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John Fox
Head Coach
College:
San Diego State
Experience:
22

Bio

Coaching
There are few challenges John Fox has not met and answered while becoming the winningest coach in Carolina Panthers history. In eight seasons under Fox, the Panthers have totaled 76 victories, made three playoff appearances, won one NFC Championship, claimed two NFC South titles, reached two NFC Championship games and played in one Super Bowl.

In compiling a 71-57 regular-season record and 5-3 postseason mark, Fox has demonstrated a remarkable consistency while guiding his team through the peaks and valleys that accompany an NFL season.

Resiliency has characterized Fox's tenure with Carolina, and never was that trait more apparent than in 2009. Faced with the loss of both starting offensive tackles and their starting quarterback, the Panthers rebounded to win four of their last five games. It was the latest in a series of notable accomplishments for the head coach.

• In Fox's first season as head coach in 2002, the Panthers were coming off a one-win season that included 15 consecutive losses and responded with a six-game improvement to go 7-9.

• A year later, Carolina struggled through a three-game losing streak after jumping off to an 8-2 start, but Fox steadied the ship and the Panthers advanced to Super Bowl XXXVIII after winning the NFC South title.

• The Panthers began the 2004 season 1-7 and lost their three top running backs but recovered to win six of the last eight games and narrowly miss the playoffs.

• With Carolina's playoff hopes in jeopardy in 2005, Fox rallied the team for a season-ending win at Atlanta and guided the Panthers to the NFC Championship game.

• In 2007, Carolina became the first team in a decade to win at least one game with four different starting quarterbacks, carving out seven victories with starter Jake Delhomme sidelined for all but three games with an elbow injury.

• In 2008, the Panthers equaled a team record with 12 victories and won the NFC South for the second time under Fox.

Fox has shown an ability to win in a variety of ways. The dramatic improvement from 2001 to 2002 was the result of a defense that jumped from 31st to second in the NFL. The 2003 Super Bowl team combined a running game powered by Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster with a strong defense. The 2005 playoff team parlayed the aerial attack of Delhomme and wide receiver Steve Smith to reach NFC Championship. In winning the 2008 NFC South title, the Panthers rode an offense that featured a record-setting running attack and ranked seventh in the league in scoring.

Since Fox became head coach in 2002, the Panthers have averaged nearly 10 wins a year and have developed into one of the most consistent teams in the NFL. In those eight seasons, Carolina won at least seven games every year. Only four teams - Carolina, Denver, New England and Indianapolis - did not experience a season with double-digit losses during that time.

For much of his tenure, Delhomme was a staple at quarterback for Fox. But he has also demonstrated the ability to win with a rookie such as Matt Moore or veteran like Vinny Testaverde, who became the oldest quarterback in NFL history to win as a starter in 2007. When Davis and Foster went down with injuries in 2004, unknown Nick Goings produced five 100-yard rushing efforts to ignite a late season playoff bid.

Fox has made a habit of being at his best in most dire situations or when the stakes are the highest. Carolina's 5-3 playoff record under Fox is one of the best winning percentages in the NFL. In compiling that mark, he has put his name alongside some of the game's coaching hierarchy with the following achievements:

• The Panthers four consecutive playoff road victories under Fox tied the NFL record held by the Dallas Cowboys under Tom Landry.

• With four postseason road victories, Fox trails only Landry (seven) and Joe Gibbs (five).

• In guiding the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2003, Fox joined Vince Lombardi and Bill Parcells as the only coaches in NFL history to inherit a one-win team and guide it to the playoffs two years later.

Those accomplishments only begin to tell Fox's story. The 41 wins in his first four years more than doubled the Panthers total in the previous four seasons (20).

His impact was immediate. In his first season, Carolina improved its record by six games, going from 1-15 in 2001 to 7-9 in 2002. The six-game improvement was the best in the NFL that season and the best jump for a rookie head coach since the league instituted the 16-game schedule in 1978.

