Coaches & Assistants

John Fox
Head Coach

Biography

John Fox is in his third season with the Chicago Bears after being named the 15th head coach in franchise history on January 16, 2015.

Fox has 15 years of NFL head coaching experience at Carolina (2002-10), Denver (2011-14) and Chicago (2015-16). As an NFL head coach, Fox has a 128-112 (.533) regular season record, six division titles, six double-digit win seasons and seven playoff appearances. In the postseason, Fox has amassed an 8-7 (.533) record as a head coach with three conference championship game appearances leading to two trips to the Super Bowl (XXXVIII with Carolina in 2003 and XLVIII with Denver in 2013). He is one of six coaches in NFL history to lead two different teams to Super Bowl appearances along with Don Shula, Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves, Dick Vermeil and Mike Holmgren. Fox ranks third among active NFL head coaches with 136 overall wins and his six seasons with at least 11 wins are third most among active head coaches.

Under Fox's tutelage as a head coach, coordinator and position coach, 42 players have...

John Fox is in his third season with the Chicago Bears after being named the 15th head coach in franchise history on January 16, 2015.

Fox has 15 years of NFL head coaching experience at Carolina (2002-10), Denver (2011-14) and Chicago (2015-16). As an NFL head coach, Fox has a 128-112 (.533) regular season record, six division titles, six double-digit win seasons and seven playoff appearances. In the postseason, Fox has amassed an 8-7 (.533) record as a head coach with three conference championship game appearances leading to two trips to the Super Bowl (XXXVIII with Carolina in 2003 and XLVIII with Denver in 2013). He is one of six coaches in NFL history to lead two different teams to Super Bowl appearances along with Don Shula, Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves, Dick Vermeil and Mike Holmgren. Fox ranks third among active NFL head coaches with 136 overall wins and his six seasons with at least 11 wins are third most among active head coaches.

Under Fox's tutelage as a head coach, coordinator and position coach, 42 players have earned a total of 77 Pro Bowl selections at 14 different positions during his coaching career. In 2016, running back Jordan Howard and guard Josh Sitton earned Pro Bowl honors.

In Fox's second season with the Bears, the club continued to work towards their goal of building a roster around a younger core group of players. Last season, the Bears 2016 draft class tallied 3,390 offensive/defensive snaps which ranked fourth most in the NFL (CLE - 4,339; TEN - 3,512; IND - 3,509). Under Fox's guidance, Jordan Howard set a new franchise rookie record, rushing for 1,313 yards and finished second the league in rushing. On defense, rookie linebacker Leonard Floyd recorded 7.0 sacks, third most by a rookie in club annals.

In 2016, the Chicago's offense ranked third in franchise single-season history in gross passing yards (4,139) and net passing yards (3,969) and second in passing first downs (212) despite starting three different quarterbacks (Matt Barkley - 6; Jay Cutler - 5; Brian Hoyer - 5). The Bears also saw improvement from 2015 in yards per game (356.5), yards per play (5.9), rushing yards per play (4.57), passing yards per game (248.1) and sacks per pass attempt (5.01%). The Bears' 5.9 yards per play ranked fifth in the NFL in 2016 while their 4.57 rushing yards per play ranked sixth and their 5.01% sacks per pass attempt ranked eighth. The Bears also tied for fifth in the NFL in explosive plays (plays of 10+ yards) with 230.

Defensively, the Bears showed improvement in yards allowed per play (5.48), rushing yards allowed per play (4.38), passing yards allowed per play (6.79) and sacks per pass attempt (6.98%). The Bears also ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in yards after catch per reception (second), passing yards allowed per game (seventh) and sacks per pass attempt (eighth). The Monsters of the Midway were also one of three teams to have three players record at least 7 sacks this season (Willie Young - 7.5; Leonard Floyd - 7.0; Akiem Hicks - 7.0) and the only team to have at least two rookies score defensive touchdowns (Leonard Floyd, at GB 10/20; Cre'Von LeBlanc, at DET 12/11).

On special teams, returner Deonte Thompson ranked second in the NFL in kickoff return yards with 804. Punter Pat O'Donnell's 22 punt returns allowed were tied for the third fewest in the NFL among punters who appeared in 16 games and Sherrick McManis led the Bears in special teams tackles for the second consecutive season with 13.

