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ListsFootball ListsPro coaches that had the shortest seasons

Pro coaches that had the shortest seasons

There are many reasons why an NFL head coach might have been replaced before a season ended.

Sometimes, franchises were itchy to replace an underperforming coach.[1] The NFL’s Record and Fact Book has the most footnote symbols of unusual circumstances in the list of Cardinals coaches.[2]

Some were after the coach resigned due to underperformance, disputes with the front office, or public relations disasters.[3]

Some in the early days of the NFL resulted from player-coaches moving to other teams.[4]

And some were unavoidable, such as those following the deaths during training camp of Vince Lombardi and Don McCafferty.

Coaches who lost their jobs early in the season

What follows is a list of every NFL head coach who lost his job after six games or fewer. This list also includes 🅰️ AFL coaches and @ AAFC coaches. Win-loss records of at least .500 are marked with an asterisk (*). Midseason replacements are not included. The coach must have been employed by the team at the start of training camp, so Bill Belichick’s infamous scrawling of a resignation letter during the press conference introducing him as the Jets coach is not listed.


  1. [1]There are other franchises will never fire a coach in the middle of the season, no matter how moribund the team is. Shout-out to Adam Gase!
  2. [2]Sadly, we’ll probably never know what the next symbol would have been.
  3. [3]Coughlin, the Rock Island, Illinois, player-coach to start 1921, was commuting from South Bend, Indiana, and thus spent only three days a week with the team. Hayes and Malone lived in Chicago.
  4. [4]Coaching responsibilities of the time were rather light. The Newark Tornadoes’ replacement coach in 1930 doubled as a local high school coach and spent just one day a week with the NFL team. Obviously Newark was not up to the standards of Rock Island.

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