Bad Coaching Hires

Van Everyman

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Ok I fucked up and put this in the wrong thread. But let’s put it here:

Mike McCarthy makes me think of coaching hires you knew weren’t going to work out the minute they were made.

Who else qualifies for this? Off the top of my head I can think of:

Eric Mangini w the Browns
Rex Ryan w the Bills
The second Art Shell Raiders Experiment
Freddie Kitchens w the Browns
Jim Tomsula with the Niners (this one was so brutal I almost felt badly for the guy)

Guy in the other thread said Gase’s Molly’s up introductory presser was a harbinger of things to come.
 

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Ok I fucked up and put this in the wrong thread. But let’s put it here:

Mike McCarthy makes me think of coaching hires you knew weren’t going to work out the minute they were made.

Who else qualifies for this? Off the top of my head I can think of:

Eric Mangini w the Browns
Rex Ryan w the Bills
The second Art Shell Raiders Experiment
Freddie Kitchens w the Browns
Jim Tomsula with the Niners (this one was so brutal I almost felt badly for the guy)

Guy in the other thread said Gase’s Molly’s up introductory presser was a harbinger of things to come.
Chip Kelly to the 49ers is the first one I thought of
 

shawnrbu

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Rich Kotite with the Jets
Bobby Petrino with the Falcons
Buddy Ryan with the Cardinals
Steve Spurrier with Washington
Matt Patricia with the Lions
Lane Kiffin with the Raiders
Tom Cable with the Raiders
 

Ale Xander

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Ok I fucked up and put this in the wrong thread. But let’s put it here:

Mike McCarthy makes me think of coaching hires you knew weren’t going to work out the minute they were made.

Who else qualifies for this? Off the top of my head I can think of:

Eric Mangini w the Browns
Rex Ryan w the Bills
The second Art Shell Raiders Experiment
Freddie Kitchens w the Browns
Jim Tomsula with the Niners (this one was so brutal I almost felt badly for the guy)

Guy in the other thread said Gase’s Molly’s up introductory presser was a harbinger of things to come.
Rod Rust

/ducks
 

Jettisoned

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Ok I fucked up and put this in the wrong thread. But let’s put it here:

Mike McCarthy makes me think of coaching hires you knew weren’t going to work out the minute they were made.

Who else qualifies for this? Off the top of my head I can think of:

Eric Mangini w the Browns
Rex Ryan w the Bills
The second Art Shell Raiders Experiment
Freddie Kitchens w the Browns
Jim Tomsula with the Niners (this one was so brutal I almost felt badly for the guy)

Guy in the other thread said Gase’s Molly’s up introductory presser was a harbinger of things to come.
Adam Gase with the Jets
 

DourDoerr

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Ok I fucked up and put this in the wrong thread. But let’s put it here:

Mike McCarthy makes me think of coaching hires you knew weren’t going to work out the minute they were made.

Who else qualifies for this? Off the top of my head I can think of:

Eric Mangini w the Browns
Rex Ryan w the Bills
The second Art Shell Raiders Experiment
Freddie Kitchens w the Browns
Jim Tomsula with the Niners (this one was so brutal I almost felt badly for the guy)

Guy in the other thread said Gase’s Molly’s up introductory presser was a harbinger of things to come.
Steve Spurrier with the WFT. Should be changed to WTF. He came out in preseason like a house on fire - the O really moved the ball. Then I read that he held NFL HC's hours in contempt and he was going to finish his days at 5p or so. Knew then it wouldn't end well.
 

mauf

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Adam Gase with the Jets
The Jets hiring Gase was a real head-scratcher.

I mean, I knew McCarthy wouldn’t work out, but you knew someone would hire him, and since coaches who have choices probably won’t choose to play for JJ, the Cowboys made sense. But I can’t understand having a front-row seat (as a division rival) to the dysfunction in Miami under Gase, then jumping to hire him as soon as he became available.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Last year I went to a Packer game at Lambeau with a few college buddies and I was apoplectic when I found out Mike McCarthy had a street named after him. My buddies thought my reaction was funny and were much more charitable about McCarthy's coaching ability ("he won a Super Bowl!"). On a text string we are all on one of them texted "you were right about McCarthy" during last night's game.

