One and Done: Rob Chudzinski and the NFL’s One-Season Head Coaches

Rob Chudzinski Is The Only Cleveland Browns Head Coach To Last Just One Season

Rob Chudzinski Is The Only Cleveland Browns Head Coach To Last Just One Season

Wow. After just one season, the Cleveland Browns have canned their head coach, Rob Chudzinski. That is, in fact, the first time in Browns history (and it’s a long one – since 1946), the Browns fired their head coach after a single season.

The one-year coach all around the NFL is a relatively rare breed, indeed. Throughout the entire history of the league, there have only been 61, all listed below by franchise. It appears HC’s more often than not get at least one more chance to prove their mettle.

What’s even rarer is the coach who helms for less than a year – noted with asterisks below. Whether they were fired or stepped down for illness, only six (just six!) coaches in all of NFL history couldn’t manage to see a single season through. Pretty remarkable.

Seven franchises have never fired a coach after just one season or less, including the faithful Dallas Cowboys, and believe it or not, the Chicago Bears, who have been around since 1920 – one of the two oldest franchises in football (the Cardinals being the other).

So, safe to say, if you’re good enough to become an NFL head coach, you’ll most likely get a couple years to show what you can do.

Some caveats on the list: Interim coaches – those who take over when a head coach is fired – are not included unless they make it to the next season (and then are fired after that). Some coaches, like Sid Gillman of the San Diego Chargers and Bud Grant of the Minnesota Vikings, had more than one stretch with their teams, one of which was only for a season. The early days of the game – especially during the first few seasons of a franchise’s existence, as with the New York Giants and Washington Redskins – saw more frequent changes at the top than today.

FRANCHISE HEAD COACH SEASON W L T TEAM NOTES
Arizona Cardinals Guy Chamberlain 1927 3 7 1 Chicago  
  Fred Gillies 1928 1 5 0 Chicago  
  Dewey Scanlon 1929 6 6 1 Chicago  
  Jack Chevigny 1932 2 6 2 Chicago  
  Ernie Nevers 1939 1 10 0 Chicago  
  Buddy Parker / Phil Handler 1949 6 5 1 Chicago co-coaches
  Joe Kuharich 1952 4 8 0 Chicago  
               
Atlanta Falcons Bobby Petrino* 2007 3 10 0    
               
Baltimore Ravens None            
               
Buffalo Bills Harvey Johnson 1971 1 13 0    
               
Carolina Panthers None            
               
Chicago Bears None            
               
Cincinnati Bengals None            
               
Cleveland Browns Rob Chudzinski 2013 4 12 0    
               
Dallas Cowboys None            
               
Denver Broncos None            
               
Detroit Lions Hal Griffen 1930 5 6 3 Portsmouth Spartans  
  Gus Henderson 1939 6 5 0    
  Potsy Clark 1940 5 5 1    
  Don McCafferty 1973 6 7 1    
               
Green Bay Packers Ray McLean 1958 1 10 0    
  Ray Rhodes 1999 8 8 0    
               
Houston Texans None            
               
Indianapolis Colts Keith Molesworth 1953 3 9 0 Baltimore  
               
Jacksonville Jaguars Mike Mularkey 2012 2 14 0    
               
Kansas City Chiefs Romeo Crennel 2012 2 14 0    
               
Miami Dolphins Cam Cameron 2007 1 15 0    
               
Minnesota Vikings Les Steckel 1984 3 13 0    
  Bud Grant 1985 7 9 0    
               
New England Patriots Rod Rust 1990 1 15 0    
               
New Orleans Saints Aaron Kromer / Joe Vitt 2012 7 9 0 co-coaches  
               
New York Giants Bob Folwell 1925 8 4 0    
  Doc Alexander 1926 8 4 1    
               
New York Jets Bulldog Turner 1962 5 9 0 New York Titans AFL
  Lou Holtz* 1976 3 10 0    
  Pete Carroll 1994 6 10 0    
  Al Groh 2000 9 7 0    
               
Oakland Raiders Marty Feldman* 1962 0 5 0   AFL
  Joe Bugel 1997 4 12 0    
  Art Shell 2006 2 14 0    
  Hue Jackson 2011 8 8 0    
               
Philadelphia Eagles Bo McMillin 1951 2 0 0    
  Ed Khayat 1972 2 11 1    
               
Pittsburgh Steelers Jap Douds 1933 3 6 2    
  Luby Dimeolo 1934 2 10 0    
  Jim Leonard 1945 2 8 0    
  Mike Nixon 1965 2 12 0    
               
San Diego Chargers Sid Gillman* 1971 4 6 0    
               
San Francisco 49ers Red Strader 1955 4 8 0    
  Monte Clark 1976 8 6 0    
  Ken Meyer 1977 5 9 0    
  Pete McCulley* 1978 1 8 0    
               
Seattle Seahawks Jim Mora 2009 5 11 0    
               
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Richard Williamson 1991 3 13 0    
               
Tennessee Titans Wally Lemm 1961 9 0 0 Houston Oilers AFL Champions
  Sammy Baugh 1964 4 10 0 Houston Oilers AFL
  Hugh Taylor 1965 4 10 0 Houston Oilers AFL
  Ed Hughes 1971 4 9 1 Houston Oilers  
               
Washington Redskins Lud Wray 1932 4 4 2 Boston Braves 1st Season
  Eddie Casey 1935 2 8 1 Boston Redskins  
  Dutch Bergman 1943 6 3 1    
  John Whelchel* 1949 3 3 1    
  Vince Lombardi 1969 7 5 2    
  Bill Austin 1970 6 8 0    
  Richie Petitbon 1993 4 12 0    
  Marty Schottenheimer 2001 8 8 0    

Photo: USATSI via cbssports.com

Posted on December 30, 2013, in NFL Football and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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