Chris Palmer (American football)

Chris Palmer (born September 23, 1949) is an American college athletics administrator and former football coach. He is the athletic director at the University of New Haven. Palmer served as the head coach for Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL) from 1999 to 2000 and in the same capacity with the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League (UFL) in 2010. He was the head football coach at the University of New Haven from 1986 to 1987 and at Boston University from 1988 to 1989. Palmer has also served as an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans and the Buffalo Bills of the NFL.

Chris Palmer
Current position
TitleAthletic director
TeamNew Haven
Biographical details
BornSeptember 23, 1949 (age 69)
Brewster, New York
Alma materSouthern Connecticut State
Playing career
1969–1971Southern Connecticut State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1972Connecticut (DL)
1973–1974Connecticut (WR)
1975Lehigh (WR)
1976–1982Colgate (OC)
1983Montreal Concordes (OL)
1984New Jersey Generals (WR)
1985New Jersey Generals (OC/QB)
1986–1987New Haven
1988–1989Boston University
1990–1992Houston Oilers (WR)
1993–1995New England Patriots (WR)
1996New England Patriots (QB)
1997–1998Jacksonville Jaguars (OC)
1999–2000Cleveland Browns
2002–2005Houston Texans (OC)
2006Dallas Cowboys (QB)
2007–2009New York Giants (QB)
2010Hartford Colonials
2011–2012Tennessee Titans (OC)
2014San Francisco 49ers (offensive assistant)
2015–2016Buffalo Bills (senior offensive assistant)
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
2010Hartford Colonials (GM)
2018–presentNew Haven
Head coaching record
Overall24–18 (college)
8–32 (professional)

High school and college

Palmer played high school football at Immaculate High School a small Catholic high school located in Danbury, Connecticut. After high school, he attended and played college football at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). Palmer played quarterback for Southern Connecticut State from 1968 to 1971. He earned both bachelor's and master's degrees at SCSU, where he was inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Hall of Fame at New Haven and Immaculate High School.

After graduation from Southern Connecticut State University, Palmer coached under Larry Naviaux at the University of Connecticut. While at Connecticut, Palmer also devoted his time to help develop sports talent, as quoted by Jeff Naviaux "Chris helped me learn the importance of a team". Palmer coached the freshman defensive line in 1972 and the varsity wide receivers in 1973 and 1974. In 1975, he became the wide receivers coach at Lehigh University. The following year, Palmer was named the offensive coordinator at Colgate University, where he stayed for seven years. In 1977, the Red Raiders led the nation in total offense with an average of 486 yards a game.

Prior to entering the NFL, Palmer was a college football coach. He was the head coach at Boston University in 1988 and 1989 and at the University of New Haven in 1986 and 1987, when the Chargers posted consecutive 8–2 records.


Initial professional coaching experience

Palmer's first professional coaching experience came in 1983, when he was the offensive line coach for the Montreal Concordes in the Canadian Football League. The following year, he coached the wide receivers for the USFL's New Jersey Generals. In 1985, he was promoted to quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. That year, Palmer's offense featured quarterback Doug Flutie and running back Herschel Walker, who rushed for 2,411 yards.

Houston Oilers

Palmer's first NFL coaching experience was as the Houston Oilers wide receivers coach from 1990 to 1992 when Kevin Gilbride was the Houston offensive coordinator. During those three seasons, the Run ‘N Shoot Oilers had the NFL's most productive passing attack. Four Houston wide receivers—Curtis Duncan, Ernest Givens (twice), Drew Hill and Haywood Jeffires (twice)—made the Pro Bowl while being coached by Palmer.

New England Patriots

Palmer first worked under Bill Parcells as the New England Patriots wide receivers coach from 1993 to 1995. In 1996, he became the quarterbacks coach, where he worked with Drew Bledsoe as they advanced to Super Bowl XXXI.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Following Super Bowl XXXI, he joined the Jacksonville Jaguars, spending the 1997–98 seasons as offensive coordinator under head coach Tom Coughlin.

Cleveland Browns

Palmer became the head coach of the reborn Cleveland Browns for the 1999–2000 seasons, the first two for the "new" Browns after the original team had moved to Baltimore. With a roster full of inexperienced players and cast-offs from other franchises, Palmer struggled to make the team competitive, especially on offense. Palmer was fired after posting a 5–27 record in two seasons, and was succeeded by former University of Miami coach Butch Davis. During his tenure in Cleveland, he starred as himself on an episode of The Drew Carey Show, which took place in Cleveland.

Houston Texans

In 2002, he became the offensive coordinator of the Houston Texans under head coach Dom Capers. He remained with Houston until he was fired in Week 2 of the 2005 NFL season as a result of Houston's lackluster offense.

