John Fox
refer to caption
Fox in June 2010
Detroit Lions
Position:Senior defensive assistant
Personal information
Born: (1955-02-08) February 8, 1955 (age 68)
Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.
Career information
High school:Chula Vista (CA) Castle Park
College:San Diego State
Career history
As a player:
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season:133–123 (.520)
Postseason:8–7 (.533)
Career:141–130 (.520)
Coaching stats at PFR

John Fox (born February 8, 1955) is an American football coach and former player who is a senior defensive assistant for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He was the head coach of the Carolina Panthers (20022010), Denver Broncos (20112014) and Chicago Bears (20152017) of the National Football League (NFL). He coached the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII and the Broncos to Super Bowl XLVIII.

Playing career

Fox played football at Castle Park High School in Chula Vista, California under local celebrated coaches Gil Warren and Reldon "Bing" Dawson, and Southwestern College also in Chula Vista from 1974–1975, before going to San Diego State, where he played defensive back[1] with future NFL player and head coach Herman Edwards. Fox received a bachelor's degree in physical education and earned teaching credentials from San Diego State.[2] He then proceeded to the NFL as a free agent and signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After that contract was over he retired from the NFL.

Coaching career

Early years

Fox was defensive backs coach at U.S. International University.[3] Sid Gillman, past head coach of the San Diego Chargers, was the athletic director at the time. In 1980, Fox was the defensive backs coach for the Boise State University Broncos when they won the NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship. In 1983, Fox was a member of Mike Gottfried's University of Kansas staff, as the secondary coach. Fox followed Gottfried to the University of Pittsburgh when Gottfried became Head Coach at Pitt in 1986. Fox was first the Defensive Backs coach and then was promoted to Defensive Coordinator by Gottfried. While at Pitt, Fox made some contacts with Pittsburgh Steeler coaches and when Gottfried was let go by Pitt, Fox got his first NFL coaching gig with the Steelers.

USFL career

Fox began his first professional football coaching stint in the short-lived United States Football League with the Los Angeles Express in 1985.[4]

NFL career

He entered the NFL in 1989 as the secondary coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers,[5] later also holding this job with the San Diego Chargers.[6] Fox was the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Raiders[7] and later that of the New York Giants during Super Bowl XXXV, which they lost.[8]

Carolina Panthers

On January 25, 2002, Fox was signed as the third head coach of the Carolina Panthers, whose previous coach George Seifert had led the team to a disastrous 1-15 record in 2001, including 15 consecutive losses to end the season.[9] Fox's first regular season game was a 10–7 victory over the Baltimore Ravens which ended the Panthers' 15-game losing streak dating to the previous season. Fox and the Panthers posted a 7–9 record for the 2002 season (his first with the team),[10] demonstrating a drastic improvement over the previous season.

In the 2003 season Fox led the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII, losing 32–29 to the New England Patriots on a last-second field goal by Adam Vinatieri.[11] Fox joined Vince Lombardi as the only other coach to inherit a team that had won only one game in the season prior, and then take that team to an NFL Championship game. Fox also took the Carolina Panthers to the NFC Championship game in the 2005 season, but they were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks.[12]

The 2006 season was disappointing for Fox and the Panthers, as a team that had Super Bowl aspirations finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs.[13]

The 2007 season saw the team finish with a record of 7–9,[14] before finishing with a 12–4 record in the 2008 season, again heading to the playoffs in which they were beaten by the Arizona Cardinals.[15]

The 2009 season was disappointing to Fox and the Panthers much like 2006. The Panthers finished the season 8-8 and in third place in the NFC South division, missing the playoffs again.[16]

The 2010 season saw the Panthers finish last in the league, at 2–14.[17] As of this time, Fox was one of only two coaches, and the only one as a head coach, still working on the NFL sidelines that was once a member of former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll's coaching staff, the other being Minnesota Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart.[18] Tom Moore, currently an offensive consultant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is still active in the league but works from home.

On December 31, 2010, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced that he would not be renewing Fox's contract at the conclusion of the 2010 season.[19]

Denver Broncos

On January 13, 2011, Fox was selected to be the 14th head coach of the Denver Broncos. He was signed to a 4-year $14 million deal.[20] He was chosen by the Broncos out of a list of five possible head coach candidates that included Broncos interim head coach and running backs coach Eric Studesville, Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, Houston Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. Fox was chosen based on his previous head coaching experience plus his 20+ years as an NFL coach.[21] At the conclusion of the 2011 season, the Broncos finished tied for 3rd in the NFL in sacks and 1st in rushing offense, again with Fox.[22]

In April 2012, Fox received a three-year contract extension worth between $5 million and $6 million per year, replacing his contract that expired at the end of the 2014 NFL season.[23]

