Second Time Around – Taking The Coaching Carousel To The Extreme
People often refer to the coaching carousel in the National Football League; where it seems the same coaches move from one team to the next. The true coaching carousel happens less frequently, it happens when one coach moves on from his team only to eventually return and coach that team again. Joe Gibbs of the Washington Redskins was the last one to perform this feat as he just completed his second tour of duty with the Redskins. What other coaches have done this?
Chuck Knox coached the Rams in the 1970’s for a while and then came back to hold the same position in the early 1990’s. John Robinson did the same thing, coaching the Rams in the 1980’s and then returning to coach them again before retiring.
Marion Campbell coached the Falcons from 1974-1976 and then again from 1987-1989.
It was big news when Al Davis hired Art Shell to coach the Raiders in the late 1980’s, he would then bring him back to coach the same team over fifteen years later.
After Bud Grant retired following 17 years as Head Coach of the Vikings, Minnesota hire Les Steckel to replace him. Steckel lasted only one season and Grant was rehired and coached the team for one more year.
The Chicago Bears situation was a little different, George Halas had four different stints as the Head Coach of the Chicago Bears, this rehiring was however made a little easier by the fact that Halas also owned the team.
In one of the more interesting cases, Ted Marchibroda coached the Colts while the team was in Baltimore during the 1970’s, he then coached the Colts again in the 1990’s in Indianapolis.
There are more examples of coaches with multiple stays with the same team from the real early days of the NFL, but the practice is pretty rare these days.