NFL

Darrell Bevell Started as an NAIA Assistant and is Now the Lions’ New Interim Head Coach

After two and a half seasons serving as the head coach for the Detroit Lions, Matt Patricia now finds himself without a team to coach. Patricia failed to lead the Lions to a winning season during his tenure, and now the Lions are moving forward. 

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell assumed the title of interim head coach after Patricia was fired. Bevell started his coaching career at a small NAIA school that is closed down, and now is an interim head coach in the NFL.

Darrell Bevell had an impressive college career at Wisconsin

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Darrell Bevell started his college career at Northern Arizona University and then transferred to Wisconsin. In recent years, Wisconsin has had success in football and has been a consistent team at the top of the Big Ten. Before Bevell joined the team in 1992, they struggled for many years. Bevell was named the starting quarterback in 1992. During the 1993 season, Wisconsin had a remarkable season as Bevell led them to a 10-1-1 record. Wisconsin was co-champions of the Big Ten and received an invite to the Rose Bowl.

During the 1994 Rose Bowl, Wisconsin took on UCLA and won 21-16. It was Wisconsin’s first Rose Bowl victory in school history. Bevell made a big play during the game. In the fourth quarter, Wisconsin was holding on to a 14-10 lead. While on offense, Bevell scrambled for 21 yards to score the touchdown that would secure Wisconsin’s victory. 

Bevell led Wisconsin to another winning season the next season as they finished with a 7-4 record. They ended their season playing Duke in the 1995 Hall of Fame bowl. Wisconsin won their second consecutive bowl game, defeating Duke 34-20. It was the first time in school history that Wisconsin won back-to-back bowl games. After a successful career at Wisconsin, Bevell went undrafted in the 1996 NFL draft and pursued a coaching career.

Darrell Bevell started his coaching career at a Division III school and worked his way to the NFL

In 1996, Bevell was named the passing game coordinator and the quarterbacks coach at Westmar University. Westmar was a small school located in Iowa. When Bevell joined the football program, they competed in the South Dakota-Iowa Intercollegiate Conference. 

 Westmar was a member of the NAIA, and Bevell was there for one season. In 1997, the school closed down, and Bevell found a new coaching job at a Division I school.

He served as a graduate assistant for Iowa State University in 1997 and then became Connecticut’s wide receivers coach from 1998 to 1999. In 2000, Bevell reached the NFL ranks. The Green Bay Packers hired him as an offensive assistant coach, and in 2003, he was promoted to assistant quarterbacks coach, where he worked with Hall of Famer Brett Farve. After his time in Green Bay, he joined the Minnesota Vikings as the quarterbacks coach in 2006.

Bevell moved out west in 2011 as he joined the Seattle Seahawks as the offensive coordinator in 2011. He was a part of the 2013 Super Bowl-winning team that defeated the Denver Broncos 43-8. Bevell spent seven seasons with the Seahawks. In 2019, the Lions hired him to be the offensive coordinator, replacing Jim Bob Cooter. 

Darrell Bevell will take full advantage serving as the Lions’ interim head coach

Matt Patricia could not get the job done during his time in Detroit. He finished with a 13-29-1 record during his time as head coach of the Lions. A move needed to be made for the Lions, and it came during the middle of the 2020 season. As the Lions look for a new head coach, they assumed the interim head coach title to Bevell.

Bevell is looking forward to finishing out the season as head coach. “I hate the circumstances with which it happened. But it’s an opportunity, and you got to take full advantage of opportunities that you’re given, however they come your way,” Bevell said in an ESPN article. “I’m jacked. I’m excited. I get a five-game audition to show what I’m capable of, but I also told them that everybody is watching them, whether it’s our team, whether it’s other teams, whether the opportunities for them to continue to play, people are watching them.

All eyes will be on Bevell to see how he’ll finish the remainder of the 2020 season. This is his first opportunity as a head coach, and he can’t wait to get out there on the field to lead the Lions to a strong finish.