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What does the average NFL head coach’s resume look like?

Sean McVay
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

As the New York Jets search for a new head coach, it’s worth looking around the league to see what the typical head coaching resume looks like.

In this study, we’ll be analyzing the 32 NFL head coaches that held jobs entering Week 1 of the 2020 season, looking at the backgrounds that they carried with them at the time they were hired by their 2020 team.


Let’s kick things off by analyzing age. Here’s a look at the age ranges that the 32 head coaches were in at the time they were hired.

NFL Head Coaches 2020

The average age upon hiring for the group was 46.7 years old. The youngest was Sean McVay at 31 years old in 2017, and the oldest was Bruce Arians at 67 years old in 2019. Slightly over half of the coaches – 18 of them – were between 38 and 48 years old at the time of being hired.

Prior head coaching experience

One commonly held opinion regarding the Jets’ vacant head coaching position has been this: As a team badly in need of a culture change, they need a coach who has prior head coaching experience, while relying on a coordinator to make the leap would be too big of a risk.

Those are extremely fair claims, but it does not appear that hiring a former head coach is an absolute necessity for a rebuilding team. As it turns out, the majority of head coaches in the league (including many successful ones) did not have experience in the role prior to their current stint. Here is a look at the prior head coaching experience of the 32-man group:

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