Commentary

Rating NFL head-coaching hires

A study has shown that "retreads" are more successful than first-timers. So who wins?

Updated: February 14, 2012, 8:31 AM ET
By Seth Wickersham | ESPN The Magazine
Mike MularkyDale Zanine/US PresswireIn the NFL, "retread" should actually be a compliment in coaching circles. Mularkey is one.

A couple of years ago, I wrote about quantitative methods that NFL teams and independent researchers had devised in the desperate search to find the next great coach. (I swear, the story was more exciting than that.) These folks, ranging from team execs to college professors, analyzed more than 100 hires, breaking down dozens of traits from experience to race to coaching trees. As I wrote, the vast majority of successful coaches possessed at least one of the following four characteristics:

Seth Wickersham | email

ESPN The Magazine senior writer
Seth Wickersham joined ESPN The Magazine after graduating from the University of Missouri. Although he primarily covers the NFL, his assignments also have taken him to the Athens Olympics, the World Series, the NCAA tournament and the NHL and NBA playoffs.

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