Before coming to Chicago, Fox spent four seasons (2011-14) in Denver, guiding the Broncos to four division titles, joining Chuck Knox (L.A. Rams) as the only coaches in NFL history to lead their respective team to four division titles in their first four years with the franchise. Denver's regular season record of 46-18 (.719) was third-best in the NFL from 2011-14 and they were one of only three teams to win four division titles during that span along with Green Bay and New England. Denver had at least 12 wins in each of the previous three seasons (13-3 in 2012 and 2013 and 12-4 in 2014). Denver's 20-4 record against AFC West opponents during Fox's tenure was the best divisional record in the NFL. He guided the Broncos to an undefeated record in division play in 2012 and 2014 after the franchise had just one such season in team history (1998).

The Broncos ranked in the top five in total offense in each of his last three seasons with the team (fourth in 2012, first in 2013 and fourth in 2014) and in the top five in total defense in two of his final three years (second in 2012 and third in 2014). Denver also ranked in the top two in scoring offense in each of his final three seasons (second in 2012, first in 2013 and second in 2014) and fourth in scoring defense in 2012. That led the Broncos to rank in the top five in both scoring margin (second in 2012, first in 2013 and fourth in 2014) and net-yardage differential (first in 2012 and 2013 and second in 2014) in each of his final three seasons in Denver.

Fox helped the Broncos adapt to play to their offensive strengths over his four seasons in Denver, ranking first in the NFL in rushing offense in 2011 (164.5 yards per game), before ranking in the top five in each of the next three seasons in passing offense: fifth in 2012 (283.4 ypg), first in 2013 (340.3 ypg) and fourth in 2014 (291.3 ypg). In 2013, the Broncos set an NFL single-season record with 606 points, 5,572 gross passing yards and 5,444 net passing yards. Their 7,317 net yards that season were second most in league history.

Fox oversaw 18 Pro Bowlers in Denver including seven who earned multiple Pro Bowl selections: cornerback Champ Bailey (2011-12), tackle Ryan Clady (2011-12, '14), defensive end Elvis Dumervil (2011-12), quarterback Peyton Manning (2012-14), linebacker Von Miller (2011-12, '14), wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (2012-14) and tight end Julius Thomas (2013-14).

In 2014, Fox led the Broncos to a 12-4 record as they were the only team in the NFL to finish in the top 5 in both total offense (fourth) and total defense (third), the second time in three years Denver accomplished that feat. Manning finished with a 100-plus passer rating for his third-straight season under Fox, a feat the Pro Bowl quarterback accomplished only one other time in his career (2004-06). Over the final 6 weeks of the 2014 regular season, running back C.J. Anderson led the NFL with 648 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns.

In 2013, Denver earned the AFC's top playoff seed for the second consecutive year after a 13-3 regular season record. After defeating AFC West rival San Diego and No. 2 seeded New England in the playoffs, the Broncos garnered their first Super Bowl appearance in 15 years.

In his second year with the Broncos in 2012, Fox led the club to a 13-3 record and the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Denver ended the regular season by recording 11 consecutive wins by at least seven points, the third team in NFL history to accomplish that feat.

Despite fielding a young squad during his initial campaign with Denver in 2011, Fox led the Broncos to their first AFC West title and playoff victory in six years. He finished third in the Associated Press' NFL Coach of the Year voting after becoming only the third head coach since the 1970 NFL merger to lead a team to a division title and playoff victory in his first year with a franchise after inheriting a club that won four or fewer games the previous year. Fox guided the Broncos to six consecutive wins following a 1-4 start while tying an NFL record by winning six games when trailing or tied entering the fourth quarter. The offense set a club single-season record by averaging an NFL-best 164.5 rushing yards per game. Fox worked with linebacker Von Miller, who was named AP's NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year while overseeing a Denver rookie class that totaled the second-most starts (56) in the league.

Prior to his time with the Broncos, Fox spent nine years as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. He led the franchise to a 73-71 (.507) regular-season record, including three playoff appearances and two NFC South titles. The Panthers went 5-3 in the postseason under Fox, including winning four road playoff games, while appearing in two NFC Championship Games and earning the franchise's first Super Bowl appearance. The four playoff road victories are tied for fifth most in NFL history and tied for fourth most by a head coach with one team.

During Fox's time as Carolina's head coach, the Panthers defense was third in the NFL with 282 takeaways, fifth in total defense (312.0 ypg) and ninth in scoring defense (20.1 ppg). The Panthers ranked in the NFL's top 10 in scoring defense in five of his nine seasons as head coach (fifth in 2002 and 2005, 10th in 2003, tied for eighth in 2006 and ninth in 2009) and in the top eight in total defense on five occasions (second in 2002, eighth in 2003 and 2009, third in 2005 and seventh in 2006).

