Nothing is more informative (and fun) than looking at the new head coaches in the NFL! The 2010 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 editions of the NFL Rookie Coaching Classes are also fun reads, if you are curious. My favorites from past editions are still Coach Mangina (Eric Mangini, class of 2006), The Whizzenator, aka nobody beats the Whizz (Ken Whisenhunt, class of 2007), and the Todd (Todd Haley, class of 2009).
After a lackluster year in 2010, where all the new coaches were actually people who already had experience, we have some new, actually first-time coaches this year.
1. Cleveland Browns- Pat Shurmur
Proposed nickname: The Shurminator
With Mike Holmgren being in charge of the Browns, this new coach obviously has to be connected to the great Holmgren coaching tree, and Shurmur was QB coach of the Eagles from 1999-2008 before being the Rams offensive coordinator for two seasons. Those weren't great seasons, though he did get to coach Sam Bradford last year, but all of the WRs got injured and he had a rookie QB, so the results were mixed. I see no way of avoiding calling this coach the Shurminator: he is a sophisticated coach, sent back in time to change the future for one lucky franchise (or so I hope). It's been a long time since I've seen American Pie, which had the original Sherminator, so here's a clip of that awesome moment.
2. Tennessee Titans - Mike Munchak
Proposed Nickname: Munchie
He's been the offensive line coach for the Titans/Oilers (yes, that long) since 1997. His Titans profile has a lot of the usual information, plus the fact that he secured regional distribution rights to Snapple and became the owner of a number of Gold Gyms in Texas.
3. Oakland Raiders - Hue Jackson
Proposed Nickname: Hue Downs
I really didn't know much about this guy. He's only 45, but he's already held 12 different coaching positions from Pacific, Cal State Fullerton, London Monarchs (yes, the defunct World League of American Football!), Arizona State, California, USC, Redskins, Bengals, Falcons, Ravens, and was the offensive coordinator for Oakland last year. Most notably, he was the offensive coordinator for the Redskins in 2003 (22nd in points, w/ Ramsey and TIM Hasselbeck starting, under Steve Spurrier), the Falcons in 2007 (29th in points, w/ Harrington, Redman, and Leftwich starting, while head coach Petrino quit midway through), and the Raiders in 2010 (6th in points, w/ Jason Campbell and Gradkowski). I don't know what to make of this guy. He's worked for some of the craziest people ever (Spurrier, Petrino, Al Davis), and installs college offenses. Last year, he was successful with it, so who knows.
4. Dallas Cowboys - Jason Garrett
Proposed Nickname: The Gunslinger
He was the interim coach, and now is finally the coach. He has been with the Cowboys since 2007 as the offensive coordinator and has seen them score lots of points. No idea what will hapen with the defense, but it should be a fun season!
5. Minnesota Vikings - Leslie Frazier
Proposed Nickname: Drebin!
He actually was a head coach once upon a time, at Trinity College from 1988-1996. He's been defensive coordinator with the Vikings since 2007, and was defensive coordinator with the Bengals from 2003-2004. With a first name of Leslie, he must carry the namesake of Leslie Nielsen from Naked Gun and be dubbed, Drebin! Lt. Frank Drebin if we are acting professional.
6. Carolina Panthers - Ron Rivera
Proposed Nickname: Ron-Ron
He was the defensive coordinator with the Bears from 2004-2006, and with the Chargers from 2008-2010. He also was a linebacker on the 1985 Bears championship team! His wife was an assistant coach in the WNBA. Love the weird facts some teams include in the bios.
7. San Francisco 49ers - Jim Harbaugh
Proposed Nickname: Captain Comeback
The most famous of the entire list, he was the coach at Stanford just from 2007-2010, after being the coach at San Diego from 2004-2006. He's had a meteoric rise. He is most famous for being a Chicago Bears QB, but I always remember him for a crazy postseason run with the Colts when he almost completed a hail mary to beat the Steelers in the AFC Championship game. According to wikipedia, Harbaugh and his brother John are the first brothers to be coaches in the NFL. The nickname Captain Comeback is from that ridiuclous 1995 NFL postseason run, 2 come-from behind victories, and the almost hail mary. Im open to other suggestions, such as "Little Brother Jim."