In week two of the 2012 season, Fox was fined $30,000 for chiding the replacement officials.[24] The Broncos would go on to win their last 11 games after a 2–3 start. In week 17 of the 2012 season, Fox won his 100th career game as an NFL head coach, including the playoffs, beating the Kansas City Chiefs 38–3. However, the Broncos were upset in the divisional playoffs to the Baltimore Ravens, in double-overtime.[25]

Owing to a cardiac-related issue, starting with week 10 of 2013, Fox was replaced by Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio as Fox underwent an aortic valve replacement.[26] Fox, while playing golf in North Carolina near his offseason home in Charlotte during the Broncos bye week, reported feeling dizzy and was taken for examination to the hospital, where doctors told him not to put off valve replacement surgery any longer; he had done so earlier in the year to continue coaching this season.[27] On November 4, Fox temporarily relinquished his head coaching duties, and Del Rio was named interim head coach for the remainder of the 2013 season regular season. Fox then underwent successful aortic valve replacement surgery.[28]

In the 2013 NFL season, quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, both records, and the offense combined for 7,317 yards, also a record.[29] Fox coached the Broncos to Super Bowl XLVIII, where they played the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. He is one of four head coaches to win both an NFC and an AFC championship game along with Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves, and Andy Reid, and one of seven coaches to reach the Super Bowl with multiple teams.[30] On February 2, 2014, the Broncos lost to the Seahawks 43–8.[31]

Fox coached the Broncos to another strong season in 2014; the Broncos finished the regular season 12–4. They earned the AFC's number 2 seed and a first-round playoff bye. Hosting Peyton Manning's former team, the Indianapolis Colts at home in the Divisional Round, the Broncos were upset 24–13 and were eliminated from the playoffs.[32]

On January 12, 2015, the day after Denver lost in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, Fox and the Broncos mutually agreed to part ways. Fox left the Broncos with the highest regular season win percentage in team history. However, general manager John Elway felt the Broncos hadn't shown enough fight at critical times in the playoffs.[33]

Fox is only the second head coach in NFL history to win four straight division titles since joining a new team; He is also the only head coach in Broncos history to have never missed the playoffs in their tenure.

Chicago Bears

On January 16, 2015, Fox accepted a four-year deal to become head coach of the Chicago Bears.[34] Fox led the Bears to a 6–10 record in his first season, only the second time in his career where he had double-digit losses. In the third game of the season, a 26-0 road loss against the Seattle Seahawks, the Bears punted on all of its ten possessions, the only time a team has punted on all of its possessions at least since 1980.[35]

Fox finished his second season with the Bears with a 3–13 record, tied for the worst record for the Bears since the NFL changed to a 16-game season, as well as the first consecutive losing season in Fox's head coaching career.[36]

After a 1–3 start in 2017, Fox benched quarterback Mike Glennon in favor of rookie Mitchell Trubisky in Week 5.[37] With Trubisky, the Bears finished the season 5–11, and Fox was fired at the season's end on January 1, 2018. His overall record with the Bears was 14–34, the second-lowest win percentage in franchise history, as the team failed to record a winning streak longer than two games and finished last in the NFC North in all three seasons.[38]

Indianapolis Colts

On March 27, 2022, it was announced that Fox was hired by the Indianapolis Colts to be their senior defensive assistant under head coach Frank Reich. This is Fox's first coaching position after a 5-year hiatus and his first as an assistant coach in 21 years.[39]

Detroit Lions

On February 28, 2023, it was announced that Fox was hired by the Detroit Lions to be their senior defensive assistant. [40]

Broadcasting career

On March 20, 2018, ESPN announced that Fox would be hired to work as a studio analyst for NFL Live.[41]

Personal life

Fox was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and raised in San Diego, California, after moving there at age 15. His step-father, Ron, was a US Navy SEAL. Fox and his wife, Robin, have four children.[42] Known to his friends as "Foxy", he is an active community leader in the Carolinas. He and his wife co-chair the annual Angels & Stars Gala, which benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.[43]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CAR 2002 7 9 0 .438 4th in NFC South - - - -
CAR 2003 11 5 0 .688 1st in NFC South 3 1 .750 Lost to New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII
CAR 2004 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC South - - - -
CAR 2005 11 5 0 .688 2nd in NFC South 2 1 .667 Lost to Seattle Seahawks in NFC Championship Game
CAR 2006 8 8 0 .500 2nd in NFC South - - - -
CAR 2007 7 9 0 .438 2nd in NFC South - - - -
CAR 2008 12 4 0 .750 1st in NFC South 0 1 .000 Lost to Arizona Cardinals in NFC Divisional Game
CAR 2009 8 8 0 .500 3rd in NFC South - - - -
CAR 2010 2 14 0 .125 4th in NFC South - - - -
CAR total 73 71 0 .507 5 3 .625
DEN 2011 8 8 0 .500 1st in AFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Divisional Game
DEN 2012 13 3 0 .813 1st in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Baltimore Ravens in AFC Divisional Game
DEN 2013 13 3 0 .813 1st in AFC West 2 1 .667 Lost to Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII
DEN 2014 12 4 0 .750 1st in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Indianapolis Colts in AFC Divisional Game
DEN total 46 18 0 .719 3 4 .428
CHI 2015 6 10 0 .375 4th in NFC North - - - -
CHI 2016 3 13 0 .188 4th in NFC North - - - -
CHI 2017 5 11 0 .313 4th in NFC North - - - -
CHI total 14 34 0 .292 0 0 .000
Total[44] 133 123 0 .520 8 7 .533

