Will John Fox Return To Coach At His Alma Mater?


After nine years as head coach of the Carolina Panthers, John Fox was fired following a disappointing 2-14 season.  Fox, the winningest coach in the history of Carolina, compiled a 78-73 overall record, and never regained the swagger he had after taking the Panthers to the Super Bowl in just his second season.  He inherited the 1-15 team in ‘02 from George Seifert after serving as the Giants defensive coordinator for five seasons.  Under Fox, the Panthers had three losing seasons and only made the playoffs three times, which led to some very disappointing times in Carolina and put Jerry Richardson on edge. Now, he is looking for a job and hopes to latch onto another NFL team next season.  Fox is a great defensive mind so I would envision him landing a defensive coordinating position if, in fact, he does get an NFL job next year.  I don’t believe another head coaching job is in his immediate future, but maybe if he returns to college football.  Before becoming a head coach in the NFL, John Fox attended San Diego State, where he played defensive back.

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After graduating, he stayed at SDSU for one season as a graduate assistant and eventually moved on to coach elsewhere in college football as a defensive backs coach and ultimately a defensive coordinator.  Fox made his NFL debut with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he joined Chuck Noll’s staff as their DB coach and bounced around the NFL working his way up the ladder until he finally landed his first head coaching gig with the Carolina Panthers.  After Michigan started to contemplate firing Rich Rodriguez, rumors spread that current SDSU coach and former Michigan assistant Brady Hoke could end up in Ann Arbor.  So here is where Fox comes in.  If in fact, he doesn’t land another NFL job, would he consider going back to San Diego State where his coaching career started?  To be determined. John Fox joined XX Sports Radio in San Diego with Scott and BR (Billy Ray Smith) to talk about whether he would be open to returning to college football to coach again, hypothetically speaking, would he consider the San Diego State head coaching position if Brady Hoke was to land the Michigan job and if he had to guess whether he is going to get a job in the NFL next season.

If he is excited about the prospects of:

“Yes, yes. I would say that is a fair statement. I think it was a great nine-year run in Carolina, made a lot of great friends and experienced a lot of memories and now its time to turn the page.”

On the notion that he wished that last year would he been his last season with the Panthers rather than going through what transpired this season:

“Yeah, this year was definitely tough. I think I kind of saw the handwriting on the wall after our 12-4 ’08 season, the direction we were headed, it was not really the direction I wanted to be in and so it kind of just worked out the way it did. I will say this, this year was very hard. I think other than burying my mother, I think maybe the hardest I had ever gone through, now looking to get back in somewhere in the National Football League.”

Whether he would be open to returning to college football to coach again:

“You know what, not really. Not that I definitely wouldn’t it is just I have been gone from the college game for 20 years. The rules have changed, you know I stay abreast of it, but I think I have kind of made my bed in the National Football League over the last 20 years. I think my next situation will be in the NFL.”

Hypothetically speaking, would he consider the San Diego State head coaching position if Brady Hoke were to land the Michigan job:

“Well let me just say this, you know my fondness to San Diego State, you know my connection there. I do know a lot of the people involved at San Diego State including, Brady. That is the kind of situation you always talk about and listen to your alma mater. Now whether that means any kind of a job situation, I can’t even hypothetically answer that other than San Diego State has got fond memories on me and I always talk to the people involved there.”

If money is a big motivating factor for his next job:

“I think at this point, I think, Billy Ray can relate to this, even as a player, I think the longer you are in it, in the National Football League, I think the opportunity of winning, being with good people, are way more important than the money. Let me just put it that way. (Host: Is that after you have made the money?) Well in the case like Billy Ray, that does become a high priority, the things I mentioned as far as the opportunity to win, being with good people, and just winning because this game is only fun when you win.”

If he had to guess whether he is going to get a job in the NFL next season:

“Will I think our league is, there is a lot of if’s. Whether you are talking about the CBA. Whether you are talking about a head coaching job, any of the things moving forward I think is just kind of one of those things where you are going to just take it day at a time, see what presents itself, even if the right thing doesn’t present itself I have been blessed financially where I can sit around and wait until after all of this.”

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