That success laid the foundation for his second season, as the Panthers - a consensus last-place preseason selection - stunned the experts by winning the NFC South before advancing to Super Bowl XXXVIII with playoff wins versus Dallas, at St. Louis and at Philadelphia. The victory over the Rams ended a 14-game St. Louis home winning streak in the fifth-longest overtime game in league history.

The 2004 season saw Fox again at his best in adverse situation as injuries derailed a promising season, and the Panthers were mired in last place midway through the season at 1-7. Faced with a depleted roster and the greatest challenge of his short head-coaching career, Fox responded by leading Carolina to six wins in the final eight weeks and narrowly missing a second consecutive playoff berth.

The strong finish set up another playoff run by Carolina in 2005 as the Panthers recorded an 11-5 regular season mark to make the postseason as a Wild Card. Once again, Fox was at his best when his team had to win the final week on the road at Atlanta to make the playoffs, and Carolina responded with a 44-11 victory. Then came road playoff wins against the New York Giants and Chicago Bears before a loss in the NFC Championship at Seattle.

In 2006, the Panthers lost three starters in the regular-season opener but managed an 8-8 record to post back-to-back non-losing seasons for the first time in team history.

His success is no surprise to those who know him best, particularly Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney, who worked with Fox at San Diego in the 1990s.

"He has it," Hurney said. "He has great people skills. He listens to everybody and he has defensive expertise. And he has a tremendous presence. When he walks down the hall, he affects everybody."

It was those intangibles, combined with a thorough knowledge of the game that led the Panthers to Fox in 2002. And the fruits of Fox's labor are evident on every level.

Six defensive players have gone to the Pro Bowl since his arrival, highlighted by defensive end Julius Peppers' five selections. Linebacker Jon Beason has played in the last two NFL all-star games. Defensive tackle Kris Jenkins played in two Pro Bowls, while linebacker Mark Fields, linebacker Dan Morgan and defensive end Mike Rucker each represented the NFC squad once under Fox's tutelage. On offense, Smith has appeared in three Pro Bowls under Fox with Davis, Delhomme, tackle Jordan Gross, center Ryan Kalil, guard Mike Wahle and running back DeAngelo Williams making one appearance each.

Changing the team's mindset was equally important and possibly more challenging than improving the personnel upon Fox's arrival. After going 3-16 in games decided by three points or less from 1999-2002, the Panthers tied an NFL record with seven victories by three points or less in 2003. Seven times during the regular season they scored the game-winning points in overtime or with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.

In Fox's rookie season as head coach, the Panthers started 3-0 but lost eight consecutive games amid suspensions, injuries and assorted setbacks. Though on the ropes, Carolina never buckled and rallied to win four of its final five games. The Panthers opened Fox's first season in 2002 with a 10-7 victory over Baltimore, ending the long losing streak and setting the tone for a season that included several milestones:

• The six-game improvement was the largest in the NFL in 2002, and only two previous rookie head coaches - Bobby Ross in 1992 and Jim Haslett in 2000 - had a more significant impact on their team's record since the NFL implemented a 16-game schedule in 1978.

• Carolina's defense became the first unit since the NFL merger in 1970 to improve to second in the league in overall defense after placing last the previous season.

• The Panthers ranked in the top five of 10 different defensive categories, leading the NFL in rushing yards per attempt and sacks per pass play, ranking second in third down efficiency and standing third in first downs allowed per game.

• The 52 sacks recorded by Carolina more than doubled the total of the previous season and are the second most in team history.

After an 8-2 start in 2003, the Panthers slipped into a three-game losing streak. However, Fox again steadied the ship, and Carolina regrouped to win its final three games and the NFC South division. The team's first playoff appearance since 1996 resulted in some of the most memorable moments in team history. Hosting an NFC Wild Card game against Dallas, the Panthers won convincingly, 29-10, accumulating 380 yards against the NFL's top ranked defense while not committing a turnover or penalty. A week later, the Panthers played the fifth-longest game in league history, topping St. Louis, 29-23, in the second overtime to stop the Rams' 14-game home winning streak. The following week, Carolina won its first NFC Championship by defeating Philadelphia, 14-3, on the road.

