John Fox (born February 8, 1955) is a former American football coach and player. He was the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He coached the Panthers to a NFC Championship and the Broncos to an AFC Championship.
Fox in June 2010
|Born:||February 8, 1955|
Virginia Beach, Virginia
|High school:||Chula Vista (CA) Castle Park|
|College:||San Diego State|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||133–123 (.520)|
|Coaching stats at PFR|
Fox played football at Castle Park High School in Chula Vista, California under local celebrated coaches Gil Warren and Reldon "Bing" Dawson, and Southwestern College also in Chula Vista from 1974–1975, before going to San Diego State, where he played defensive back with future NFL player and head coach Herman Edwards. Fox received a bachelor's degree in physical education and earned teaching credentials from San Diego State. He then proceeded to the NFL as a free agent and signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After that contract was over he retired from the NFL.
Fox was defensive backs coach at U.S. International University. Sid Gillman, past head coach of the San Diego Chargers, was the athletic director at the time. In 1980, Fox was the defensive backs coach for the Boise State University Broncos when they won the NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship. In 1983, Fox was a member of Mike Gottfried's University of Kansas staff, as the secondary coach. Fox followed Gottfried to the University of Pittsburgh when Gottfried became Head Coach at Pitt in 1986. Fox was first the Defensive Backs coach and then was promoted to Defensive Coordinator by Gottfried. While at Pitt, Fox made some contacts with Pittsburgh Steeler coaches and when Gottfried was let go by Pitt, Fox got his first NFL coaching gig with the Steelers.
He entered the NFL in 1989 as the secondary coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, later also holding this job with the San Diego Chargers. Fox was the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Raiders and later that of the New York Giants during Super Bowl XXXV, which they lost.
In 2002, Fox was signed as the third head coach of the Carolina Panthers, whose previous coach George Seifert had led the team to a disastrous 1-15 record in 2001, including 15 consecutive losses to end the season. Fox's first regular season game was a 10–7 victory over the Baltimore Ravens which ended the Panthers' 15-game losing streak dating to the previous season. Fox and the Panthers posted a 7–9 record for the 2002 season (his first with the team), demonstrating a drastic improvement over the previous season.
In the 2003 season Fox led the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII, losing 32–29 to the New England Patriots on a last-second field goal by Adam Vinatieri. Fox joined Vince Lombardi as the only other coach to inherit a team that had won only one game in the season prior, and then take that team to a NFL Championship game. Fox also took the Carolina Panthers to the NFC Championship game in the 2005 season, but they were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks.
The 2006 season was disappointing for Fox and the Panthers, as a team that had Super Bowl aspirations finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs.
The 2007 season saw the team finish with a record of 7–9, before finishing with a 12–4 record in the 2008 season, again heading to the playoffs in which they were beaten by the Arizona Cardinals.
The 2010 season saw the Panthers finish last in the league, at 2–14. As of this time, Fox was one of only two coaches, and the only one as a head coach, still working on the NFL sidelines that was once a member of former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll's coaching staff, the other being Minnesota Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart. Tom Moore, currently an offensive consultant for the Arizona Cardinals, is still active in the league but works from home.
On January 13, 2011, Fox was selected to be the 14th head coach of the Denver Broncos. He was signed to a 4-year $14 million deal. He was chosen by the Broncos out of a list of five possible head coach candidates that included Broncos interim head coach and running backs coach Eric Studesville, Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, Houston Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. Fox was chosen based on his previous head coaching experience plus his 20+ years as an NFL coach. At the conclusion of the 2011 season, the Broncos finished tied for 3rd in the NFL in sacks and 1st in rushing offense, again with Fox.
In week two of the 2012 season, Fox was fined $30,000 for chiding the replacement officials. The Broncos would go on to win their last 11 games after a 2–3 start. In week 17 of the 2012 season, Fox won his 100th career game as an NFL head coach, including the playoffs, beating the Kansas City Chiefs 38–3. However, the Broncos were upset in the divisional playoffs to the Baltimore Ravens, in double-overtime.
Owing to a cardiac-related issue, starting with week 10 of 2013, Fox was replaced by Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio as Fox underwent an aortic valve replacement. Fox, while playing golf in North Carolina near his offseason home in Charlotte during the Broncos bye week, reported feeling dizzy and was taken for examination to the hospital, where doctors told him not to put off valve replacement surgery any longer; he had done so earlier in the year to continue coaching this season. On November 4, Fox temporarily relinquished his head coaching duties, and Del Rio was named interim head coach for the remainder of the 2013 season regular season. Fox then underwent successful aortic valve replacement surgery.
