Not many Lions fans had their hearts broken this past Monday when the Lions fired Jim Schwartz as their head coach. In fact the surprise from some may have come considering the Ford Family actually pulled the trigger on the move after notoriously being overly loyal when it comes to their staff.
However, according to ESPN the dismissal of Schwartz shouldn’t come as a surprise to any extent considering he’s had the worst five years as a head coach winning percentage wise since John McKay led the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 1976.
In fact, for Schwartz to last five years while compiling a record of 29-51 is almost unheard of: According to ESPN, the last coach to make it through five full seasons with a winning percentage worse than Schwartz’s .362 was John McKay, who took over the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976 and went 22-53-1 in his first five seasons.
In NFL history, only five coaches have made it through five full seasons on the job with a worse record than Schwartz. In addition to McKay they were Bert Bell in Philadelphia (10-44-2, 1936-1940), Tom Landry in Dallas (18-46-4, 1960-1964), Bill McPeak in Washington (21-46-3, 1961-1965) and Bart Starr in Green Bay (26-47-1, 1975-1979).
Now to be fair Jim Schwartz did take over a 0-16 Lions team and were better during that five year reign than they were in the five years before he arrived (21-59). Schwartz is also in some pretty good company on that infamous list given Landy, McPeak and Starr are all in the Hall of Fame. However Schwartz’s downfall came since the 2011 season when he was unable to capitalize on a playoff appears regressing in 2012 and guiding an epic collapse at the end of 2013. Schwartz simply turned out to be just another bad fit as head coach of the Detroit Lions like his predecessors the previous in the previous ten years.