Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Caldwell, who helped the
Baltimore Ravens win last year's Super Bowl as offensive
coordinator, succeeds Jim Schwartz and becomes the team's first
black head coach.
Schwartz was fired after Detroit went 7-9 in the 2013 season.
Caldwell, 58, spent three seasons in charge of the Colts from 2009
to 2011, leading the team to a berth in the 2010 Super Bowl before
spending the past two seasons as quarterbacks coach and offensive
coordinator with the Ravens.
The new Detroit coach could provide the key to unlocking the
potential of strong-armed quarterback Stafford, the top pick in the
2009 NFL Draft.
"We believe Jim is the right man to lead our team and deliver a
championship to our fans," Lions owner William Clay Ford said in a
"We had a very specific plan and profile for our next head coach,
and I am convinced that we found that man in Jim Caldwell."
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From 2002 to 2008, Caldwell was the Colts' offensive
coordinator, and quarterback Peyton Manning has credited him
with helping his improvement as a signal caller.
fired after Indianapolis went 2-14 in 2011 with Manning sidelined
for the season after having multiple surgeries on his neck.
Despite that low point, Caldwell compiled a 26-22 regular-season
record in his three seasons as an NFL head coach. He was also the
assistant head coach to Tony Dungy when Indianapolis won the Super
Bowl following the 2006 season.
After joining the Ravens, Caldwell helped energize the team's
offense and spurred a Super Bowl-winning run last season behind
quarterback Joe Flacco's improved play.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; editing by Frank Pingue)
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