Fired for the second time (third if you count not being offered the position after being an interim in Detroit) Dick Jauron was named Coach of the Year in 2001. That was his third season coaching the Chicago Bears in which he led them to a 13-3 record after seasons of 6-10 and 5-11, respectively. After that 13-3 season, Jauron never posted another winning season—or even an 8-8 season—for the rest of his coaching career.
The fact that he can put coach of the year on his resume really should mean nothing to general managers looking for head coaches, or even coordinators. Jauron receiving the honor proves that the award really doesn’t go to the coach of the year, but instead to the coach of the most surprising team that year.
This year, Josh McDaniels is all but guaranteed the recognition because NOBODY would have expected a 6-0 start for him after all the drama that happened in the offseason. Yet, nobody has mentioned Jim Caldwell, the first year head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, because the Colts are expected to win every year. This year however, the Colts have had injuries and fewer weapons to work with on offense, and yet and they are still 9-0.
Even Romeo Crennel, former coach of the Cleveland Browns, finished second for coach of the year in 2007 simply because nobody thought the Browns would finish without double digit losses. For this, he was given a contract extension, and hopes rose for the Browns (an odd concept I know), who then finished 4-12 with the fans asking for Crennel’s head.
Back to Jauron, all may not be lost for him. He has some exclusive company in Dan Reeves, Norv Turner, and Wade Phillips as coaches who have been fired twice. Phillips was even an interim coach like Jauron, ironically because Dan Reeves was fired for the third and final time during the middle of the 2003 season.
And Norv Turner’s continued head coaching positions in the league always convince me that if this guy can get a coaching job, anybody can. So we may not have seen the last of Jauron. But if that’s the case, he’ll have to start from the bottom and work his way back up as a coordinator. However given his track record, he might want to stick with a job as a coordinator instead. It’s worked out for Dick Lebeau now hasn’t it?