Anyway the modern answer to the question is Gase who was an abject failure in Miami and unbelievably was hired by a team that got to play him twice a season during that period of time. I have to admit I would have put Kliff Kingsbury on the list too. Too early to judge yet with him I guess but he's been better than I thought he would be.
 

luckiestman

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FWIW, I believe Gase was on the shortlist - and very possibly the Falcons' second choice - when Dan Quinn was hired in Atlanta. Not exactly two galaxy-brained coaches we wound up choosing between, I guess.
Quinn seemed fine to me, SB loss broke him and I think that’s understandable. Sure he blew a huge SB lead. That means he was good enough to coach a team to a huge Super Bowl lead.
 
Quinn seemed fine to me, SB loss broke him and I think that’s understandable. Sure he blew a huge SB lead. That means he was good enough to coach a team to a huge Super Bowl lead.
Or alternatively, Kyle Shanahan was the real brains behind the operation, and once he left everything went to hell in a handbasket pretty quickly. (Quinn's clock management issues were pretty horrendous throughout his reign, so that's certainly one point against him...)
 

OurF'ingCity

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Rich Kotite with the Jets
Bobby Petrino with the Falcons
Buddy Ryan with the Cardinals
Steve Spurrier with Washington
Matt Patricia with the Lions
Lane Kiffin with the Raiders
Tom Cable with the Raiders
Patricia with the Lions was one that came to my mind too, but that's mostly because I just assume any coach of the Lions is going to fail because, you know...it's the Lions.

Kiffin is a good one too - nobody failed upwards better than he did.
 

johnmd20

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Or alternatively, Kyle Shanahan was the real brains behind the operation, and once he left everything went to hell in a handbasket pretty quickly. (Quinn's clock management issues were pretty horrendous throughout his reign, so that's certainly one point against him...)
Frank Reich leaving Philly has had a similar result.
 

DourDoerr

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Latter day Al Davis had a genius for coaching hires doomed to fail after Shanahan. Every coach but Gruden (twice) was... wow. It's a football murderers' row. Shell 2x, Tom Cable, Bill Callahan, Joe Bugel, Mike White, Norv Turner, Kiffin, Hue Jackson, Dennis Allen, Tony Sparano and Jack Del Rio. Except for Shell getting 5 years (!) the first go-round and Gruden, the very best any of this flotsam could manage was 2 years. I'd say Davis must have spent a fortune on dead coaching contracts but he probably was able to sign them all on the CHEAP given the demand.

Screen Shot 2020-12-09 at 1.42.58 PM.png
 

DourDoerr

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Van Everyman - maybe the coach hires should be its own thread. I'd like to see if anyone has perspective on hires in the 60's and 70's.
 

Kliq

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Rich Kotite with the Jets
Bobby Petrino with the Falcons
Buddy Ryan with the Cardinals
Steve Spurrier with Washington
Matt Patricia with the Lions
Lane Kiffin with the Raiders
Tom Cable with the Raiders
Rex Ryan with the Bills, it was clear the bloom was off the rose when he got the axe from the Jets.
 

luckiestman

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Rex Ryan with the Bills, it was clear the bloom was off the rose when he got the axe from the Jets.
Rex was only good because Mangini should have never been fired. Mangini and Mike T. worked well together and that was a good roster. LT, LG, C = Brick, Faneca, Mangold...Woody was even pretty good at RT.

Imagine if they had a great QB.

Eric the Rat, as you guys call him, went 10-6, 4-12 (Penny hurt in preseason), 9-7 (8-3 until Favre got hurt).

Wrecks went 9-7, should have been 8-8 but Colts threw the game that let us in playoffs for some reason.