Dallas Cowboys

In January 2006, several months after his firing from Houston, Palmer was hired by the Dallas Cowboys to be the quarterbacks coach. He was reunited with head coach Bill Parcells and quarterback Drew Bledsoe with whom he had worked during his days with the New England Patriots.

New York Giants

In January 2007, Palmer was hired by the New York Giants as their new quarterbacks coach, reuniting with the team's head coach, Tom Coughlin, with whom he had worked in Jacksonville.[1][2]

On January 29, 2010 Palmer announced his retirement.[3]

Hartford Colonials

Following his retirement from the NFL, Palmer was named as the head coach and general manager of the United Football League's Hartford Colonials.[4]

Tennessee Titans

On February 15, 2011, the Tennessee Titans named Palmer as the new offensive coordinator, which was previously held by Mike Heimerdinger. Under Palmer during the 2011 season the Titans scored 325 points (20.3/g), 21st of 32 in the NFL. On November 26, 2012, Palmer was fired by the team midway through the season, and replaced by quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains.

San Francisco 49ers

During the 2014 season, the San Francisco 49ers had Palmer as an offensive assistant. 2014 was the inaugural season playing their home games at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. At the end of the season, the 49ers released Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, and ultimately Palmer as well.

Buffalo Bills

Palmer followed Roman to Buffalo, served as an offensive assistant on Rex Ryan's staff from 2015 to 2016. He was not retained upon Ryan's dismissal.

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
New Haven Chargers (NCAA Division II independent) (1986–1987)
1986 New Haven 8–2
1987 New Haven 8–2
New Haven: 16–4
Boston University Terriers (Yankee Conference) (1988–1989)
1988 Boston University 4–7 3–5 T–7th
1989 Boston University 4–7 4–4 6th
Boston University: 8–14 7–9
Total: 24–18


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CLE 1999 2 14 0 .125 6th in AFC Central - - - -
CLE 2000 3 13 0 .188 6th in AFC Central - - - -
CLE Total 5 27 0 .156 - - - -
HAR 2010 3 5 0 .375 4th in UFL - - - -
HAR Total 3 5 0 .375 - - - -
Total 8 32 0 .200 - - - -

Coaching tree

NFL head coaches under whom Palmer has served:

Assistant coaches under Palmer who became NFL head coaches:


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links

Chris Palmer

Chris Palmer may refer to:

Chris Palmer (footballer) (born 1983), English footballer

Chris Palmer (American football) (born 1949), American football coach

Chris Palmer (film producer) (born 1947), environmental and wildlife film producer and director

Chris Palmer (politician), Canadian politician

Palmer (surname)

Palmer is an occupational surname of old English, Norman French, German and Scottish origin. Notable people with the surname include:

Abiah W. Palmer (1835–1881), New York politician

Adele Palmer (1915–2008), American costume designer

Adidja Azim Palmer , the Jamaican DJ Vybz Kartel

Adrian Palmer, 4th Baron Palmer

Alan Palmer, an author of historical and biographical books

Alexander Mitchell Palmer, (1872–1936), American politician, Attorney General of the US 1919–1921

Alfred Brian Palmer MBE, DSC, (1899–1993), Royal Navy Reserve captain

Alice Freeman Palmer, (1855–1902), American educator

Amanda Palmer (born 1976), American singer and pianist

Amanda Palmer (journalist), Australian journalist

Amy Palmer (born 1975), American hammer thrower

Andy Palmer (born 1963), English engineer and businessman

Arnold Palmer (1929–2016), American golfer

Austin Norman Palmer (1860–1927), American author of the Palmer Method of penmanship

B. J. Palmer (1882–1961), American chiropractor

Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland (1640–1709), English mistress of King Charles II

Benjamin M. Palmer (1818–1902), American theologian and church leader

Bertha Palmer (1849–1918), American businesswoman, socialite, and philanthropist

Beth Palmer (born 1952), American bridge player

Betsy Palmer (1926–2015), American actress

Billy Palmer (born 1888), English footballer

Brecken Palmer (born 1998), only son of Kansas descendants

Brittney Palmer, american model

Bruce Palmer (1946–2004), Canadian folk-rock musician

Bruce Palmer Jr. (1913–2000), American army general

Bruce Palmer (basketball), American-born international basketball coach

Carl Palmer (born 1950), English musician of the trio Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Carlton Palmer (born 1965), English footballer

Carson Palmer (born 1979), American professional football player

Sir Charles Palmer, 1st Baronet (1822–1907), British shipbuilder and Liberal MP

Charles Palmer (cricketer) (1919–2005), English county and test cricketer and cricket administrator

