Lions’ Caldwell sympathizes with Tigers’ Ausmus

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Amid reports that Tigers manager Brad Ausmus may be in jeopardy of being relieved of his duties following the season, Lions coach Jim Caldwell is in position to become the longest-tenured coach in the four major Detroit professional sports.

Caldwell, who led the Lions to a 11-5 record last season and to the playoffs, is starting his second season, but has been around longer than the Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill, who will begin his first season this fall, and Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy.

The constant turnover in the professional coaching ranks means that there’s sometimes a quick trigger and little patience from the front office and ownership to try to find the right fit and get to winning.

For Caldwell, the transitions come as no surprise, given nature of sports.

“Not in our business,” Caldwell said Friday morning. “This is a tenuous business; this is a short-term business. There’s been many guys.”

Caldwell pointed to Cam Cameron, a former Michigan assistant coach, who was the head coach when the Miami Dolphins went 1-15 in 2007 — the worst record in franchise history. Add to that the success that Marty Schottenheimer had with the San Diego Chargers in 2006, going 14-2 before a first-round playoff loss and being fired, as indicators of the priorities in coaching.

“That’s the way coaching is; it’s a win-right-now business,” Caldwell said. “Our business is about winning, regardless of what it takes. It doesn’t surprise me.

“All I’m worried about it trying to make sure we win so I don’t join those ranks (of the unemployed).”