Dan Campbell, the former assistant head coach/tight ends coach with the New Orleans Saints, is the new head coach of the Detroit Lions, the team announced Wednesday morning.
The new hire signed a six-year deal with the franchise. He’s replacing Matt Patricia, who was run out of town on a rail in late November after his 29th loss in less than three seasons.
Campbell, 44, had been with the Saints for five years. His career began with the Miami Dolphins, where he started as an offensive coaching intern and worked his way up to tight ends coach. In 2015 he was named interim head coach when Joe Philbin was fired after a 1-3 start, and led the team to a 5-7 finish.
He spent 10 years as a tight end in the NFL, playing for the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys until ending his career with the Lions from 2006-2008.
In a statement, Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp expressed confidence in Campbell, and somehow none of her reasons were “he’s not Matt Patricia.”
"This is an exciting day for our organization as we introduce Dan Campbell as the new head coach of the Detroit Lions. With more than 20 years of experience as both a coach and player in the National Football League, Dan knows the rigors of professional football and what it takes to be successful. He will help promote the culture we want to establish across our organization, while also bringing with him high energy, a respect for the game and an identity with which everyone can align themselves."
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