Charles Stuart William Palmer (1930–2001), British Judoka (10th Dan)

Chris Palmer (footballer), English Footballer

Chris Palmer (American football), American football coach

Chris Palmer (film producer) (born 1947), environmental and wildlife film producer and director

Chris Palmer (politician), Canadian politician

Clive Palmer (businessman) (born 1954), Australian mining magnate

Clive Palmer (musician) (born 1943), British folk musician

Corky Palmer (born 1954), American college baseball coach

Daniel David Palmer (1845–1913), Canadian-American chiropractor

Dee Palmer (born 1937), British musician with the rock band Jethro Tull

Diana Palmer (author) (born 1946), American best-selling author of romantic novels

Donald Palmer is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the College of Marin in Kentfield

Earl Palmer (born 1924), American rock-and-roll drummer

Edmund Palmer, C.B. (Captain) (1781–1834) Royal Navy officer

Edward Palmer (Canadian politician) (1809–1889), Canadian politician from Prince Edward Island

Edward Palmer (botanist) (1829–1911), English botanist

Edward Palmer (socialist) (1802–1886), American utopian socialist

Edward Henry Palmer (1840–1882), English orientalist

Elihu Palmer (1794–1806), American ex-Baptist minister and author

Ephraim Laurence Palmer (1888–1970), American science educator and conservationist

Erastus Dow Palmer (1817–1904), American sculptor

Ernest Palmer (American cinematographer) (1885–1978), Hollywood cinematographer

Ernest Palmer (British cinematographer) (1901–1964), British cinematographer

Ernest Palmer, 1st Baron Palmer (1858–1948), British businessman and patron of music

Felicity Palmer (born 1944), English operatic soprano

Floyd Palmer, business man and founder of Palmer Bus Service

Francis W. Palmer (1827–1907), American publisher and politician

Frank R. Palmer (born 1922), British linguist, Professor Emeritus of Linguistic Science at the University of Reading

Frederick Palmer (engineer) (born 1860), British civil engineer

Frederick Palmer (journalist) (1873–1958), American writer and war correspondent

Frederick Christian Palmer (1866–1941), photographer

Frederick William Palmer (1891–1955), World War I Victoria Cross recipient

Frederick William J. Palmer (1864–1947), British engineer

Garrick Palmer (born 1933), British painter, wood engraver and photographer

Geoffrey Palmer (actor) (born 1927), English comedy actor

Geoffrey Palmer (politician) (born 1942), Prime Minister of New Zealand 1989–1990

George Hastings Palmer (born 1881), politician of Manitoba, Canada

George Herbert Palmer (1842–1933), American author and philosopher

George Josiah Palmer (1828–1892), British newspaper founder.

George Llewellen Palmer (1857–1932), British Conservative Party politician

George Palmer (businessman) (1818–1897), Quaker entrepreneur and biscuit manufacturer of Reading, England

George Palmer (color theorist) (c.1746–1826), aka George Giros de Gentilly, English dye chemist, color theorist, inventor, and soldier

George "Joey" Palmer (1859–1910), Australian cricketer

George Palmer (composer) (born 1947), Australian classical composer and judge of the NSW Supreme Court

George Palmer (rugby league) rugby league footballer of the 1950s, for Batley and England

George William Palmer (England) (1851–1913), politician

George William Palmer (New York) (1818–1916), politician

Gladys L. Palmer (1895–1967), American social statistician

Gordon William Nottage Palmer, younger son of Ernest Palmer, 2nd Baron Palmer

Harold E. Palmer (1887–1949), linguist, phonetician, founder of IRLT

Harry Palmer (author) (born 1944), American founder of the Avatar self-development system

Harry Palmer (photographer) (born 1930), Canadian photographer

Helen Palmer (archer) (born 1974), British archer, 2004 Olympics contestant

Helen Palmer (publisher) (1917–1979), Australian publisher, educationalist, author, historian

Helen Palmer Geisel (1899–1967), author and wife of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

Henry Spencer Palmer (1838–1893), British army military engineer and surveyor

Herbert Edward Palmer (1880–1961), English poet and critic

Herbert James Palmer (1851–1939), Canadian politician from Prince Edward Island

Innis N. Palmer (1824–1900), United States Civil War general

J. Lynn Palmer, American statistician

James Palmer Jr. (born 1996), American collegiate basketball player

James A. Palmer, who signed his work J. A. Palmer, (1825–June 1896), an Irish-American photographer

James Shedden Palmer (1810–1867), American admiral in the US Navy during the Civil War

