Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Coaching and Athletic Administration



First Advisor

Lana Huberty


The NFL is a massive professional sports organization with worldwide impact for its players and coaches. NFL head coaches come from all walks of life but end up falling into two categories once hired: Either a former head coach is hired to helm a new team or a rising assistant coach is brought in to inject some new ideas. Whichever category they fall into, the team members become a reflection of the coach’s ideas and values. And, how well the team does in terms of on-field success is often the main dictation of the coach’s future with the franchise. Using data from the coaching hires in the NFL from the last 25 years (1997-2022), this study will investigate which of two methods for entering head coaching in the NFL results in more success for the team, as calculated by the franchise record. The paper reflected how the growing trend of analytics is being overlaid onto coaching hires, and how the process may impact other facets of industry.