UA-59049186-1 The 10 Worst Coaches Detroit Lions History - Good if it Goes

The 10 Worst Coaches Detroit Lions History

 

The 10 Worst Detroit Lions Coaches in History

Narrowing down a list of the worst Detroit Lions coaches in history was easy, they all stink.  During the bye week, I decided to check myself into a facility for insane fans. It was a necessary step, after watching all these coaches get fired, except for the one that really, really, really needs to be fired: Matt Patricia.  Now far be it from me to wish unemployment on anybody, but I can’t think of a more deserving person to lose his job, than the head coach of the Detroit Lions. He stinks. Its football, it’s not rocket science.

All of their coaches always stink. During the Super Bowl era, of the 18 coaches in Detroit Lions history only 4 of them have records above .500

  • George Wilson
  • Joe Schmidt
  • Jim Caldwell
  • Gary Moeller

Moeller was an interim coach, and stepped in for Bobby Ross. He almost got the team to the playoffs, but thanks to a Paul Edinger field goal, the Lions were knocked out of the playoffs with a 9-7 record.  That’s three coaches who were full time and had a winning record. One guy died after one season.  Guys like Harry Gilmer, who played in Detroit and got a job; was fired after two seasons. Dick Jauron only coached 5 games after taking over for Steve Mariucci.  They even hired the director of personnel and scouting to be head coach once.

What I am trying to say is, the Lions suck and they need to fire Matt Patricia, but he’s still not the worst coach in Lions history…Yet.

Wayne Fontes

Wayne Fontes

Years with Lions: 1988-96

Record: 66-67 (.496)

Playoffs: 1-4

Wayne Fontes isn’t even supposed to be on this list, but he is, because as my therapist says, he represents the mediocrity that is this franchise. Fontes holds club records for games coached (138), wins (66) and playoff victories since 1957 (1)

That is the definition of this franchise. Fontes has the only playoff win in the super bowl era, a 38-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys in the 1991 season.

Detroit also won at least 10 games for Fontes three times.  He led the Lions into the playoffs four times, but Fontes pretty much broke even in Detroit and was fired when they went 5-11 in 1996.

Wayne Fontes was the coach I grew up watching that had the most success and they were mediocre.

Fontes only head coaching job was in Detroit.

Jim Schwartz

Jim Schwartz

Years with Lions: 2009-13

Record: 29-51 (.363)

Playoff appearances: 0-1

Jim Schwartz wasn’t horrendous, and he tried, boy oh boy he tried, but my therapist said that I should accept things the way that they are and not the way that I see them.  This team sucked too.

Now he was the coach set to clean up the mess left behind by Rod Marinelli and Matt Millen.  He had them in the playoffs by his third season with a 10-6 record, but that was the only time they finished above .500 during his time in Detroit.  He gave them team a little attitude and made a pretty successful handoff to Caldwell and I can’t hate the guy for that, even though they sucked

Jim Schwartz has not had a head coaching job since his stint in Detroit.

Bobby Ross

Bobby Ross

Years with Lions: 1997-2000

Record: 27-30 (.474)

Playoff appearances: 0-2

When Bobby Ross left the San Diego Chargers, he had a 47-33 record, won two division titles and took the Chargers to the Super Bowl. In every universe imaginable, this was a great hire, they even went 9-7 and made the playoffs in his first season.

Then…Barry Sanders retired. Man we threw Bobby Ross under the bus big time.  Bobby Ross resigned nine games into the 2000 season. He quit on the Lions. In the middle of the season. A season where they almost made the playoffs.

Ross never returned to the NFL but did coach Army from 2004-06 before retiring in 2007.

Monte Clark

Monte Clark

Years with Lions: 1978-84

Record: 43-61-1 (.414)

Playoff appearances: 0-2

After being on the staff of legendary coach Don Shula, Monte Clark would give the Lions faithful hope, but this is a list about the worst coaches in Lions history.  He went 9-7 twice, and 8-8 then lost a bunch of games.

Clark is most known for praying to the heavens above as Eddie Murray lined up for a last-second field goal that would have given the Lions a 25-23 win and spot in the NFC Championship game. Murray missed to end the Lions’ season. Clark was fired after posting a 4-11-1 record in 1984.

He never coached in the NFL again.

Rick Forzano

Rick Forzano

Years with Lions: 1974-76

Record: 15-17 (.469)

Playoff appearances: None

Forzano was thrust into the head coaching position after Don McCafferty suffered a fatal heart attack in 1974. Forzano led the Lions to a pair of 7-7 seasons before being fired in 1976 after Detroit lost three of its first four games.

He never coached in the NFL again.

Steve Mariucci

Steve Mariucci

Years with Lions: 2003-05

Record: 15-28 (.349)

Playoff appearances: None

Now seeing Mooch come out in support of Matt Patricia isn’t shocking, because he’s right, the ownership has a really big part to play in why the Lions Gon Lion, but nobody wants to hear that from a guy who coached this team to a 15-28 record.  In three years with Mooch and Millen, the Lions were still trash.  There were no highlights only lowlights.

Mariucci got a job with the NFL Network and hasn’t coached in the NFL since leaving Detroit.

Darryl Rogers

Darryl Rogers

Years with Lions: 1985-88

Record: 18-40 (.310)

Playoff appearances: None.

Who in their right mind wants to take the Lions job as head coach? I’m two wrong moves from being homeless and I’d still consider my other options.  For Daryl Rogers, that rang true too. His time in Detroit was so bad, he asked reporters “What does a coach have to do around here to get fired?”

Rogers inherited a 7 and 9 team and it all went down hill from there. William Clay Ford replaced him with Wayne Fontes and Rogers, never coached in the NFL again.

Fire Matt Patricia

fire matt patricia

Is there anything I really need to say about Patricia that I haven’t said? Trash.

Marty Mornhinweg

Marty Mornhinweg

Years with Lions: 2001-02

Record: 5-27 (.156)

Playoffs: None

There are traumatic events and then there’s the Marty Mornhinweg era. Ushered in by Matt Millen, Mornhinweg walked in and told us the bar was high. Maybe he meant something else at the time, because the bar was actually on the ground.  His coaching experience can be summed up best by the decision making during this coin toss before overtime against Chicago.  Mornhinweg decided he wanted the wind at the Lions back instead of the ball. This was long before they changed the overtime rules. This was sudden death. The Bears scored on their first possession, winning on Paul Edinger’s 40-yard field goal.

Mornhinweg even defended his decision years after.

The good news is, Mornhinweg never got another job again.

Sike. He’s been employed ever since, and that kids is what we call mediocrity.

Rod Marinelli

Rod Marinelli

Years with Lions: 2006-08

Record: 10-38 (.208)

Playoffs: None

The worst coach in Lions history.  He never won more than seven games and most importantly, he was the first coach to lose all 16 games in a football season; there’s nothing that can top that.  Rod Marinelli is probably the worst coach in NFL history and believe it or not, after he was fired in Detroit, he’s been gainfully employed each year since.

This team is the worst.

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