News | Minnesota Vikings – vikings.com

Tracking Head Coaching Hires of 2014

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —An old adage that people around the league bring up is that the NFL stands for 'Not For Long.'

The phrase was coined by Jerry Glanville when he was the head coach in Houston. Glanville lasted four seasons with the team and then four more in Atlanta.

Whether it's a player or a coach, you're always fighting to keep your job. Coaches, especially, seem to have a short timetable.

When the Vikings hired Mike Zimmer two years ago today, he was one of seven new head coaches hired in the 2014 offseason.

A trio of those coaches — Mike Pettine of Cleveland, Tennessee's Ken Whisenhunt and Tampa Bay's Love Smith — have already been let go.

Zimmer, meanwhile, is tied for the best regular-season record of coaches hired that offseason with an 18-14 mark. Detroit's Jim Caldwell and Houston's Bill O'Brien also went 18-14 in their first two seasons at the helm.

Washington's Jay Gruden is 13-19, Pettine went 10-22 and Smith went 8-24. Whisenhunt, who was fired midway through the 2015 season, had a 3-20 record.

Zimmer's success with the Vikings includes an NFC North title and a trip to the postseason. And with a solid defense and young quarterback, Minnesota could compete for playoff berths for years to come.

But playoff trips aren't guaranteed, and neither is success after changing head coaches.

According to Donovan Rose of Sports Illustrated's, "The Cauldron," of the 75 NFL head coaches hired in the last 10 years, 49 have been fired. That's essentially two-thirds.

Rose found the 49 that were fired lasted fewer than three years on average, and30 of them never even made the playoffs.

Rose noted that all 11 coaches hired in 2009 are no longer coaching the team that hired them. 

According to Rose's data, reaching the playoffs gives coaches almost an extra two-and-a-half seasons of leeway, on average. Coaches that didn't reach the playoffs during their tenure lasted for an average of 2.1 seasons. Coaches that reached the playoffs during their tenure lasted an average of about 4.4 seasons.

Time will tell if Zimmer can lead the Vikings to their first Super Bowl win in franchise history, but his start is among the best of the 2014 head coaching class.

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