This season, eight NFL teams -- Arizona, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Philadelphia and San Diego -- welcome new head coaches. Ranging from a coach entering his 15th season as an NFL head coach (ANDY REID of the Chiefs) to one yet to participate in an NFL game (CHIP KELLY of the Eagles), each has unique experiences to share with his new organization, players and fans.
Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians
The Arizona Cardinals named Arians head coach on January 17. Arians posted a 9-3 record as the Indianapolis Colts' interim head coach in 2012 during CHUCK PAGANO's absence while retaining his offensive coordinator duties. The 2012 AP and PFW/PFWA Coach of the Year logged nine seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator (Pittsburgh 2004-11; Indianapolis 2012) prior to being named the Cardinals' leader at 60-years old.
"He's 60 going on 35," says Cardinals President MICHAEL BIDWILL. "He's got a lot of energy." First-year general manager STEVE KEIM, entering his 15th season in Arizona, echoed Bidwill's comments about Arians' enthusiastic approach.
"His personality, his energy, I think it was something we felt comfortable with right off the bat," says Keim.
Arians has spent 20 years as an NFL assistant coach with five teams (Indianapolis 2012, 1998-2000; Pittsburgh 2004-11; Cleveland 2001-03; New Orleans 1996; and Kansas City 1989-92). After earning team MVP honors as Virginia Tech's quarterback in 1974, he worked as a graduate assistant for the Hokies (1975-78) and coached at Mississippi State (1978-80), Alabama (1981-82, 1997), Temple (1983-88) and Mississippi State (1993-95) before joining the NFL ranks.
Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone
Marrone, who has both played and coached college and professional football, became the Bills' 16th head coach in franchise history on January 7. The 48-year old Bronx, New York native played offensive line at Syracuse from 1983-1985 and held his alma mater's top coaching position for the past four years (2009-2012), recording winning seasons and victories in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl two of the past three seasons.
While their newest head coach didn't have to travel far to Buffalo, Bills President and CEO RUSS BRANDON notes that the club went to great lengths before selecting Marrone.
"We promised to leave no stone unturned in leading this franchise and creating a new legacy that our fans will be proud of into the future," says Brandon. "We wanted to identify top talent to lead this organization to where all of our fans and stakeholders deserve to be and that's back to a championship contender. We believe we did just that."
Picked by the Los Angeles Raiders in the sixth round (No. 164 overall) of the 1986 NFL Draft, Marrone spent time with the Raiders (1986), Miami Dolphins (1987), New Orleans Saints (1989) and NFL Europe's London Monarchs (1991-92). He enters his eighth season coaching in the NFL after stints with the New York Jets (offensive line coach, 2002-05) and Saints (offensive coordinator, 2006-08).
Chicago Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman
With 17 years of NFL coaching experience, Trestman returns to the NFL after leading the CFL's Montreal Alouettes the past five years, highlighted by back-to-back Grey Cup championships in 2009 and 2010. Trestman, the 14th head coach in Bears history, has served seven seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator (Cleveland Browns 1989; San Francisco 49ers 1995-96; Arizona Cardinals 1998-2000; Oakland Raiders 2002-03) and an additional two in that position at North Carolina State.
Trestman possesses a strong but quiet intellect while promoting a powerful, fast-pace mindset for his team and offense.
"Do not underestimate Marc Trestman as a competitor," says Bears general manager PHIL EMERY. "He's as tough-minded and football-oriented as anybody I've been around in 31 years in this game. It'll be evident when you see our competitiveness."
Trestman launched his coaching career as a volunteer assistant at the University of Miami in 1981 while pursuing a law degree. After two seasons (1983-84) mentoring the Hurricanes' quarterbacks and contributing to the school's first national championship in 1983, he joined the Minnesota Vikings (1985-1986) to open his NFL career, one highlighted by eight playoff teams, two Conference Championship Games and an appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Cleveland Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski
Chudzinski returns to the Browns as the 14th full-time head coach in club history, as announced on January 10. Prior to spending the past two seasons as the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator, Chudzinski held full-time duties as the Browns' offensive coordinator in 2007-08 and on an interim basis (five games) while retaining his position as tight ends coach in 2004.
Browns Chief Executive Officer JOE BANNER is confident that Chudzinski's homecoming will not only positively affect the team but strengthen the entire franchise.
"We were focusing on a strong leader, somebody that was going to create a culture, an entire program, put together a great staff and manage them, and was really, really committed to setting a very high bar and achieving it," says Banner. "We're very excited about having Rob here and believe he fits exactly what we're looking for."
