Jim Caldwell has received multiple interviews the last couple years, but the former Lions head coach has become resigned to the idea he’ll never get another head coaching job.
Despite being out of the NFL since 2019, when he stepped down from his post on the Miami Dolphins coaching staff due to a health issue, former Lions head coach Jim Caldwell got multiple head coaching interviews in each of the last two years.
Caldwell has landed with the Carolina Panthers as a senior assistant under new head coach Frank Reich. He interviewed for the Panthers head coaching job himself very early in this year’s hiring cycle, before interviewing with the Denver Broncos and reportedly turning down an opportunity to interview for the Washington Commanders’ offensive coordinator opening.
On a surface level, a head coach with a Super Bowl appearance with the Colts and three winning seasons as Lions head coach on his resume would have no trouble getting another opportunity. But if Caldwell was going to get a third shot, it would probably have happened by now.
Jim Caldwell no longer looking for another chance to be a head coach
Caldwell talked with Darin Gantt of the Panthers website earlier this week. While it’s easy for others to be angry he has not gotten another chance to be a head coach. But Caldwell, as should not be surprising, doesn’t view his situation that way.
"You know, to be honest with you, I’ve never looked at it that way,” Caldwell said. “And oftentimes, people will look at it from the outside and voice their opinions about whether I should be here or there. But the fact of the matter is, I really think the Lord kind of has a plan. And you know, you’d love to have gotten an opportunity. But, you know, at this stage of the game, I’m appreciative of where I am.It’s never been difficult for me. First of all, I’ve had a great career. I’ve had two opportunities. Very few guys get three. But that’s the way of the National Football League. So I’m thankful, grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had.”"
As Justin Rogers of The Detroit News noted, Caldwell did hint this would be the last hiring cycle where he’d pursue a head coaching job.
The harsh reality is this—Caldwell is 68 years old and the trend is toward young head coaches, and offensive coordinators for that matter. But he certainly has something to offer in a role on a staff, and as long as he’s willing someone will have a job for him.