How Would a Coaching Change affect the Panthers

It's been a little over a week since the end of the Panthers season, but there have already been two rumors of Fox leaving. For the last few season it seems the fan base has been split on Fox keeping his job. However, it can't be argued that Fox has had his ups and down since 2003, but it also can't be argued the quality of players he's put on the field every year with hopes for big things.

In my opinion the main questions is what effect would a coaching change have on the Panthers. With this question at hand I decided to research what effect a coaching change has on a team. Using Pro-Football-Reference.com I complied a list of the last coaching changes for all 32 teams. For teams that had a new coach this past year I also added their previous coaching change (except the Raiders since they have gone through several in the last few seasons).

Stats after the jump.

In total I have 44 coaching changes on my list. For each change I noted how many season the new coach took to have a winning season and make the playoffs, and for the old coach now many seasons it had been since they had a winning season or made the playoffs.

Old Coach New Coach
Years to
# Last Winning Record Last Playoffs Winning Record Playoffs
Never 14 15 15 15
1 9
7 14 16
2 13 12 10 9
3 5
6 3 3
4 2 3 1 0
5 0 0 0 0
6 1 1 1 1

 

It seems most owners have a four year tolerance of not having a winning record or making the playoffs. Jim Haslett of the Saints was the only coach to make it six years without a winning season or playoff appearance of those let go, and Jeff Fisher is the only active coach that went six years before getting both.

It does make since that the highest group would be in the "never" category, but I didn't expect, for the new coaches, to have as quick a turn around to a winning record or playoffs.

Here is the breakdown of how the old coaches lost their jobs (mostly from Wikipedia.com):

How Released Number
Fired 29 (65.9%)
Retired 6
Resigned 5
Not Retained 1
Traded 1
Unknown 2

 

I would say that overall its hard for a coach to reach the end of their contract, only one was not retained which I assume means wasn't offered an extension. I would also note the one trade on the list was Herman Edwards from the Jets in 2005 to the Chiefs (this was after the John Gruden trade to the Bucs in 2002).

Of the 29 that were fired here is the breakdown of how long it had been since a winning season or playoff appearance:

Years to Last Winning Season Playoffs
Never 10 11
1 4
3
2 8 7
3 4
4
4 2 3
5 0 0
6 1 1

 

This breaks down about how I would expect it. The largest in the never category and around 3 years being the max time a coach is given to produce a winning season or playoffs.

Finally, I could only find three times in the modern NFL that a newly hired coach won the Superbowl in their first year:

Team Year Opponent Previous Year Record
Baltimore Colts 1970 Cowboys 8-5-1
San Fransisco 49ers 1989 Broncos 10-6
Tampa Bay Bucs 2002 Raiders 9-7

 

From all of this I would surmise while a new coach on a decent team has a good chance of taking their team to the playoffs the next year, it is highly unlikely they will win the Superbowl during their first year.

I'm providing the raw data that I collected in excel format for anybody wishing find other interesting tidbits of information. Raw Data (Excel Format): Coaching Changes Stats

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