Detroit Lions: Jim Schwartz Stays, but 3 Assistant Coaches Won't Return in 2013

Eric McKelvieSenior Writer IJanuary 1, 2013

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 22:  Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz talks with NFL referee Walt Coleman during a disputed play during the game against the Houston Texans at Ford Field on November 22, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Texans defeated the Lions 34-31.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

After the Detroit Lions lost eight consecutive games to finish the 2012 NFL season with a 4-12 record, it was obvious changes would be made.

Three assistant coaches will not be back next season, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. It’s the end of the line for wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, running backs coach Sam Gash and offensive line coach George Yarno, whose contracts expire at the end of this season.

A report on Sunday by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, indicated that the Lions' owners were reviewing Jim Schwartz’s job status. However, it doesn't appear as though the head coach is going anywhere yet.

Schwartz, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham all survived "Black Monday." The trio has worked together since 2009 when Schwartz was hired as Detroit’s head coach.

As for the assistants, Shawn Jefferson got his start with the Lions in 2005 and became the receivers coach in 2008. Jefferson played 13 seasons in the NFL as a receiver, his last in 2003 as a member of the Lions.

Jefferson gained attention when TV cameras captured him yelling at Scott Linehan on the sideline during the Lions' Week 11 loss to the Green Bay Packers. According to Birkett, Jefferson wanted wide receiver Titus Young to be benched. 

Sam Gash spent 12 seasons of NFL experience as a fullback. Gash had been a part of Detroit’s coaching staff since 2007, when he was brought in as an assistant special teams coach.

The eldest of the three coaches, George Yarno, played 10 seasons in the NFL as a guard. After retiring, Yarno coached both college and pro football, joining the Lions in 2009.

These are likely just the first of a few changes that will occur in Detroit over the offseason.