Fox's ability to adjust and move forward was never more evident than in the 2004 season when the Panthers became just the third team since 1990 to finish with seven wins after starting 1-7 and the sixth team since 1974 to follow up a 1-7 start with seven victories. In the face of losing Smith, Jenkins and Davis, Fox fell back on a couple of his favorite euphemisms: "Everybody starts out a nobody," and "If we didn't think you were good, you wouldn't be here." The words proved prophetic as Goings, a former undrafted running back, responded with five 100-yard games, rookie wide receiver Colbert caught 47 passes and Travelle Wharton, another rookie, stepped in as a starter on the offensive line.

Fox culminated a 20-year odyssey when he was named head coach of the Carolina Panthers on Jan. 26, 2002. Regarded as one of the top defensive coaches in the NFL, Fox proved to be the right choice at the right time for the franchise. Production, work ethic, enthusiasm and high energy were ingredients he brought to Carolina.

It is fitting that Fox achieved his opportunity the old fashioned way, beginning as a graduate assistant in 1978 and making 12 stops in 17 years before being named defensive coordinator of the New York Giants in 1997. Seizing that opportunity, he annually turned out highly regarded units for the Giants, known for their all-out play as well as their production.

His style and philosophy are as grounded as his career path to Carolina. It is a combination that caught the Panthers' attention. For in Fox, the son of a Navy SEAL, they found a man whose passion for the game is matched by the zeal of his players on the field.

If Fox coaches with a passion, it could be that he had something to prove after so many stops. Boise, Idaho. Ames, Iowa. Lawrence, Kan. They were all on his résumé before reaching the NFL as a secondary coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1989. Even then he stayed on the move - San Diego from 1992-93, Oakland from 1994-95 and St. Louis in 1996 - before reaching the Giants as defensive coordinator.

At New York, the accolades began to build, reaching a crescendo in New York's shutout of high-powered Minnesota in the 2001 NFC Championship. The Vikings entered the game averaging more than 25 points and passing for nearly 260 yards per game. Against Fox's defense, the totals were zero points and 60 yards through the air. It was a performance that had been building in the regular season when New York allowed only 62 first downs rushing, well below the NFL average of 98, and three opponents gained less than 200 total yards.

However, it was the consistency that characterized his units. During Fox's five years as defensive coordinator, New York produced 153 takeaways and had a plus 25 turnover differential that ranked third in the NFC and fourth in the NFL over the period. Pass pressure was another trademark of Fox's units. Under his tutelage, the Giants recorded 230 sacks, ranking third in the NFL. In 2001, Michael Strahan set a league record with 22.5 sacks.

Similar to Carolina as head coach, Fox's impact was immediate upon his arrival in New York. In 1997, Fox orchestrated a defense that led the NFL with a club-record 44 takeaways and ranked first in the league with 27 interceptions. That edition of the Giants defense tied for third in the NFL with 54 sacks, the fourth-best total in team history. The defense was second in the NFC against the run at 90.7 yards per game and held opponents to 20 or less points in 12-of-16 games, including 10 or less in six contests. As a result, Fox was honored as Pro Football Weekly's Assistant Coach of the Year.

However, his success as a coordinator did not begin with the Giants. Before serving as a consultant to the Rams in 1996, he engineered Oakland's defense to a 10th place finish in total defense in 1994 and 11th in 1995. Prior to joining the Raiders, Fox was the secondary coach under Ross at San Diego in 1992 and 1993. Fox started his NFL coaching career with Pittsburgh as a defensive back coach from 1989-91, overseeing the NFL's top-rated pass defense in 1990.

Fox moved to the Steelers from the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as defensive coordinator and secondary coach from 1986-88. In each of his three seasons, the Panthers pass defense was statistically ranked among the top 10 in the nation.

Prior to his three-year stay at Pittsburgh, Fox made eight moves in as many seasons as he worked his way through the coaching ranks, including a foray into professional football with the Los Angeles Express of the USFL in 1985. Starting as a graduate assistant at his alma mater of San Diego State in 1978, Fox became an assistant at United States International University a year later and made a succession of moves to Boise State in 1980, Long Beach State in 1981, Utah in 1982, Kansas in 1983 and Iowa State in 1984.