Jared Palmer (born 1971), American professional tennis player

Jesse Palmer (born 1978), Canadian professional football player

Jim Palmer (born 1945), American professional baseball player

Joel Palmer (1810–1881), Canadian-born American pioneer and politician

John Palmer (disambiguation)

Jolyon Palmer, British racing driver, son of Jonathan Palmer

Jonathan Palmer (born 1956), British racing driver and racing commentator

Jonathan Palmer (American football) (born 1983), American professional football player

Joseph B. Palmer (1825–1890), Confederate general

June Palmer (1940–2004), British model

Kate Palmer (netball), Chief Executive Officer of Netball Australia

Katherine Van Winkle Palmer (1895–1982), American paleontologist

Keith Palmer (police officer) (1969–2017), British police officer who was killed in the 2017 Westminster attack and posthumously awarded the George Medal

Keke Palmer (born 1993), American actress

Ken Palmer (born 1937), British Test cricketer and cricket umpire

Leonard Robert Palmer (1906–1984) British philologist and linguist

Les Palmer (American football) (1923–2006), American football player

Lilli Palmer (1914–1986), German-American actress

Lillian Palmer (disambiguation), multiple people

Lowell Palmer (born 1947), American baseball player

Mark Palmer (born 1941), American statesman, former ambassador to Hungary

Michael Palmer (born 1943), American poet and translator

Michael Palmer (conductor) (born 1945), American orchestral conductor

Michael Palmer (novelist) (born 1942), American novelist

Minnie Palmer (1857-1936), American actress

Missy Palmer, voice actor

N. A. Palmer, guitarist for anarcho-punk band Crass

Nathaniel Palmer (1799–1877), American sailor, ship design innovator, first American to see Antarctica

Nettie Palmer (1885–1964), Australian literary figure

Nick Palmer (born 1950), British politician and member of parliament

Olive Palmer (1902–1976), second wife of John Diefenbaker, 13th Prime Minister of Canada

Orio Palmer, battalion chief of NYC Fire Department who died trying to rescue occupants of World Trade Center on 9/11

Parker Palmer (born 1939), American author, educator and activist

Patricia Palmer (born 1955), Argentine actress

Patricia Palmer, alias of the American actress Margaret Gibson

Patsy Palmer (born 1972), English actress; real name Julie Anne Harris

Pete Palmer, American baseball statistician

Phoebe Palmer (1807–1874), American Methodist evangelist and writer

Potter Palmer (1826–1902), American businessman and real estate developer in Chicago, Illinois

Raymond A. Palmer (1910–1977), American science fiction writer

Richard Palmer (disambiguation)

Rissi Palmer, American country singer-songwriter

Robert E. A. Palmer II (1933–2006), American ancient historian

Robert Roswell Palmer (1909–2002), American historian

Robert Palmer (singer) (1949–2003), English singer

Robert Palmer (writer) (1945–1977), American writer and musician

Rodney Palmer (1907–1987), English cricketer and soldier

Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine (1634–1705), Irish earl, husband of Barbara Villiers Palmer

Roger Palmer (footballer) (born 1959), English ex-footballer

Romie J. Palmer (1921–2014), American politician and jurist

Roundell Palmer, 1st Earl of Selborne (1812–1895), British politician

Roy Palmer (musician) (1892–1963), American jazz trombonist

Roy Palmer (cricketer) (born 1942), English cricketer

Roy Palmer (folklorist) (1932–2015), singer, teacher, folklorist, author and historian

Ryan Palmer (born 1976), American professional golfer

Ryan Palmer (chess player) (born 1974), Jamaican chess champion and teacher

Samuel Palmer (1805–1881), English landscape painter

Sandra Palmer (born 1943), American professional golfer

Shaun Palmer (born 1968), professional snowboarder

Shelly Palmer, American composer of television music

Stanley Palmer, American academic

Stanley Palmer (New Zealand), artist

Stephen Palmer (disambiguation)

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson (1971 - 2017), British TV personality, model and pianist

Teresa Palmer, American actress

Theodore Sherman Palmer (1868–1955), American zoologist

Tim Palmer, British music producer, audio engineer and musician

Tim Palmer (physicist) (born 1952)

Tobias Palmer (born 1990), American football player

Tom G. Palmer (born 1956), American libertarian

Tom P. Palmer, English rugby player

Tony Palmer, British film director and author

Vance Palmer (1885–1959), Australian literary figure

Vincent Palmer (1966–2004), British criminal

Walter Palmer (disambiguation)

William Palmer (murderer) (1824–1856), English physician and murderer

William Jackson Palmer (1836–1909), American industrialist and general in the American Civil War

William Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne (1859–1942), British politician

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