Dan Campbell nearly got Dolphins full-time head coaching job after interim stint

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins / Chris Trotman/GettyImages

After a solid run as their interim head coach, Dan Campbell apparently nearly became the Miami Dolphins' head coach on a full-time basis.

When the Detroit Lions hired Dan Campbell in 2021, it was his first crack at being a head coach on a permanent basis, such as having that job can be deemed permanent. But it's easy to forget he had a run as the Miami Dolphins interim head coach in 2015.

Campbell replaced Joe Phibin after a 1-3 start in 2015, and the Dolphins went 5-7 under his guidance as the interim head coach. Campbell started his coaching career as an intern with the Dolphins in 2010, and Philbin was the second full-time head coach he'd worked under there.

Mike Tannenbaum, now working for ESPN and The 33rd Team, was the Dolphins' executive vice president of football operations from 2015-2018. Appearing recently on The Ross Tucker podcast, he talked about Campbell.

Dan Campbell nearly kept Miami Dolphins head coaching job full-time

Here's what Tannebaum said about Campbell nearly getting the full-time head coaching gig in Miami.

"So we hired Dan Campbell at Miami, and he was within a whisker of getting the job full time,” “We hired him to be our interim head coach, and I think this guy came out of the womb being an NFL head coach.”"

Tannenbaum went on to praise Campbell's relatability as a coach, with the "unique ability to talk to an owner, and then the backup corner at the same time.” And he added something Lions fans and media have come to know since Campbell landed in Detroit.

"He wears his heart on his sleeve, he cares deeply,” said Tannenbaum. “He’s way smarter than people will ever give him credit for.”"

Yes, this all revisionist history and "what could have happened.". And it's safe to say Campbell wouldn't still be the Dolphins' head coach if he had been elevated to the permanent job in 2016. But if it had been him promoted instead of Adam Gase hired, maybe the Dolphins would have stayed on a better course for a few years.

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