Leslie Frazier's Interim Position Is His First HC Job; Other Notable Interims
The Minnesota Vikings second-ever interim head coach, Leslie Frazier, is taking on the role of NFL head coach for the first time in his coaching career.
Hiring an interim coach with no head coaching experience is common in the NFL. Over 76 percent of the interim head coaches hired since 1950, never had previous NFL head coaching experience.
Two famous coaches that received their first head coaching stints as interim coaches were Marty Schottenheimer with the Browns in 1984, and Jeff Fisher with the Oilers in 1994.
The following slideshow goes over some of the more notable head coaches in NFL history who started out as interim head coaches.
Jason Garrett (2010): Dallas Cowboys
Jason Garrett is one of seven interim head coaches since 1950 to pick up a victory on the road in their interim debut.
The Cowboys victory by 13 points was also the greatest margin of victory by a debuting interim head coach on the road (from a period of 1950-).
The previous best margin of victory on the road by a debuting interim head coach was Wayne Fontes in 1988, when the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers 19-9.
Mike Singletary (2008): San Francisco 49ers
Everybody was excited when Hall of Fame LB Mike Singletary took over for Mike Nolan in 2008 as the San Francisco 49ers head coach. The excitement has subsided.
Maybe as a sign of things to come, Singletary lost to the Seattle Seahawks 34-13 in his debut.
Tom Cable (2008): Oakland Raiders
When Tom Cable was hired by the Oakland Raiders in 2008 to be the interim head coach, I don't think anybody thought he would last as long as he has with the Raiders. Cable has survived a few controversies, and a couple of losing seasons.
Despite the big loss on Sunday, the Raiders are still in the playoff hunt under Cable's guidance. Cable lost his debut game to the New Orleans Saints 34-3.
Mike Tice (2000): Minnesota Vikings
Mike Tice was the first interim head coach in the history of the Minnesota Vikings. Tice lost his debut on Monday Night Football to the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens 19-3.
He was retained as Vikings head coach after the season, and he had an up-and-down coaching career with the Vikings.
Gary Moeller (2000): Detroit Lions
Gary Moeller took over a Detroit Lions team in turmoil in 2000.
Moeller who had previous head coaching experience at the University of Michigan, took over for Bobby Ross mid-season and kept the Lions in the playoff hunt until the final week of the regular season.
Moeller won his debut against the Atlanta Falcons 13-10.
Dick LeBeau (2000): Cincinnati Bengals
Dick LeBeau, a future Hall of Famer and a defensive coaching wizard, was hired as the interim head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2000. LeBeau was the head coach of the Bengals two more years after his interim stint.
Later, he would go back to the Steelers, and lead the Pittsburgh defense to two Super Bowl titles as defensive coordinator. LeBeau lost to the Miami Dolphins 31-16 in his debut.
Jeff Fisher (1994): Houston Oilers
Jeff Fisher was hired as an interim head coach by the Houston Oilers in 1994. Fisher is now the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL. Fisher lost to the New York Giants 13-10 in his debut.
Art Shell (1989): Los Angeles Raiders
The Los Angeles Raiders hired Art Shell to replace future Super Bowl-winning head coach Mike Shanahan in 1989.
Shell was popular with Raider players, and he led the Raiders to three playoff appearances in later years.
Shell's hiring was historic at the time, because Shell was the first black head coach in the NFL since Fritz Pollard in 1925. Shell won his debut against the Jets 14-7.
Wayne Fontes (1988): Detroit Lions
It's hard to believe, but Wayne Fontes is the most successful Detroit Lions head coach in the last 50 years.
Fontes was consistently criticized, but he did lead the Lions to four playoff appearances, and to the NFC Championship Game in 1991.
Fontes won his debut against the Green Bay Packers 19-9. Fontes is also the last Lions head coach to win at Lambeau Field.
Wade Phillips (1985): New Orleans Saints
Wade Phillips took over for his dad Bum Phillips in 1985 as New Orleans Saints head coach.
Phillips was replaced by an interim head coach himself this season, when Jason Garrett took over for him as Dallas Cowboys head coach.
Phillips won his interim debut against the Los Angeles Rams 29-3.
Jerry Glanville (1985): Houston Oilers
Jerry Glanville had a colorful coaching career with the Houston Oilers and Atlanta Falcons.
Known for dressing in all black, and leaving tickets for Elvis, Glanville is hard to forget.
Glanville lost to the Browns 28-21 in his interim debut with the Oilers.
Raymond Berry (1984): New England Patriots
A year after the New England Patriots took the interim tag off of Raymond Berry's job title, he led the Patriots to the Super Bowl in 1985.
Berry won his interim debut 30-20 against the New York Jets.
Marty Schottenheimer (1984): Cleveland Browns
Marty Schottenheimer took over for Sam Rutigliano midway in the 1984 season.
Two years later, he would lead the Browns to the brink of the Super Bowl, losing in the famous 1986 "The Drive" AFC Championship Game.
Schottenheimer lost his interim debut to the New Orleans Saints 16-14.
J.D. Roberts (1970): New Orleans Saints
J.D. Roberts perhaps had the most famous interim head coaching debut. Down 17-16 against the Detroit Lions, Roberts sent out Tom Dempsey to attempt a game winning 63-yard field goal.
As everybody knows, Dempsey made the kick to set the record for longest NFL field goal, and the Saints won in dramatic fashion.
Wally Lemm (1961): Houston Oilers
As an interim head coach, Wally Lemm led the Houston Oilers with the help of QB George Blanda (pictured above) to the AFL title in 1961, and won AFL coach of the year.
Undoubtedly, Lemm had the most successful season by an interim head coach in pro football history.