Playing and Personal
A native of Virginia Beach, Va., Fox grew up in the San Diego area after moving at age 15. He attended Castle Park High School in Chula Vista and played football at Southwestern Junior College in Chula Vista (1974-75) before going to San Diego State, where he played defensive back for the Aztecs. He graduated from San Diego State with a bachelor's degree in physical education and earned a secondary education teaching credential in 1977.

Along with his football accomplishments, Fox has been a community leader in the Carolinas. He and his wife co-chair the annual Angels & Stars Gala benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and are frequent participants in community charity fund raisers. Fox visited members of the U.S. military for several days in the Persian Gulf this summer as part of the NFL-USO Coaches Tour.


Coaching History

Year
Position
Team
1978
Graduate Assistant
San Diego State
1979
Assistant Coach
U.S. International
1980
Secondary Coach
Boise State
1981
Secondary Coach
Long Beach State
1982
Secondary Coach
Utah
1983
Secondary Coach
Kansas
1984
Secondary Coach
Iowa State
1985
Secondary Coach
Los Angeles Express (USFL)
1986-88
Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
University of Pittsburgh
1989-91
Secondary Coach
Pittsburgh Steelers
1992-93
Secondary Coach
San Diego Chargers
1994-95
Defensive Coordinator
Oakland Raiders
1996
Consultant
St. Louis Rams
1997-2001
Defensive Coordinator
New York Giants
2002-current
Head Coach
Carolina Panthers

Coaching
There are few challenges John Fox has not met and answered while becoming the winningest coach in Carolina Panthers history. In eight seasons under Fox, the Panthers have totaled 76 victories, made three playoff appearances, won one NFC Championship, claimed two NFC South titles, reached two NFC Championship games and played in one Super Bowl.

In compiling a 71-57 regular-season record and 5-3 postseason mark, Fox has demonstrated a remarkable consistency while guiding his team through the peaks and valleys that accompany an NFL season.

Resiliency has characterized Fox's tenure with Carolina, and never was that trait more apparent than in 2009. Faced with the loss of both starting offensive tackles and their starting quarterback, the Panthers rebounded to win four of their last five games. It was the latest in a series of notable accomplishments for the head coach.

• In Fox's first season as head coach in 2002, the Panthers were coming off a one-win season that included 15 consecutive losses and responded with a six-game improvement to go 7-9.

• A year later, Carolina struggled through a three-game losing streak after jumping off to an 8-2 start, but Fox steadied the ship and the Panthers advanced to Super Bowl XXXVIII after winning the NFC South title.

• The Panthers began the 2004 season 1-7 and lost their three top running backs but recovered to win six of the last eight games and narrowly miss the playoffs.

• With Carolina's playoff hopes in jeopardy in 2005, Fox rallied the team for a season-ending win at Atlanta and guided the Panthers to the NFC Championship game.

• In 2007, Carolina became the first team in a decade to win at least one game with four different starting quarterbacks, carving out seven victories with starter Jake Delhomme sidelined for all but three games with an elbow injury.

• In 2008, the Panthers equaled a team record with 12 victories and won the NFC South for the second time under Fox.

Fox has shown an ability to win in a variety of ways. The dramatic improvement from 2001 to 2002 was the result of a defense that jumped from 31st to second in the NFL. The 2003 Super Bowl team combined a running game powered by Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster with a strong defense. The 2005 playoff team parlayed the aerial attack of Delhomme and wide receiver Steve Smith to reach NFC Championship. In winning the 2008 NFC South title, the Panthers rode an offense that featured a record-setting running attack and ranked seventh in the league in scoring.

Since Fox became head coach in 2002, the Panthers have averaged nearly 10 wins a year and have developed into one of the most consistent teams in the NFL. In those eight seasons, Carolina won at least seven games every year. Only four teams - Carolina, Denver, New England and Indianapolis - did not experience a season with double-digit losses during that time.

