Impact Of Midseason Coaching Changes

It was not a surprise that Raiders’ head coach Dennis Allen failed to make it through the season. More than 24% of our readers thought Allen would be the first coach fired (although 35% were wrong to think Jason Garrett would go first).

More than 65% of our readers thought Allen deserved to be fired when polled two weeks ago, after the Raiders blowout loss at the hands of the Dolphins.

Interim head coach Tony Sparano is now tasked with the challenge of taking over the team midseason and returning them to respectability.

Interim head coaches have fared poorly over the last decade and a half. Of the 23 interim head coaches since 2000, not one made the playoffs, and only two brought their teams to winning records, reports Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times. Further, only seven interim head coaches had winning records in their games coaching the team.

Of the eight interim head coaches to keep the job the next season, seven were either fired or the team decided against re-signing them after their initial contracts. Only Garrett of the Cowboys was able to secure a second contract from his team. Garrett has yet to make the playoffs as the head coach of the team, although they are 4-1 to start the season.

That doesn’t bode well for Sparano, who has failed to achieve any success as a head coach, offensive coordinator, or position coach since winning the AFC East with Chad Pennington in his first year as head coach of the Dolphins. Miami ran him out of town, and he lasted only one season as offensive coordinator with the Jets.

The Jets’ coach Rex Ryan is on the hot seat himself, with very tough matchups against the Broncos and Patriots coming up the next two weeks. Staring at 1-6, and possibly even 1-7 if they lose to a surprisingly good Bills team, Ryan could be the next coach fired. The Jets should just know that recent history does not suggest that a midseason coaching change will solve anything.

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