Jim Caldwell enters his first season with the Panthers after being named a senior assistant on February 14, 2023. Caldwell will report directly to coach Frank Reich and will help the team on offense, defense, and special teams.
Jim Caldwell is in his first season with the Panthers serving as senior assistant. Caldwell reports directly to coach Frank Reich and helps the team on offense, defense, and special teams.
Caldwell comes to Carolina with 18 years of NFL coaching experience, including seven seasons as a head coach for two NFL teams. He also spent eight years as a college football head coach. In his seven seasons as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts (2009-11) and Detroit Lions (2014-17), he compiled a 62- 50 (.554) regular-season record, with four playoff berths, two 11-win seasons, and one conference championship. Caldwell also won Super Bowls as an assistant coach with Indianapolis (Super Bowl XLI) and Baltimore (Super Bowl XLVII). Teams on which he has been part of the coaching staff have qualified for the playoffs 13 times in 17 seasons.
Caldwell most recently served as the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2019.
Caldwell spent four seasons (2014-17) as Detroit's head coach, where he went 36-28 (.563) and led the Lions to two playoff appearances. He became the first Lions head coach to have a winning record since Joe Schmidt, who left the team following the 1972 season. The Lions accumulated a .667 winning percentage against the NFC North during his tenure, marking the team's best four-year divisional winning percentage since divisional play began in 1967.
In 2017, Detroit completed a 3-0 road sweep in the NFC North and registered the franchise's first unblemished divisional road record since divisional alignment first began in 1967. Quarterback Matthew Stafford continued his ascent under Caldwell as he compiled a 99.3 passer rating for the season and established a new single-season franchise record. Cornerback Darius Slay was named to his first-career Pro Bowl after tying for the NFL lead in interceptions with eight. Detroit finished with winning seasons in back-to-back years for the first time since 1994-95.
In 2016, his third season at the Lions' helm, Caldwell guided Detroit to a 9-7 record and a trip to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. By earning a playoff berth in 2016, Caldwell joined Buddy Parker (1952, 1953) and Bobby Ross (1997, 1999) as the only coaches in Lions history to lead the team to the playoffs twice in their first three seasons with the club. The Lions trailed in the fourth quarter in eight of the team's wins in 2016. The eight fourth-quarter, come-from-behind wins set a new NFL record, surpassing the previous total of seven set by the 2009 Indianapolis Colts (also coached by Caldwell), for the most wins in a season after trailing in the fourth quarter.
Following a 1-7 start to the 2015 season, Caldwell led the Lions to a 7-9 record on the shoulders of a 6-2 surge to finish the year. Detroit became the fourth team since 1991 to start a season with one or fewer wins in the first eight games (1-7 or 0-8 record) and finish with an NFL-best 6-2 record. It marked the Lions' best second-half finish since the team finished 7-1 in 1995.
In 2014, Caldwell was named Detroit's head coach and helped the Lions compile an 11-5 regular-season record. He became the third coach in team history to lead the Lions to the playoffs in his first year with the team (George Wilson in 1957; Bobby Ross in 1997). The Lions' 2014 defense ranked second in the NFL in total defense (300.9 yards allowed per game) and third in points allowed (17.6 points allowed per game). The team's No. 2 ranking in total defense was the highest finish for the Lions since 1970, and the 300.9 yards allowed per game were the fewest yards allowed by a Lions defense since 1993. Detroit had the NFL's top-ranked rush defense in 2014, yielding just 69.3 yards per game, which not only set a team single-season record but was also the ninth-best single-season run defense in NFL history.
Caldwell was on Baltimore's offensive staff from 2012-13. He joined the organization as quarterbacks coach in 2012 and was promoted to offensive coordinator with three games left in the season. The Ravens responded by going on to win the AFC North and Super Bowl XLVII. In the team's final seven games, including four in the postseason, the Ravens averaged 400.6 yards per game and 27.3 points per game, including 410.3 yards per game and 31.0 points per game in the playoffs. The Ravens' 31.0 points per game in the postseason was the highest playoff scoring average in NFL history by a Super Bowl team who advanced from the Wild Card round and played four playoff games.
Caldwell spent 10 seasons (2002-11) with the Indianapolis Colts and was promoted several times during his tenure there, as he was the team's head coach from 2009-11. The Colts tied an NFL record with nine consecutive playoff appearances (2002-10) and won six AFC South titles, two AFC championships, and Super Bowl XLI during his tenure there. He went 26-22 (.542) as the team's head coach, winning the AFC South twice and earning an appearance in Super Bowl XLIV. He became just the fourth head coach in NFL history to win 24-plus games and earn a berth in the Super Bowl in the coach's first two seasons as a head coach. Caldwell became the second rookie head coach in NFL history to win 14 games when the 2009 Colts went 14-2 (.875).
Caldwell began his tenure in Indianapolis as quarterbacks coach from 2002-05. He was promoted to assistant head coach/quarterbacks and served in that role from 2006-07 before being promoted to associate head coach in 2008 and head coach in 2009. As an assistant in Indianapolis, Caldwell's primary emphasis was on the quarterback position. He helped Peyton Manning and the team's offense total eight top-10 finishes in total offense and six top-5 finishes in his 10 years with the Colts.
Caldwell's NFL coaching career began in 2001 as quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Before that, he spent eight seasons (1993-2000) as head coach at Wake Forest. Caldwell had extensive experience as an NCAA assistant coach with stints at Penn State (1986-92), Louisville (1985), Colorado (1982-84), Northwestern (1981) and Southern Illinois (1978-80). He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Iowa, in 1977.
Caldwell was a four-year starter at defensive back for Iowa from 1973-76 and holds a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from the school.
He and his wife, Cheryl, launched the Jim and Cheryl Caldwell Foundation in 2009. The Foundation is committed to the educational empowerment of children through digital technology and "preparing young minds for advancement to the 21st Century." The Caldwells also support several other charities throughout the country.
In 2016, Caldwell's hometown of Beloit, Wis., dedicated the Jim Caldwell Gymnasium at the newly opened Fran Fruzen Intermediate School in his honor. He was inducted into Beloit High School's Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2013.
The couple has four adult children – Jimmy, Jermaine, Jared, and Natalie – and four grandsons, James III, Joshua, Larry III and Landon.
1977 | University of Iowa | Graduate Assistant
1978-80 | Southern Illinois University | Wide Receivers
1981 | Northwestern University | Offensive Assistant
1982-84 | University of Colorado | Wide Receivers
1985 | University of Louisville | Wide Receivers
1986-92 | Penn State University | Quarterbacks
1993-00 | Wake Forest University | Head Coach
2001 | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Quarterbacks
2002-08 | Indianapolis Colts | Assistant Head Coach/Quarterbacks
2009-11 | Indianapolis Colts | Head Coach
2012 | Baltimore Ravens | Interim Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2013 | Baltimore Ravens | Offensive Coordinator
2014-17 | Detroit Lions | Head Coach
2019 | Miami Dolphins | Assistant Head Coach/Quarterbacks
2023-pres | Carolina Panthers | Senior Assistant