As an NFL coach, it's not easy to get fired before you even finish your first year on the job, but that's exactly what happened to Urban Meyer on Thursday.
Meyer was given his pink slip in a move that came exactly 336 days after he was hired. The former Ohio State coach signed his contract with the Jags on January 14 and then ended up losing his job almost 11 months to the day after the deal was done.
Although it's rare to see an NFL coach get canned after spending one year or less in an organization, it definitely happens and it actually might happen more often than you think. As a matter of fact, since the salary cap was instituted in 1994, there have been a total of 17 one-and-done coaches in the 28 seasons since then, including Meyer.
The Jaguars had a plenty of reasons for firing Meyer -- he was losing his grip on the team, he seemed to be involved in a new controversy every week -- but that hasn't always been the case with one-and-done coaches. For instance, of the 17 coaches who lost their job after one year or less, four of them didn't return for a second season even though they finished with a record of .500 or better.
One of the most notable names on the list below is Marty Schottenheimer, who got canned after one season because Washington owner Daniel Snyder was hellbent on hiring Steve Spurrier. However, if Spurrier and Meyer have both proven one thing, it's that college success rarely translates to the NFL.
The craziest situation with one-and-done coaches arguably happened with the New York Jets all the way back in 2000. After Bill Parcells stepped down as coach, the team hired Bill Belichick, but he resigned after less than one day on the job (You can read a January 2000 article about his resignation by clicking here). We're not including Belichick on the list below though, because he never coached a game with the Jets. Anyway, after Belichick stepped down, the Jets hired Al Groh and that hiring looked pretty smart after Groh led them to a 9-7 season. However, Groh ended up quitting at the end of the year so he could take the head coaching job at the University of Virginia.
Of all the coaches on the one-and-done list, only one of them ended up winning a Super Bowl and that's Pete Carroll. The current Seahawks coach was fired by the Jets in 1994 after just one year with the the team. Before taking over for Jim Mora (another one-and-done coach) in Seattle, Carroll spent time as head coach of both the Patriots (1997-99) and Southern California (2001-09). Carroll was eventually hired by the Seahawks in 2010 and within three years, he won his first Super Bowl with the team.
Here's the full list of one-and-done coaches since 1994:
1994: Pete Carroll, Jets (6-10)
1997: Joe Bugel, Raiders (4-12)
1999: Ray Rhodes, Packers (8-8)
2000: Al Groh, Jets (9-7)
2001: Marty Schottenheimer, Washington (8-8)
2006: Art Shell, Raiders (2-14)
2007: Cam Cameron, Dolphins (1-15)
2007: Bobby Petrino, Falcons (3-10)
2009: Jim Mora, Seahawks (5-11)
2011: Hue Jackson, Raiders (8-8)
2012: Mike Mularkey, Jaguars (2-14)
2013: Rob Chudzinski, Browns (4-12)
2015: Jim Tomsula, 49ers (5-11)
2016: Chip Kelly, 49ers (2-14)
2018: Steve Wilks, Cardinals (3-13)
2021: Urban Meyer, Jaguars (2-11)
The only other coach on this list who didn't last the entire season was Bobby Petrino, who resigned from his Falcons job after 13 games to take the coaching job at Arkansas. Petrino and Meyer aren't the only coaches who didn't last a full year. If you want to see the full list of coaches in NFL history who didn't finish their first season with a new team, then you'll want to click here.