Where Are They Now? NFL Coaches Fired Last Year

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Eight NFL head coaches were fired by – or mutually agreed to part ways with – their employers last season. If you were wondering what they’re up to now, you don’t have to look far.

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1. Mike Singletary

Last Job: Singletary, the leader of the Chicago Bears’ Monsters of the Midway defense during his playing days, compiled an 18-22 record as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers before he was fired following a Week 16 loss to the Rams.

New Job: Leslie Frazier, who replaced Brad Childress as the head coach of the Vikings, hired Singletary as Minnesota’s linebackers coach in January.

If This Doesn’t Work Out: Singletary is a motivational speaker and an ordained minister, as his former team can attest. In his coaching debut, Singletary famously dropped his pants during a halftime speech. He later explained, “I used my pants to illustrate that we were getting our tails whipped on Sunday and how humiliating that should feel for all of us. I needed to do something to dramatize my point; there were other ways I could have done it but I think this got the message across.”

2. Tom Cable

Last Job: Tom Cable led the Raiders to their first non-losing season since 2002 – no small feat for Oakland – but was fired anyway. Team owner Al Davis later accused Cable, who was 17-27 in his three seasons with the Raiders, of lying to him, putting the team in legal harm, and bringing guests on road trips. “All this stuff goes a long way against my wishes…and against the Raider way,” Davis told reporters. “And I just wasn’t going to take it anymore.”

New Job:

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll hired Cable as his offensive line coach. Cable was an offensive lineman at the University of Idaho in the mid-80s.

If This Doesn’t Work Out: Cable, who was accused of breaking Raiders assistant Randy Hanson’s jaw during an altercation in training camp in 2009, might have a career as a bare-knuckle boxer.

3. Eric Mangini

Last Job: Mangini was fired after going 10-22 in two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

New Job: Mangini, who was 23-25 in three seasons as head coach of the New York Jets prior to taking the Cleveland job, was hired to work as an analyst at ESPN. For a guy who grew up in Hartford and went to college at Wesleyan, Mangini should feel right at home in Bristol.

If This Doesn’t Work Out: Maybe he could land a recurring role on Sesame Street:

4. Jeff Fisher

Last Job: Fisher was the longest-tenured head coach in the league before he and the Tennessee Titans parted ways after 16 seasons.

New Job: Fisher, who previously served as the co-chair of the NFL’s Competition Committee, will continue to assist the committee as a consultant. “I wanted to have an opportunity to stay involved,” Fisher told The Tennessean. “I am very close with all the members on the committee and the support staff. You can imagine the time we’ve spent together over the years, it’s almost been like a second job.” The Competition Committee is tasked with recommending rules and policy changes to the league’s teams.

If This Doesn’t Work Out: If Fisher gets the itch to coach again, he’ll probably have plenty of suitors. His son, Brandon, is in his first season as an assistant to the defensive coaching staff in Detroit.

5. Wade Phillips

Last Job: Phillips was fired as the Dallas head coach in November after the Cowboys lost seven of their first eight games. Assistant coach Jason Garrett replaced the Texas native, who led the Cowboys to two division titles and a 34-22 record in his three-plus years at the helm.

New Job: Phillips wasn’t out of work for long. Houston hired him in early January to fill its vacant defensive coordinator position and improve a unit that ranked 30th in the NFL in total defense last season.

If This Doesn’t Work Out: The son of longtime Houston Oilers and New Orleans head coach Bum Phillips, Wade Phillips was born to coach. There will always be another team willing to bring him on in some capacity.

6. Brad Childress

Last Job: Like Phillips, Childress was fired midseason after the Vikings stumbled to a 3-7 record. In his previous four seasons as the head coach, Minnesota won two division titles and advanced to one NFC championship game.

New Job: Childress interviewed for the offensive coordinator position with the Miami Dolphins and later accepted a position as an analyst with the NFL Network. “I may just sit out this year and maybe two years,” Childress told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “But I’ve coached for 33 straight years and if the right position comes up, I’m going to give it strong consideration. I’m a football coach.” Before he was fired, Childress was one of three active NFL head coaches who attended Eastern Illinois University. (Mike Shanahan and Sean Payton are the other two.)

If This Doesn’t Work Out: Childress, who put his psychology degree to good use while coaching Brett Favre in Minnesota, might make a good therapist. He also has some experience as a flight attendant.

7. Josh McDaniels

Last Job: McDaniels went 8-8 in his first year with the Denver Broncos, but was fired in the middle of a disappointing 4-12 season last year.

New Job: McDaniels, who landed the Denver job after serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the New England Patriots, agreed to become Steve Spagnuolo’s offensive coordinator with the St. Louis Rams. Interestingly, Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator of the Giants when they slowed McDaniels’ offense and upset the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

If This Doesn’t Work Out: McDaniels, still only 35, has plenty of coaching ahead of him. Perhaps one day he’ll return to his roots in Ohio, where his dad, Thom, was a legendary high school coach.

8. John Fox

Last Job: The Carolina Panthers fired Fox after nine mostly successful seasons, including a trip to the Super Bowl in 2003.

New Job: Fox was hired to replace Josh McDaniels as head coach of the Broncos.

If This Doesn’t Work Out: Fox, who went to high school in San Diego, received his degree in physical education and earned a secondary education teaching credential at San Diego State. He’s not ready to give up the headset just yet, but Denver may be the last coaching stop of his career. “I’m not ready to retire to sitting on the beach,” he told reporters during the offseason.

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September 7, 2011 - 10:59am
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