOU3Dom Capers; Gary Kubiak; Bill O'Brien
NYG3Jim Fassel; Tom Coughlin; Ben McAdoo
PHI3Andy Reid; Chip Kelly; Doug Pederson
SEA3Mike Holmgren; Jim Mora; Pete Carroll
GNB2Mike Sherman; Mike McCarthy
PIT2Bill Cowher; Mike Tomlin
BAL2Brian Billick; John Harbaugh
NWE1Bill Belichick

Over that time period, John Fox coached for the Panthers, Broncos, and Bears.  Norv Turner was the head coach in Washington, Oakland, and San Diego, while also working as the offensive coordinator in San Diego, Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland, and Minnesota.   In 2000, Mike Mularkey was the tight ends coach in Pittsburgh; in ’01 he was the Steelers offensive coordinator.  He would become the Bills head coach in 2004, the Dolphins offensive coordinator and then tight ends coach, the Falcons offensive coordinator, the Jaguars head coach, the Titans tight ends coach, and now is the Titans head coach.

The Patriots aren’t the only team with impressive stability at head coach: Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Green Bay have each also made just one coaching hire since 2000.  And Cincinnati has its own unique situation.  But it’s easy to take for granted how dominant Belichick has been for the Patriots since 2000, and data dumps like this help to remind me how much turnover there usually is for head coaches.  On average, the other 31 teams have had 4.5 head coaches during this time frame.

  • If you would have asked us to guess who had the most HCs in that time, I would have been confident that it was Cleveland. That was apparently recency bias. Crennel and Davis somehow got four years each, but no one since has lasted more than two.

    I’m actually surprised by the number of teams with only 2-3.

    • Wolverine

      I don’t recall who the owner was before Jimmy Haslam, but I think we can assume he was far less erratic and mercurial. Crennel and Davis are also the only coaches who have ever managed to have winning seasons with the “new” Browns franchise, so I guess that bought them a little more rope.

      • It was Randy Lerner, and I have no idea why I remembered that. He also only owned the team for a decade. I had to check to make sure, but his father was the original owner of the franchise.

        I also had actually forgotten about that Derek Anderson-led 10-6 year under Crennel. When I looked at it, I thought, “Well, of course–that year that Anderson and Braylon Edwards had career years,” but I forgot all about it before then. My memory of Crennel’s tenure was basically 4-6 wins a year and then out.

        • Clint

          What’s crazy is that Romeo’s defenses were never good in Cleveland (including his year as DC in ’00). Joe Thomas still thinks he shouldn’t have been fired. Everything just fell apart in ’08. A lot of injuries, including FOUR quarterbacks. We were using Josh Cribbs at QB in the last game. I believe Brady Quinn would’ve had a decent career if it weren’t for the coaching change. In the couple games in ’08 he looked like the 1st round pick we drafted. BQ hated Mangini and the coordinator in ’09 was a complete dipshit. Brian Daboll was very unqualified and overwhelmed.

        • Wolverine

          Derek Anderson’s 2007 reminds me a lot of Kirk Cousin’s 2015, in that they both took full advantage of a weak slate of opposing pass defenses. (I hope I’m wrong about Cousins, because I always root for Michigan and Michigan State guys to succeed in the NFL).

  • Dave Archibald

    I looked at head coaching hires last year (so it’s not updated for 2016) for insidethepylon.com:
    http://insidethepylon.com/nfl/front-office/2016/01/12/five-lessons-on-hiring-head-coaches/

    You end up with a survivor effect where the good coaches stay a long time and their organizations have a lot of stability, and then bad teams just fire their coach every three years and hire someone who will probably go under .500. Something like 60% of hires have losing records and about half won’t make the playoffs. There’s no loser equivalent of Bill Belichick who gets to coach 15 years and be 100+ games under .500.

  • eag97a

    Interesting that no team with 5 or more HC hires since 2000 has won a SB.

    EDIT; Sorry Tampa Bay also won a SB during that span.

  • Richie

    I’d be curious to see this same chart for the previous 17-year period. I assume it’s typical to have some teams that went crazy replacing coaches.