The Dungy Coaching Tree of Woe

New Steeler head coach Mike Tomlin comes from the Tony Dungy coaching tree. You'd think right away that learning from the most-recent Super Bowl winning coach would be a good thing. That may turn out to be true, but in the first year? Let's see what Tony and the other Dungy disciples did in their first seasons.

Tony Dungy - 1996 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs finished strong in those (not so) classic old jerseys, going 5-2 before switching to the pewter uniforms and making the playoffs in Dungy's second season. But still, 6-10 is 6-10.
First-year record: 6-10

Herman Edwards - 2001 New York Jets
Herm took over from Bill Parcells and had a strong first season with most of Parcells' personnel left over, taking Gang Green to the playoffs.
First-year record: 10-6

Lovie Smith - 2004 Chicago Bears
Injuries took their toll on the Bears in Smith's first year, though the defense improved nearly 10 spots in league rankings.
First-year record: 5-11

Rod Marinelli - 2006 Detroit Lions
The last of the Dungy disciples to get a head job in the NFL before Tomlin debuted last year in Detroit. While 2006 was a struggle for the Lions, Jon Kitna apparently thinks 2007 will be better.
First-year record: 3-13

To sum it up, Tony Dungy and his disciples are a combined 24-40 in their debut seasons as head coaches, an average year of 6-10. Somehow it doesn't feel like Steeler Nation will be happy with that record this year.

P.S. - The other Dungy disciple who went to a high-profile coaching job was Mike Shula, his former offensive coordinator with Tampa Bay. Shula's record in his first year at Alabama? 4-9.


Anonymous said...

Aw c'mon. Only Edwards wasn't taking over a team that wasn't absolute crapola at the time.

Rich D

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the first year record doesn't really count. How the third year record, after the coaches rebuilt their teams? Any better?

Anonymous said...

You should update your post with info on how has Mike Tomlin done as Pittsburgh head coach.

I believe there are two offshoots in the "Dungy tree of woe" that have coached their teams to the Super Bowl.