Wrecks could get guys fired up for big games but I thought he was a shit coach, undisciplined, and inconsistent.
 

Kliq

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Rex was only good because Mangini should have never been fired. Mangini and Mike T. worked well together and that was a good roster. LT, LG, C = Brick, Faneca, Mangold...Woody was even pretty good at RT.

Imagine if they had a great QB.

Eric the Rat, as you guys call him, went 10-6, 4-12 (Penny hurt in preseason), 9-7 (8-3 until Favre got hurt).

Wrecks went 9-7, should have been 8-8 but Colts threw the game that let us in playoffs for some reason.

Wrecks could get guys fired up for big games but I thought he was a shit coach, undisciplined, and inconsistent.
Yeah, the Jets had kind of an idiot-proof roster for a few years with a good power-running offensive line and a really good defense that forced a lot of turnovers. Once a few players aged out it became apparent that Rex was in over his head and the front office wasn't capable of keeping the momentum going (and more of an onus was on Sanchez to be a playmaker and not a game-manager) things fell apart. Rex as fine overall for the Jets, but why Buffalo thought he would be able to come in and do anything with that roster is beyond me. He had devolved into basically a sideshow character at that point.

I'm preaching to the choir here, but the Jets were a reasonably competitive team under Herm Edwards and Mangini, making the playoffs on a relatively consistent basis. They were not like the Lions or the Browns; but it felt like the end of the Rex Ryan era kind of marked the start of the Jets morphing into a punchline.
 

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But didn’t Bowles take them playoffs in year one? Honestly not sure what brought on this recent awful stretch.
 

luckiestman

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But didn’t Bowles take them playoffs in year one? Honestly not sure what brought on this recent awful stretch.
No, 10-6 but no playoffs.

Fitz had a great year (for him) with Gailey as OC.
 

Van Everyman

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Van Everyman - maybe the coach hires should be its own thread. I'd like to see if anyone has perspective on hires in the 60's and 70's.
I would be all for that – maybe a mod could move these posts into a new thread? That way we wouldn’t lose any of the really good commentary here.

And yes, the Raiders almost get their own special subforum for this topic ...
 

DanoooME

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Jim Mora, Jr. by the Seahawks. Terrible coach. But at least they recognized that quickly and when Pete Carroll became available the next season, they dumped him quickly.
 

Cousin Walter

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Dave Campo to the Cowboys - never seemed like he had credentials to be anything special at the time of hiring, not exactly the kind of guy to boost season ticket purchases

Most of the guys who got hired going into the 2006 season I was very skeptical of:
Rod Marinelli - Lions
Scott Linehan - Rams
Art Shell - Raiders - seemed like he was the only guy willing to take the job at that point
Mike McCarthy - Packers (still never thought he was a good coach)
Herman Edwards - Chiefs - made the playoffs first year, so that's something, but not a good hire
Dick Jauron - Bills - another meh hire


Sean Payton I was also skeptical of at the time

Brad Childress (Vikings), Eric Mangini (Jets), Gary Kubiak (Texans) did OK
 

joe dokes

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Van Everyman - maybe the coach hires should be its own thread. I'd like to see if anyone has perspective on hires in the 60's and 70's.
I put it in the wrong wrong thread, but Lou Holtz with the Jets in 1976 never looked good. Didn;t know the NFL; Magic tricks at his first presser; didn't last the season.

 

Humphrey

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Jim Mora, Jr. by the Seahawks. Terrible coach. But at least they recognized that quickly and when Pete Carroll became available the next season, they dumped him quickly.
Add Dan Henning to a list which includes Bill Callahan and Jim Mora Jr.- NFL head coaches whose NFL head coaching careers ended badly....AND, went on to have disastrous tenures as college head coaches (BC/Nebraska/UCLA, respectively). So much for the Pete Carroll resuscitate-your-coaching-career move.
Getting back to the main point of the thread, the Chargers hired Henning as head coach after he went 22-41 with the Falcons. Hires like that make the case for qualified minority coaches getting the short end of the stick.
 

