Allen Park, MI, United States (4E Sports) – After a two-week search, the Detroit Lions have hired Jim Caldwell as head coach, replacing Jim Schwartz, who was fired after the team’s late-season collapse.
The 58-year-old Caldwell fits the Lions’ criteria as he possesses head-coaching experience and experience on offense, apparently preferably with quarterbacks.
Caldwell became the second minority candidate to land a head-coaching job this month, joining new Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith.
Caldwell was the first person to interview for the Detroit job, followed by former Texans coach Gary Kubiak, former Titans coach Mike Munchak and Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who accepted the Titans job.
From 2009 to 2011, Caldwell was head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, leading the team to a 26-22 record after replacing Tony Dungy in Indianapolis. The Colts reached the Super Bowl in Caldwell’s first season at the helm and went to the playoffs the following season.
He also worked as Wake Forest head coach from 1993 to 2000. After being fired by Wake Forest, Caldwell became a quarterbacks coach in the NFL, first for Tampa Bay and then with Indianapolis, where he was Peyton Manning’s position coach from 2002 until 2008.
Fired by Indianapolis in 2011, Caldwell went to Baltimore first as the Ravens’ quarterbacks coach and then as offensive coordinator for their Super Bowl run after replacing Cam Cameron in December of last season.
Under Caldwell this season, the Ravens were 29th in total offense (307.4 yards a game) and 25th in scoring (20 points a game). Quarterback Joe Flacco, who Caldwell was brought in to mentor, threw more interceptions (22) than touchdown passes (19) this season.
Caldwell, a defensive back at Iowa from 1973 to 1976, has spent the entirety of his coaching career on offense, including at Penn State as quarterbacks coach from 1986 to 1992.