Fox guided 15 different Panthers to a total of 28 Pro Bowl selections from 2002-10. Defensive end Julius Peppers led the way with five Pro Bowl selections (2004-06, '08-09) during his time in Carolina in addition to being named to the 2000s NFL All-Decade Team and Associated Press NFL Rookie of the Year in 2002. In addition to Peppers, five other Panthers were voted to multiple Pro Bowls under Fox's leadership: linebacker Jon Beason (2008-10), offensive tackle Jordan Gross (2008, '10), defensive tackle Kris Jenkins (2002-03, '06), center Ryan Kalil (2009-10) and wide receiver Steve Smith (2005-06, '08).

Fox inherited a Panthers team that went 1-15 and guided them to a 7-9 record in his first year at the helm of the franchise before an 11-5 record, NFC South title and NFC Championship in 2003, en route to advancing to Super Bowl XXXVIII. Fox joined Pro Football Hall of Fame coaches Vince Lombardi and Bill Parcells as the only coaches in NFL history to take over a one-win team and lead it to the postseason in just two years. During their playoff run in 2003, the Panthers won two contests on the road, a 29-23 overtime victory in St. Louis and a 14-3 win in Philadelphia during the NFC Championship Game.

A catalyst of the Panthers quick turnaround was Fox's improvement of Carolina's defense which was last in yards allowed (371.4 per game) a year before his arrival to No. 2 overall in 2002 (290.4 ypg), the only defensive unit since the 1970 NFL merger to accomplish that feat.

Carolina returned to the NFC Championship Game three seasons later in 2005 after the Panthers finished with the NFL's third-ranked defense (282.6 ypg) and earned two more road victories in the postseason, shutting out New York, 23-0, and defeating Chicago, 29-21.

Similar to his time in Denver, Fox guided teams with different offensive identities at Carolina. His squads were compiled of four individual 1,000-yard rushing seasons (DeAngelo Williams-2, Stephen Davis-1, Jonathan Stewart-1), seven individual 1,000-yard receiving outputs (Steve Smith-4, Muhsin Muhammad-3) and four 3,000-yard passing seasons from quarterback Jake Delhomme.

The Panthers went 12-4 in 2008 behind the NFL's 10th-ranked offense (349.7 ypg.) and seventh ranked scoring offense (25.9 ppg). Williams finished with a franchise-record 1,515 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns to earn his first Pro Bowl selection. Williams teamed with Stewart to lead a rushing attack that averaged 152.3 yards per game and 30 rushing touchdowns - only the fifth time since the 1970 NFL a team has average 150-plus rushing yards per game with 30 rushing touchdowns in a season.

In 2007, the Panthers became the first team in more than a decade to win at least one game with four different starting quarterbacks (David Carr, Delhomme, Matt Moore and Vinny Testaverde) finishing with a 7-9 record after losing Delhomme in the third game with a season-ending elbow injury.

Fox came to Carolina from the New York Giants where he spent five seasons (1997-2001) as the franchise's defensive coordinator. During those five seasons, the Giants ranked third in the NFL in sacks (230), fourth in rushing defense (96.5 ypg) and turnover differential (+25), seventh in scoring defense (18.7 ppg) and eighth in opponent passer rating (73.4). In 2001, under Fox's guidance, Michael Strahan set an NFL single-season record with 22.5 sacks. Strahan earned his first four Pro Bowl selections under Fox while linebacker Jessie Armstead made all five of his career Pro Bowls with Fox as his defensive coordinator.

The Giants made the playoffs twice in Fox's five seasons as defensive coordinator, including a trip to Super Bowl XXXV following the 2000 season. In the 2000 NFC Championship Game, Fox helped lead the Giants to a 41-0 shutout of the Minnesota Vikings, who were the fifth-ranked scoring offense in the league during the regular season.

Fox spent the 1996 season as a consultant for the St. Louis Rams after two years as the Raiders defensive coordinator (1994-95). The Raiders were eighth in the NFL in total defense (314.0 ypg) and tied for 12th in scoring defense (20.6 ppg) in Fox's two seasons as defensive coordinator. Oakland defensive tackle Chester McGlockton and cornerback Terry McDaniel garnered Pro Bowl honors in both seasons under Fox.

Before becoming an NFL defensive coordinator, Fox was a secondary coach for the San Diego Chargers (1992-93) and Pittsburgh Steelers (1989-91). In Fox's two seasons with the Chargers, under head coach Bobby Ross, San Diego's defense was second in the NFL in interceptions (47) and seventh in opponent passer rating (70.4). Fox mentored Pro Bowl cornerback Gill Byrd and safety Darren Carrington, whose 13 interceptions over the 1992-93 seasons were third most in the NFL. In Fox's first year with San Diego, the Chargers won the AFC West with an 11-5 mark, a year after finishing last place in the division at 4-12.