Super Nomario

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Chip Kelly to the 49ers is the first one I thought of
Adam Gase with the Jets
Rex Ryan with the Bills, it was clear the bloom was off the rose when he got the axe from the Jets.
All three of these fall into the category of picking up a rebound coach immediately after he gets fired, so he doesn't have any time to reflect on what went wrong. I think these are bad for both the coach and the team. Kelly and Gase joined organizations that were tire fires to begin with; Belichick / Bill Walsh / Paul Brown / pick your favorite coach would have failed with those teams.

Andy Reid is a success story in this category, and maybe Ron Rivera will be too, but of course both those guys (especially Reid) had way more success than Kelly / Gase / Ryan.
 

Van Everyman

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All three of these fall into the category of picking up a rebound coach immediately after he gets fired, so he doesn't have any time to reflect on what went wrong. I think these are bad for both the coach and the team. Kelly and Gase joined organizations that were tire fires to begin with; Belichick / Bill Walsh / Paul Brown / pick your favorite coach would have failed with those teams.

Andy Reid is a success story in this category, and maybe Ron Rivera will be too, but of course both those guys (especially Reid) had way more success than Kelly / Gase / Ryan.
I was thinking this as well -- Mangini is another example, as was Steve Mariucci, who I think was a decent coach w the 49ers but was thrust into the Matt Millen Suck Machine. Part of this dynamic, I think, is that perennially bad teams are desperate to change the conversation -- and a name coach does that. Meanwhile, the name coach is vulnerable and, as you suggest, kind of reeling from their fall from grace. So they are more likely to take these gigs, even if it's a bad idea (plus, it could be their last chance).

To that end, Joe Gibbs is another hire that was doomed to fail because he was hired purely for nostalgic/"Let's get back to old school WFT football" reasons. Of all the Belichick FU games, the one against Gibbs in '07 was one of the effiest. Washington, like the 00's-era Raiders, deserve their own subforum here, probably.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Mike Shanahan in Washington. Was passed his prime by the time he got hired. Lucked into destroying Robert Griffins knee. Thats about it. Out of it for over a decade at that point and out of touch with the league.
 

loshjott

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Who was the shlumpy guy who presided over Eli's demise with the GIants? I know appearances can be deceiving (see: Belichick, Bill) but that guy seemed overmatched from the beginning.
 

bakahump

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I have noticed something. Kids of coaches who coach....dont do well.

How strong is your confidence that a Belicheck is going to succeed?
 

Captaincoop

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Add Dan Henning to a list which includes Bill Callahan and Jim Mora Jr.- NFL head coaches whose NFL head coaching careers ended badly....AND, went on to have disastrous tenures as college head coaches (BC/Nebraska/UCLA, respectively). So much for the Pete Carroll resuscitate-your-coaching-career move.
Getting back to the main point of the thread, the Chargers hired Henning as head coach after he went 22-41 with the Falcons. Hires like that make the case for qualified minority coaches getting the short end of the stick.
Henning is at the very top of the college list. That hire was DOA.
 

E5 Yaz

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I have noticed something. Kids of coaches who coach....dont do well.
NFL father-son head coaches
Sucessful
Kyle Shanahan
Wade Phillips

Middling
Wade Phillips
Jim Mora Jr.
Rex Ryan

Oops
Mike Nolan
Dave Shula

I'm presuming you mean NFL coaching and not sons of coaches in general
 

Mystic Merlin

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I have noticed something. Kids of coaches who coach....dont do well.

How strong is your confidence that a Belicheck is going to succeed?
Not strong, because most coaches fail or are fired even if they’re aren’t responsible for shitty results.

I don’t see why familial relationships - while they definitely offer opportunities others won’t get - have any bearing on whether a coach will be any good.