For much of his tenure, Delhomme was a staple at quarterback for Fox. But he has also demonstrated the ability to win with a rookie such as Matt Moore or veteran like Vinny Testaverde, who became the oldest quarterback in NFL history to win as a starter in 2007. When Davis and Foster went down with injuries in 2004, unknown Nick Goings produced five 100-yard rushing efforts to ignite a late season playoff bid.

Fox has made a habit of being at his best in most dire situations or when the stakes are the highest. Carolina's 5-3 playoff record under Fox is one of the best winning percentages in the NFL. In compiling that mark, he has put his name alongside some of the game's coaching hierarchy with the following achievements:

• The Panthers four consecutive playoff road victories under Fox tied the NFL record held by the Dallas Cowboys under Tom Landry.

• With four postseason road victories, Fox trails only Landry (seven) and Joe Gibbs (five).

• In guiding the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2003, Fox joined Vince Lombardi and Bill Parcells as the only coaches in NFL history to inherit a one-win team and guide it to the playoffs two years later.

Those accomplishments only begin to tell Fox's story. The 41 wins in his first four years more than doubled the Panthers total in the previous four seasons (20).

His impact was immediate. In his first season, Carolina improved its record by six games, going from 1-15 in 2001 to 7-9 in 2002. The six-game improvement was the best in the NFL that season and the best jump for a rookie head coach since the league instituted the 16-game schedule in 1978.

That success laid the foundation for his second season, as the Panthers - a consensus last-place preseason selection - stunned the experts by winning the NFC South before advancing to Super Bowl XXXVIII with playoff wins versus Dallas, at St. Louis and at Philadelphia. The victory over the Rams ended a 14-game St. Louis home winning streak in the fifth-longest overtime game in league history.

The 2004 season saw Fox again at his best in adverse situation as injuries derailed a promising season, and the Panthers were mired in last place midway through the season at 1-7. Faced with a depleted roster and the greatest challenge of his short head-coaching career, Fox responded by leading Carolina to six wins in the final eight weeks and narrowly missing a second consecutive playoff berth.

The strong finish set up another playoff run by Carolina in 2005 as the Panthers recorded an 11-5 regular season mark to make the postseason as a Wild Card. Once again, Fox was at his best when his team had to win the final week on the road at Atlanta to make the playoffs, and Carolina responded with a 44-11 victory. Then came road playoff wins against the New York Giants and Chicago Bears before a loss in the NFC Championship at Seattle.

In 2006, the Panthers lost three starters in the regular-season opener but managed an 8-8 record to post back-to-back non-losing seasons for the first time in team history.

His success is no surprise to those who know him best, particularly Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney, who worked with Fox at San Diego in the 1990s.

"He has it," Hurney said. "He has great people skills. He listens to everybody and he has defensive expertise. And he has a tremendous presence. When he walks down the hall, he affects everybody."

It was those intangibles, combined with a thorough knowledge of the game that led the Panthers to Fox in 2002. And the fruits of Fox's labor are evident on every level.

Six defensive players have gone to the Pro Bowl since his arrival, highlighted by defensive end Julius Peppers' five selections. Linebacker Jon Beason has played in the last two NFL all-star games. Defensive tackle Kris Jenkins played in two Pro Bowls, while linebacker Mark Fields, linebacker Dan Morgan and defensive end Mike Rucker each represented the NFC squad once under Fox's tutelage. On offense, Smith has appeared in three Pro Bowls under Fox with Davis, Delhomme, tackle Jordan Gross, center Ryan Kalil, guard Mike Wahle and running back DeAngelo Williams making one appearance each.

Changing the team's mindset was equally important and possibly more challenging than improving the personnel upon Fox's arrival. After going 3-16 in games decided by three points or less from 1999-2002, the Panthers tied an NFL record with seven victories by three points or less in 2003. Seven times during the regular season they scored the game-winning points in overtime or with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.