During his time in Pittsburgh, working under Pro Football Hall of Fame Head Coach Chuck Noll, Fox helped the Steelers defense rank tied for fourth in the NFL with 64 interceptions and fifth in the league in opponent passer rating (69.2). In 1991, under Fox's tutelage, defensive back Rod Woodson earned his first of his 10 Pro Bowl selections en route to his Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement in 2009.

Prior to joining the NFL coaching ranks, Fox spent 10 years as a collegiate coach and one season in the USFL. He got his coaching start at his alma mater, San Diego State, in 1978 as a graduate assistant. He moved on to work as a defensive backs/secondary coach at U.S. International (1979) under Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Sid Gillman. Fox also had collegiate coaching stints at Boise State (1980), Long Beach State (1981), Utah (1982), Kansas (1983) and Iowa State (1984) before working on the coaching staff of the USFL's Los Angeles Express in 1985. Fox rejoined the collegiate coaching ranks in 1986 as a defensive coordinator/secondary coach at the University of Pittsburgh, a title he held for three seasons. While with the Panthers, Fox oversaw a pass defense that ranked in the top-10 nationally all three years (1986-88).

A native of Virginia Beach, Va., Fox spent his teen years in the San Diego area and attended Castle Park High School in Chula Vista, Calif. He played defensive back at Southwestern Junior College in Chula Vista (1974-75) before transferring to San Diego State to finish his collegiate career. While at SDSU, he was defensive teammates with former NFL head coach Herm Edwards in 1976. Fox graduated from San Diego State with a bachelor's degree in physical education and a secondary education teaching credential.

The son of Ron Fox, who was a U.S. Navy SEAL, John and his wife, Robin, have three sons: Matthew, Mark and Cody, and a daughter, Halle.

Coaching Career Team/School Reg. Season Record* Postseaon Record*
1978 Graduate Assistant San Diego State University
1979 Defensive Backs U.S. International University
1980 Secondary Boise State University
1981 Secondary Long Beach State University
1982 Secondary University of Utah
1983 Secondary University of Kansas
1984 Secondary Iowa State University
1985 Secondary Los Angeles Express (USFL)
1986 Defensive Coord./Secondary University of Pittsburgh
1987 Defensive Coord./Secondary University of Pittsburgh
1988 Defensive Coord./Secondary University of Pittsburgh
1989 Secondary Pittsburgh Steelers
1990 Secondary Pittsburgh Steelers
1991 Secondary Pittsburgh Steelers
1992 Secondary San Diego Chargers
1993 Secondary San Diego Chargers
1994 Defensive Coordinator Los Angeles Raiders
1995 Defensive Coordinator Oakland Raiders
1996 Consultant St. Louis Rams
1997 Defensive Coordinator New York Giants
1998 Defensive Coordinator New York Giants
1999 Defensive Coordinator New York Giants
2000 Defensive Coordinator New York Giants
2001 Defensive Coordinator New York Giants
2002 Head Coach Carolina Panthers 7-9
2003 Head Coach Carolina Panthers 11-5 S.B. XXXVIII (3-1)
2004 Head Coach Carolina Panthers 7-9
2005 Head Coach Carolina Panthers 11-5 NFC Champ. Game (2-1)
2006 Head Coach Carolina Panthers 8-8
2007 Head Coach Carolina Panthers 7-9
2008 Head Coach Carolina Panthers 12-4 Playoffs (0-1)
2009 Head Coach Carolina Panthers 8-8
2010 Head Coach Carolina Panthers 2-14
2011 Head Coach Denver Broncos 8-8 Playoffs (1-1)
2012 Head Coach Denver Broncos 13-3 Playoffs (0-1)
2013 Head Coach Denver Broncos 13-3 S.B. XLVIII (2-1)
2014 Head Coach Denver Broncos 12-4 Playoffs (0-1)
2015 Head Coach Chicago Bears 6-10
2016 Head Coach Chicago Bears 3-13

* As a head coach

Recent Articles

  • Bears begin their summer break

    Posted Jun 15, 2017

    With perfect attendance at practices throughout the offseason, the Bears were given an early start to their vacation.

  • Fox vows 6-10 Bears 'will get better'

    Posted Dec 30, 2015

    After finishing 6-10 in his first season as coach, John Fox vowed that the Bears will improve and encouraged fans to "hang with us."

  • Bears still evaluating Cutler, others

    Posted Feb 18, 2015

    As they continue to conduct a thorough evaluation of their roster, the Bears have yet to determine whether some veteran players—including quarterback Jay Cutler—will remain with the team.

Recent Videos