The NFL coaching circle has traditionally been pretty small/insular in terms of family or other personal ties, which has resulted in some puzzling retread or holding pattern hires already exhaustively detailed in this thread, but I think it’s tricky to conclude that Belichick or Andy Reid’s kids are less likely to succeed as coaches because they must have lesser potential/skills than other candidates not considered because they weren’t related to the head coach.
 

bakahump

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Yes Obv NFL coaches.

I guess there is a possibility to expand on @Mystic Merlin point.....that if there are limited opportunities and those opportunities get handed out more frequently to a guy because of his name and not say, merit, then there is a good chance that Shula gets hired when he really shouldnt.

So Its no disrespect. I mean hoping that Steve becomes 1/5 the coach is dad is is high expectations. My question more rightly is will he be a "good" NFL HC? 1. Will he get the opportunity? 2 Will he be a winning coach? Will he be better the KShanahan (who is probably the best of the bunch).
 

pedro1918

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No list of head scratching Washington Football Team hirings is complete without Jim Zorn. The dude was in over his head at the introductory press conference.

Of course he interviewed for the offensive coordinator job and Danny gave him the HC job. He was probably just as surprised as anyone else.
 

Awesome Fossum

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Jim Zorn has to be in the running with Tomsula for least qualified coaching hires of the past 15 years.

Spurrier's a fair answer, as he clearly wasn't fully invested in building a program. I do wish he would have had a chance to run his offense with a half decent quarterback.

I have to disagree with Shanahan. It didn't work out, obviously, but I think that was a legit hire, and it failed for reasons unrelated to his feel for the game. If anything, they were on the cutting edge with the stuff they were doing with Griffin while he still had two knees. Remember that McVay was on that staff as well. Winning 10 games in Washington should get you a statue.
 

Rudy's Curve

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Zac Taylor spent 3+ years as a QB coach in Miami where Tannehill never really progressed, became the interim OC where the team averaged 20.4 PPG (and a third of the points were in the first two games) over the last 12 games, was the OC for the University of Cincinnati in 2016 who fielded a horrible offense, went to the Rams where he was the assistant WRs coach in 2017 (basically quality control) and the QB coach in 2018 after Goff had already taken the big leap the year before. Just like no one would've let Marvin Lewis hang around for 16 years, nobody would've hired that resume except Mike Brown. And just like no one else would let their coach survive 4-27-1 (what he'll be come January 3), only Mike Brown will give that record another whirl.
 

kelpapa

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Mike Shanahan in Washington. Was passed his prime by the time he got hired. Lucked into destroying Robert Griffins knee. Thats about it. Out of it for over a decade at that point and out of touch with the league.
He was out of the league for one year, and didn't have a terrible run with denver his last few years. I think the main issue was giving him personnel control.
 

Humphrey

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Henning is at the very top of the college list. That hire was DOA.
In his first game as a coach, Henning's team scored a TD on their first play from scrimmage (a long pass). Went downhill from there. Even if the gambling scandal didn't happen; that particular season still would have been his last.
 

54thMA

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The Patriots had Chuck Fairbanks as their coach, he IMO is the third best coach they've had behind Belichick and Parcells, he was coach in 1976 when they got robbed in the playoff game vs the Raiders on a horseshit roughing the passer call. I might give him 3A with Raymond Berry as 3B.

He left after the 1978 season (he was fired before the Monday night game vs Miami on the last day of the season, then rehired to coach the playoff game vs the Oilers and they got blown out) and they hired Ron Erhardt, he took over a loaded roster...........and proceeded to go 9-7, 10-6, missing the playoffs both years, then 2-14 and he was shown the door. Those 1976/7/78 teams were loaded, they made the playoffs twice but went 0-2, that 1976 team should have won the Super Bowl that year, I wonder what the 1978 team would have done without all the drama over the Fairbanks situation.

When Raymond Berry left after the 1989 season, they hired Rod Rust...........who proceeded to go 1-15, they won their first game that year, then went 0-15, including 0-8 at home, he was horrendous.

He was followed by Dick MacPherson, he stunk too, 8-24 and was fired after two miserable seasons and replaced by Parcells.