(WJBK) - Jim Caldwell will return as head coach of the Detroit Lions next season, FOX 2's Dan Miller has confirmed with the team.
As reported, per the @Lions Jim Caldwell will be back in 2017. 3rd Head Coach in team history to make playoffs 2 of first 3 years.— Dan Miller (@DanMillerFox2) January 4, 2017
Caldwell is the third head coach in team history to make the playoffs two of the first three years.
The Lions are 9-7 this season, and were 7-9 last year. The Lions play this Saturday night in Seattle against the Seahawks for Wild Card weekend.
Caldwell was hired by the Lions before the start of the 2014 season. His first year, he led the team to an 11-5 record and a playoff spot but they lost to the Cowboys in Dallas 24-20.
In 2015, the Lions started 0-5 and finished 7-9, missing the playoffs. Following the season, the team hired Bob Quinn from New England to be the General Manager. Just a couple days after Quinn was hired, he announced Caldwell would stay on as head coach.
In March 2016, the Lions lost a key piece to their offense when wide receiver Calvin Johnson announced his retirement after just nine seasons. Leading into the year, there was speculation that the offense would sputter without Megatron.
The team opened the season at 1-3 but then won 8 of their next 9 to finish with a 9-7 record. Despite losing the final three games of the season including the last game to Green Bay, the Lions made the playoffs thanks to Washington's loss earlier in the day as the scond Wild Card team.
After that loss, speculation ran rampant that the Lions would let Caldwell go after the season ended, no matter how the Lions perform in Seattle. The team has put an end to all that speculation.
Caldwell landed his first head coaching in the NFL when he took over for Tony Dungy with the Indianapolis Colts. That first season, the Colt went 14-2 and appeared in Super Bowl XLIV. The following season the Colts were 10-6 and in 2011 they were 2-14 without Peyton Manning. He was fired shortly after and was was a QB coach/offensive coordinator in Baltimore before the Lions hired him.
This story was first reported by ESPN