In Fox's rookie season as head coach, the Panthers started 3-0 but lost eight consecutive games amid suspensions, injuries and assorted setbacks. Though on the ropes, Carolina never buckled and rallied to win four of its final five games. The Panthers opened Fox's first season in 2002 with a 10-7 victory over Baltimore, ending the long losing streak and setting the tone for a season that included several milestones:

• The six-game improvement was the largest in the NFL in 2002, and only two previous rookie head coaches - Bobby Ross in 1992 and Jim Haslett in 2000 - had a more significant impact on their team's record since the NFL implemented a 16-game schedule in 1978.

• Carolina's defense became the first unit since the NFL merger in 1970 to improve to second in the league in overall defense after placing last the previous season.

• The Panthers ranked in the top five of 10 different defensive categories, leading the NFL in rushing yards per attempt and sacks per pass play, ranking second in third down efficiency and standing third in first downs allowed per game.

• The 52 sacks recorded by Carolina more than doubled the total of the previous season and are the second most in team history.

After an 8-2 start in 2003, the Panthers slipped into a three-game losing streak. However, Fox again steadied the ship, and Carolina regrouped to win its final three games and the NFC South division. The team's first playoff appearance since 1996 resulted in some of the most memorable moments in team history. Hosting an NFC Wild Card game against Dallas, the Panthers won convincingly, 29-10, accumulating 380 yards against the NFL's top ranked defense while not committing a turnover or penalty. A week later, the Panthers played the fifth-longest game in league history, topping St. Louis, 29-23, in the second overtime to stop the Rams' 14-game home winning streak. The following week, Carolina won its first NFC Championship by defeating Philadelphia, 14-3, on the road.

Fox's ability to adjust and move forward was never more evident than in the 2004 season when the Panthers became just the third team since 1990 to finish with seven wins after starting 1-7 and the sixth team since 1974 to follow up a 1-7 start with seven victories. In the face of losing Smith, Jenkins and Davis, Fox fell back on a couple of his favorite euphemisms: "Everybody starts out a nobody," and "If we didn't think you were good, you wouldn't be here." The words proved prophetic as Goings, a former undrafted running back, responded with five 100-yard games, rookie wide receiver Colbert caught 47 passes and Travelle Wharton, another rookie, stepped in as a starter on the offensive line.

Fox culminated a 20-year odyssey when he was named head coach of the Carolina Panthers on Jan. 26, 2002. Regarded as one of the top defensive coaches in the NFL, Fox proved to be the right choice at the right time for the franchise. Production, work ethic, enthusiasm and high energy were ingredients he brought to Carolina.

It is fitting that Fox achieved his opportunity the old fashioned way, beginning as a graduate assistant in 1978 and making 12 stops in 17 years before being named defensive coordinator of the New York Giants in 1997. Seizing that opportunity, he annually turned out highly regarded units for the Giants, known for their all-out play as well as their production.

His style and philosophy are as grounded as his career path to Carolina. It is a combination that caught the Panthers' attention. For in Fox, the son of a Navy SEAL, they found a man whose passion for the game is matched by the zeal of his players on the field.

If Fox coaches with a passion, it could be that he had something to prove after so many stops. Boise, Idaho. Ames, Iowa. Lawrence, Kan. They were all on his résumé before reaching the NFL as a secondary coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1989. Even then he stayed on the move - San Diego from 1992-93, Oakland from 1994-95 and St. Louis in 1996 - before reaching the Giants as defensive coordinator.

At New York, the accolades began to build, reaching a crescendo in New York's shutout of high-powered Minnesota in the 2001 NFC Championship. The Vikings entered the game averaging more than 25 points and passing for nearly 260 yards per game. Against Fox's defense, the totals were zero points and 60 yards through the air. It was a performance that had been building in the regular season when New York allowed only 62 first downs rushing, well below the NFL average of 98, and three opponents gained less than 200 total yards.

However, it was the consistency that characterized his units. During Fox's five years as defensive coordinator, New York produced 153 takeaways and had a plus 25 turnover differential that ranked third in the NFC and fourth in the NFL over the period. Pass pressure was another trademark of Fox's units. Under his tutelage, the Giants recorded 230 sacks, ranking third in the NFL. In 2001, Michael Strahan set a league record with 22.5 sacks.