A Toledo native, Chudzinski played football at St. John's High School before becoming a three-year starter at tight end and winning two national championships at the University of Miami. Following his playing career, he worked as a graduate assistant (1994-95), tight ends coach (1996-2003) and offensive coordinator (2001-03) at his alma mater prior to starting his NFL career in Cleveland.
Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley
After directing a Seattle Seahawks defense that led the NFL with a franchise-record 15.3 points allowed per game in 2012, Bradley was named the Jaguars' fourth head coach in team history. Bradley enters his 24th coaching season and eighth in the NFL. Jaguars first-year general manager DAVID CALDWELL knew Bradley would eventually spearhead an NFL club and expects his selection will only elevate his recent success and the team for an extended period of time.
"It was just a matter of time before Gus Bradley became a head coach in the NFL and the Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely fortunate that Gus will be on our sidelines for many years to come," says Caldwell. "Gus more than met every criteria we insisted on from our new head coach, and his intangibles and leadership abilities are exceptional. Gus is who the Jaguars need now and in the future."
Bradley was a free safety and punter at North Dakota State (1984-88), where he also coached for 12 years (graduate assistant 1990-91; defensive coordinator 1996-2005). The four-time academic All-North Central Conference selection coached with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2006-08) prior to earning defensive coordinator responsibilities with the Seahawks in 2009.
Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid
Reid, one of four active NFL head coaches with at least 140 wins all-time (including postseason), compiled a 130-93 (.583) regular-season record and qualified for the postseason nine times in 14 seasons leading the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid finished atop the NFC East six times and reached five NFC Championship Games and Super Bowl XXXIX during his tenure.
"We are thrilled to welcome Andy to the Chiefs family," says Chiefs Chairman and Chief Executive Officer CLARK HUNT, who presented Reid as the club's 13th head coach in team history on January 7. "Throughout his career, Andy has established himself as one of the finest coaches in the National Football League. His integrity, knowledge of the game, work ethic and outstanding abilities as a teacher and communicator make him the ideal head coach to lead the Chiefs for many years to come."
Reid, a three-time NFL Coach of the Year, owns a .583 winning percentage that ranks 13th alltime and second among active coaches (minimum 200 games). While accomplishing the feat, he also served as Philadelphia's executive vice president of football operations from 2001-2012.
Reid played tackle and guard at Brigham Young University from 1978-81 and commenced his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the program the following year. After 10 years at the collegiate level, he worked seven seasons (1992-98) with the Green Bay Packers prior to acquiring the Eagles' top position in 1999.
Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly
Named Philadelphia's head coach on January 16, Kelly will coach his first NFL game this fall after 23 seasons in the college ranks. Since his promotion to head coach in 2009 after two years as Oregon's offensive coordinator (2007-08), Kelly led the Ducks to a 46-7 (.868) overall record, three conference championships and four BCS Bowl games.
Kelly, who is often lauded for his high-tempo, high-scoring offense that averaged 44.7 points per game during his four seasons at the helm, actually began his career on the defensive side (Columbia freshman defensive backs/special teams coach in 1990; Columbia varsity outside linebackers/strong safeties coach in 1991; Johns Hopkins defensive coordinator in 1993).
"He has a brilliant football mind," says Eagles Chairman and Chief Executive Officer JEFFREY LURIE. "He motivates his team with his actions as well as his words. He will be a great leader for us and will bring a fresh energetic approach to our team."
A letterman in football and track at Manchester (N.H.) Central High School, Kelly graduated in 1990 from the University of New Hampshire, where he coached for 14 seasons (running backs coach in 1992, 1994-96; offensive line coach 1997-98; offensive coordinator 1999-2006).
San Diego Chargers Head Coach Mike Mc Coy
The 15th head coach in Chargers history, McCoy joins San Diego after four seasons as the Denver Broncos' offensive coordinator (2009-12). Last season, McCoy's offense ranked second in the AFC in yards per game (397.9) and passing yards per game (283.4), helping the AFC No. 1 seed Broncos (13-3) earn back-to-back division titles for the first time since 1986-87.
"Mike has shown he has one of the most innovative minds in football," say Chargers President DEAN SPANOS. "He has a track record of building offenses and maximizing the abilities of his players. He's a devout family man and understands the value of building and maintaining a family environment here. Mike is energetic, enthusiastic, forward-thinking, and a team builder. Bottom line, he's a leader. And he's charismatic."
McCoy, 40, is the second-youngest active head coach in the NFL and the second-youngest in team history but has exclusively coached in the NFL since 2000. He logged nine seasons (2000-08) on the Carolina Panthers' offensive coaching staff before heading to Denver as the club's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Hailing from San Francisco, McCoy played quarterback at Long Beach State and Utah and professionally in the NFL and NFL Europe from 1995-99.