In the 2013 NFL season, quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, both records, and the offense combined for 7,317 yards, also a record. Fox coached the Broncos to Super Bowl XLVIII, where they played the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. He is one of only three head coaches to win both an NFC and an AFC championship game along with Bill Parcells and Dan Reeves, and one of six coaches to reach the Super Bowl with multiple teams. On February 2, 2014, the Broncos lost to the Seahawks 43–8.
Fox coached the Broncos to another strong season in 2014; the Broncos finished the regular season 12–4. They earned the AFC's number 2 seed and a first-round playoff bye. Hosting Peyton Manning's former team, the Indianapolis Colts at home in the Divisional Round, the Broncos were upset 24–13 and were eliminated from the playoffs.
On January 12, 2015, the day after Denver lost in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, Fox and the Broncos mutually agreed to part ways. Fox left the Broncos with the highest regular season win percentage in team history. However, general manager John Elway felt the Broncos hadn't shown enough fight at critical times in the playoffs.
Fox is only the second head coach in NFL history to win four straight division titles since joining a new team.
On January 16, 2015, Fox accepted a four-year deal to become head coach of the Chicago Bears. Fox led the Bears to a 6–10 record in his first season, only the second time in his career where he had double-digit losses. In the third game of the season, a 26-0 road loss against the Seattle Seahawks, the Bears punted on all of its ten possessions, the only time a team has punted on all of its possessions at least since 1980.
Fox finished his second season with the Bears with a 3–13 record, tied for the worst record for the Bears since the NFL changed to a 16-game season.
After a 1–3 start in 2017, Fox benched quarterback Mike Glennon in favor of rookie Mitchell Trubisky in Week 5. With Trubisky, the Bears finished the season 5–11, and Fox was fired at the season's end. His overall record with the Bears was 14–34, the second-lowest win percentage in franchise history, as the team failed to record a winning streak longer than two games and finished last in the NFC North in all three seasons. "Thank you to all the players, coaches, the city of Chicago and Bears fans everywhere, your passion for the game and this team is unmatched in the NFL," Fox stated in a team release. "Today is the tough part of our results-oriented business but I wish the Bears organization the best for years to come."
Fox was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia and raised in San Diego, California after moving there at age 15. His step-father, Ron, was a US Navy SEAL. Fox and his wife, Robin, have three sons and a daughter. Known to his friends as "Foxy", he is an active community leader in the Carolinas. He and his wife co-chair the annual Angels & Stars Gala, which benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|CAR||2002||7||9||0||.438||4th in NFC South||-||-||-||-|
|CAR||2003||11||5||0||.688||1st in NFC South||3||1||.750||Lost to New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII.|
|CAR||2004||7||9||0||.438||3rd in NFC South||-||-||-||-|
|CAR||2005||11||5||0||.688||2nd in NFC South||2||1||.667||Lost to Seattle Seahawks in NFC Championship Game.|
|CAR||2006||8||8||0||.500||2nd in NFC South||-||-||-||-|
|CAR||2007||7||9||0||.438||2nd in NFC South||-||-||-||-|
|CAR||2008||12||4||0||.750||1st in NFC South||0||1||.000||Lost to Arizona Cardinals in NFC Divisional Game.|
|CAR||2009||8||8||0||.500||3rd in NFC South||-||-||-||-|
|CAR||2010||2||14||0||.125||4th in NFC South||-||-||-||-|
|DEN||2011||8||8||0||.500||1st in AFC West||1||1||.500||Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Divisional Game.|
|DEN||2012||13||3||0||.812||1st in AFC West||0||1||.000||Lost to Baltimore Ravens in AFC Divisional Game.|
|DEN||2013||13||3||0||.813||1st in AFC West||2||1||.667||Lost to Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.|
|DEN||2014||12||4||0||.750||1st in AFC West||0||1||.000||Lost to Indianapolis Colts in AFC Divisional Game.|
|CHI||2015||6||10||0||.375||4th in NFC North||-||-||-||-|
|CHI||2016||3||13||0||.188||4th in NFC North||-||-||-||-|
|CHI||2017||5||11||0||.313||4th in NFC North||-||-||-||-|
NFL head coaches under whom Fox has served:
Assistant coaches under Fox who became NFL head coaches:
Fox or Foxe or Foxx is a surname originating in England and Ireland.
The derivation is from the Middle English "fox", itself coming from the Old English pre 7th century "fox". The surname first appears on record in the latter part of the 13th century, with the first recorded spelling in 1273 to be that of John Fox in the "Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire", England. In Ireland, Fox is mainly a translation of the Old Gaelic "Mac a'tSionnaigh" (son of the Fox).
# denotes interim head coach