Similar to Carolina as head coach, Fox's impact was immediate upon his arrival in New York. In 1997, Fox orchestrated a defense that led the NFL with a club-record 44 takeaways and ranked first in the league with 27 interceptions. That edition of the Giants defense tied for third in the NFL with 54 sacks, the fourth-best total in team history. The defense was second in the NFC against the run at 90.7 yards per game and held opponents to 20 or less points in 12-of-16 games, including 10 or less in six contests. As a result, Fox was honored as Pro Football Weekly's Assistant Coach of the Year.

However, his success as a coordinator did not begin with the Giants. Before serving as a consultant to the Rams in 1996, he engineered Oakland's defense to a 10th place finish in total defense in 1994 and 11th in 1995. Prior to joining the Raiders, Fox was the secondary coach under Ross at San Diego in 1992 and 1993. Fox started his NFL coaching career with Pittsburgh as a defensive back coach from 1989-91, overseeing the NFL's top-rated pass defense in 1990.

Fox moved to the Steelers from the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as defensive coordinator and secondary coach from 1986-88. In each of his three seasons, the Panthers pass defense was statistically ranked among the top 10 in the nation.

Prior to his three-year stay at Pittsburgh, Fox made eight moves in as many seasons as he worked his way through the coaching ranks, including a foray into professional football with the Los Angeles Express of the USFL in 1985. Starting as a graduate assistant at his alma mater of San Diego State in 1978, Fox became an assistant at United States International University a year later and made a succession of moves to Boise State in 1980, Long Beach State in 1981, Utah in 1982, Kansas in 1983 and Iowa State in 1984.

Playing and Personal
A native of Virginia Beach, Va., Fox grew up in the San Diego area after moving at age 15. He attended Castle Park High School in Chula Vista and played football at Southwestern Junior College in Chula Vista (1974-75) before going to San Diego State, where he played defensive back for the Aztecs. He graduated from San Diego State with a bachelor's degree in physical education and earned a secondary education teaching credential in 1977.

Along with his football accomplishments, Fox has been a community leader in the Carolinas. He and his wife co-chair the annual Angels & Stars Gala benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and are frequent participants in community charity fund raisers. Fox visited members of the U.S. military for several days in the Persian Gulf this summer as part of the NFL-USO Coaches Tour.


Coaching History

Year
Position
Team
1978
Graduate Assistant
San Diego State
1979
Assistant Coach
U.S. International
1980
Secondary Coach
Boise State
1981
Secondary Coach
Long Beach State
1982
Secondary Coach
Utah
1983
Secondary Coach
Kansas
1984
Secondary Coach
Iowa State
1985
Secondary Coach
Los Angeles Express (USFL)
1986-88
Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
University of Pittsburgh
1989-91
Secondary Coach
Pittsburgh Steelers
1992-93
Secondary Coach
San Diego Chargers
1994-95
Defensive Coordinator
Oakland Raiders
1996
Consultant
St. Louis Rams
1997-2001
Defensive Coordinator
New York Giants
2002-current
Head Coach
Carolina Panthers

 

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Photos

  • Practice Day

    club
    When Adam arrives in the huddle, Coach Fox asks Adam if he had anything to say to the team. Adam replies, "Crush the Falcons." (Photo by Ron Deshaies.)
  • Practice Day

    club
    On the practice field, head coach John Fox gives Adam the rundown on practice and discusses Adam's important game day duty of delivering the game ball. (Photo by Ron Deshaies.)
  • Panthers Falcons Football John Fox

    ap
    Carolina Panthers coach John Fox talks with reporters following a 31-10 loss in his final game as Panthers head coach, to the Atlanta Falcons, during an NFL football game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/John Amis)
  • Panthers Falcons Football Mike Smith, John Fox

    ap
    Carolina Panthers coach John Fox, left, congratulates Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith following a 31-10 win by the Falcons during an NFL football game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/John Amis)
  • Panthers Falcons Football John Fox

    ap
    Carolina Panthers coach John Fox talks with reporters following a 31-10 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in his final NFL football game as Panthers head coach, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/John Amis)