It’s “Black Monday” across the NFL, where pink slips are handed out to unsuccessful head coaches around the league. However, the Miami Dolphins have been looking for a permanent head coach since October, and FOX Sports is reporting that the team is scheduled to interview Mike Shanahan on Tuesday. ESPN reports that this will be Shanahan’s second interview with the club.
Shanahan and the Dolphins reportedly met in New York on December 22 for the initial interview, and the two sides will again meet in the Big Apple on Tuesday. The vacancy was created on the Miami sidelines when Joe Philbin was fired after a 1-3 start. The former offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers, Philbin was originally hired in 2012 and amassed a record of 24-28 in his three-plus seasons with the Fish. Dan Campbell took over on an interim basis and led the Dolphins to a 6-10 overall record, going 5-7 as the head man.
Mike Shanahan has not coached in the NFL since 2013. He was fired after a 3-13 season with the Washington Redskins, his fourth year in the nation’s capital. Shanahan led the Redskins to the playoffs in 2012 after winning the NFC East, but finished last in the division the other three years he was in charge.
Mike Shanahan’s 17o regular-season wins are the 11th most in NFL history, as the 63-year old figures to be the most experienced of any available head coach to those looking to fill the job. He is most known for his work in Denver, where he coached for 14 years. He took the Broncos to the playoffs in seven of those seasons, advancing and winning the Super Bowl twice. Shanahan is one of only six coaches to win back-to-back Super Bowls, when the Broncos accomplished the feat in 1997 and 98. His head coaching career began in Oakland in 1988, but ended shortly into his second season due to a tumultuous relationship with owner Al Davis. He finished just 8-12 in Oakland.
Shanahan also spent three seasons as the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers in between head coaching stints with the Raiders and Broncos. The 49ers job recently became available when the team fired Jim Tomsula after just one season, and Shanahan is reportedly interested in that vacancy, as well. He originially interviewed for the San Francisco job last year when Jim Harbaugh was dismissed, but the team stayed in-house with the Tomsula promotion amidst league-wide skepticism.
It should be a busy first week of the new year for the Dolphins brass. Aside from Mike Shanahan, the Dolphins are reportedly scheduled to interview Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Tuesday and Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase on Thursday. Dan Campbell will have a formal opportunity to remove the interim tag on Friday when he’s scheduled to interview for the position he held on an interim basis for the final 12 games of the season. The fiery former tight ends coach led the Dolphins to a 20-10 victory over the New England Patriots in the regular season finale.
Leading the coaching search for the Dolphins will be team owner Stephen Ross and newly appointed general manager Chris Grier. Grier replaces Dennis Hickey, who was fired a week ago after just two seasons in the role. Grier has spent the last eight seasons as the team’s college scouting director. Dolphins fans will be anxious to learn who they appoint to lead the team in 2016 and beyond, because whether it’s the experienced Mike Shanahan or one of the up-and-coming coordinators, they’ll be trying to lead Miami back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
[Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images]