The current head coach of the Detroit Lions is Matt Patricia.
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Patricia was born in Sherrill, New York, the son of Anthony “Pat” and Donna Patricia. He is of Irish and Italian descent. His father worked in the construction industry. Patricia played football and wrestled while growing up. He attended Nashoba Brooks School in Concord, Massachusetts. Patricia then attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), where he played football as a center.
Patricia played college football for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), where he was a linebacker from 1993 to 1996. He began his coaching career as an offensive assistant for Amherst College from 1999 to 2000. Patricia then worked as an assistant offensive line coach for Syracuse University in 2001 and as a graduate assistant defensive coach in 2002, earning a master’s degree in education from Syracuse in 2003. Patricia spent the next six seasons (2004–2009) with the New England Patriots, first as an offensive assistant (2004–2005), then as the safeties coach (2006–2010), and finally as the linebackers coach (2010). He won three Super Bowls with the Patriots during his time with the team. In 2011, Patricia became the defensive coordinator of the Patriots, a position he held for six seasons. Under his leadership, the Patriots defense ranked first in points allowed per game in 2013 and 2014 and second in 2012 and 2016. The Patriots also won Super Bowl XLIX during Patricia’s tenure as defensive coordinator.
Patricia has a very mediocre 18-29 record in his three seasons as the head coach of the Lions. In his first season with the team, they finished last in the NFC North with a 6-10 record. In his second season, they improved to 9-7 and made the playoffs, but lost in the Wild Card round to the Dallas Cowboys. In his third and most recent season, they finished third in the NFC North with a 4-12 record.
Jim Caldwell has been the head coach of the Detroit Lions since 2014. In his first season as head coach, the Lions had a record of 11-5 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Caldwell has a career record of 36-28.
Caldwell was born in Belzoni, Mississippi. He attended and played football at the University of Iowa. After college, he served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Iowa (1977–78), and then at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (1979). From 1980 to 1984, Caldwell was an assistant coach at Northwestern University under head coach Dennis Green. In 1985, he returned to Iowa as offensive coordinator under Hayden Fry. He helped lead the team to a share of the Big Ten Conference title in 1987.
In Caldwell’s first season as head coach, the Lions had a 1–7 record at the midway point. Caldwell replaced starting quarterback Matthew Stafford with Dan Orlovsky and the Lions won five of their last eight games, finishing 7–9.
In Caldwell’s second season, the Lions again started 1–7, but this time did not recover, finishing with a record of 7–9.
In Caldwell’s third season, the Lions clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2011 with a 26–6 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16. They finished the regular season with a 9–7 record and entered the playoffs as the NFC’s sixth seed. In the Wild Card Round, they defeated the Seattle Seahawks 26–6 in Seattle for their first playoff win since 1991 (a streak of 24 years). The following week, they were defeated 38–6 by the eventual NFC champion Carolina Panthers in Charlotte.