Jim Caldwell To Return As Lions Coach Next Season

Next season, Jim Caldwell will return as coach of the Detroit Lions.

A team official says that the Lions want consistency with their staff after making it to the playoffs two of the past three seasons. The last time the Lions went to the playoffs was from 1997 to 1999.

Heading into week 15, Detroit had a two-game lead in the NFC North against the New York Giants. However, they lost the last three games, going from a potential division title to a wild-card matchup at NFC West Saturday night. That slide in addition to Caldwell being hired by a previous regime and not the current general manager Bob Quinn brought questions on Caldwell’s job status.

In three seasons, Caldwell is 27-21 with Detroit. His .562 winning percentage is the highest for a Lions coach since Buddy Parker, who went 50-24-2 from 1951 to 1956.

Caldwell understands that job questions are inevitable in their line of work. He says it happens to you when you’re winning and when you’re struggling.

This season, the Lions started 1-3 and came back to finish over .500 for the second time in three years. Less than half of the NFL franchises were over .500 in two of the past three years.

Caldwell is 53-43 in the six seasons he’s been an NFL head coach. He has also been essential in developing quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has had three of the best seasons of his career under his guidance. Caldwell and his staff also played a role in developing multiple rookies, including left tackle Taylor Decker.

In 2014, Caldwell chose his lifelong assistant, Teryl Austin, as his defensive coordinator. Austin has now turned into a main head-coaching choice every offseason. After firing Joe Lombardi, Caldwell promoted Jim Bob Cooter to offensive coordinator, and the Lions have been 15-9 ever since.