See also


  1. ^ "Coach John Fox, San Diego go way back". The Denver Post. January 11, 2014. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  2. ^ "Southwestern Community College". Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  3. ^ "Cal Western University Player".
  4. ^ "10 things you should know about John Fox". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  5. ^ Dulac, Gerry. "John Fox Coached with Chuck Noll, A Rarity in Today's NFL". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  6. ^ Kane, Colleen. "John Fox on What's in Store for Coaching Future 'We' not Quite There Yet'". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  7. ^ Hayes, Neil (June 24, 2016). "Raiders muster part of John Fox's history". Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  8. ^ Graziano, Dan (January 27, 2014). "John Fox remembers Giants years fondly". ESPN, Inc. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  9. ^ "Carolina Panthers 2001 Regular Season Schedule". Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  10. ^ "2002 Carolina Panthers Statistics and Players". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  11. ^ "Super Bowl XXXVIII - New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers - February 1st, 2004". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  12. ^ "2005 Carolina Panthers Statistics & Players". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  13. ^ "2006 Carolina Panthers Statistics and Players". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  14. ^ "2007 Carolina Panthers Statistics & Players". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  15. ^ "2008 Carolina Panthers Statistics and Players". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  16. ^ "2009 Carolina Panthers Statistics and Players". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  17. ^ "2010 Carolina Panthers Statistics and Players". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  18. ^ Dulac, Gerry (December 23, 2010). "Panthers' Fox learned from Steelers' Noll". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  19. ^ Now, Team Stream. "Insider Buzz: Chicago Bears to Hire John Fox as Next Head Coach". Bleacher Report.
  20. ^ "Details Emerge on John Fox's Contract". Vox Media, LLC. January 14, 2011. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  21. ^ Klis, Mike (January 13, 2011). "John Fox named Broncos head coach, Elway says". The Denver Post. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  22. ^ NFL Stats by Team Category, Retrieved January 15, 2015
  23. ^ Klis, Mike (April 4, 2014), John Fox signs 3-year deal with Denver Broncos, retrieved April 6, 2014
  24. ^ "John Fox fined $30K, Jack Del Rio $25K for Week 2 behavior towards officials". CBS Sports. September 24, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  25. ^ "2012 Denver Broncos Statistics and Players". Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  26. ^ Sessler, Marc (November 3, 2013). "Broncos to tab interim coach Monday; Del Rio likely". National Football League. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  27. ^ "Former Giants Defensive Coordinator, Current Denver Broncos Coach John Fox to Undergo Heart Surgery". Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  28. ^ Del Rio Named Broncos' Interim Coach on YouTube
  29. ^ Montgomery, Kyle (December 31, 2013). "All the records Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos broke in 2013". Vox Media, LLC. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  30. ^ Wright, Michael C. (January 16, 2015). "Bears hire John Fox as coach". ESPN. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  31. ^ "Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos - February 2nd, 2014". Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  32. ^ "2014 Denver Broncos Statistics and Players". Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  33. ^ Legwold, Jeff. Lackluster finishes rankled Elway. ESPN, January 14, 2015.
  34. ^ "Bears hire John Fox as head coach". Archived from the original on January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  35. ^ ESPN Stats & Information (September 27, 2015). "Bears: Punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt". ESPN. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  36. ^ "Huddle up: Can Bears avoid team's worst record ever in 16-game schedule?". Chicago Tribune.
  37. ^ Campbell, Rich (October 2, 2017). "Bears FAQ: Mitch Trubisky promoted and Mike Glennon benched". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  38. ^ Patra, Kevin (January 1, 2018). "Chicago Bears fire coach John Fox after 5-11 season". National Football League. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  39. ^ "John Fox hired by Indianapolis Colts as senior defensive assistant". USA Today.
  40. ^ Callihan, Schuyler. "Report: John Fox Accepts Job with Detroit Lions". Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  41. ^ "Ex-Chicago Bears coach John Fox headed to ESPN". USA Today.
  42. ^ "10 Things You should know about John Fox". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  43. ^ "John Fox". Carolina Panthers. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  44. ^ "John Fox Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks -".