Jim Caldwell was the head coach of two NFL teams
Jim Caldwell is back coaching in the NFL for the first time since the 2019 season when he was an assistant coach for the Miami Dolphins. He interviewed for the Carolina Panthers head coaching job, but the panthers gave the job to former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich. Per a new report, Caldwell won’t seek a head coaching job in the NFL again.
Caldwell replaced Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy for the 2009 season. He took the Colts to the Super Bowl in his first season and won two AFC South titles in three seasons. The Colts fired him after going 2-14 in his third season, a year where star quarterback Payton Manning missed the entire season with an injury.
He took the Detroit Lions head coaching job in 2014. He took the franchise, which had not fielded a consistent winner since the early 1990s, to two postseason appearances in four years. But the Lions fired him after a 9-7 record in season four and an overall record of 36-28 in Detroit. The Lions replaced him Matt Patricia, who they wound up giving three years, even though he posted nine total victories in his first two seasons.
If the Colts firing him wasn’t, the Lions firing Jim Caldwell was a sham. And the head coach who had made four postseasons in seven tries wouldn’t be hired as a head coach in the league again. Disgruntled former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores rightfully used Caldwell’s resume as an example in Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL for racial discrimination against minority coaches.
Caldwell is done interviewing to be a head coach
According to a report by David Newton of ESPN, Jim Caldwell will not seek employment as a head coach in the NFL again. He said his sole focus was on his job as an assistant coach with the Panthers. Caldwell was happy to be back in the NFL as a coach but changed his perspective on being a head coach after Reich was hired. In the report, Caldwell did mention the topic of race being an issue when it came to head coaching hires:
“Caldwell said he will continue to strive to get more Black head coaches in the league. He just won’t be part of that group.
“When you look at the numbers, they speak for themselves,” he said of the league’s track record for hiring Black head coaches. “There’s been volumes and volumes of articles written and reporting on television about the lack of diversity in terms of the head-coaching position.”
The Panthers will be better for having Caldwell’s mind in their brain trust. But one can’t help but wonder if Jim Caldwell is overqualified for the position he’ll hold in Carolina for the 2023 season.
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