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Bruce Arians did in fact change history as a head coach

Arians did something that no other first time coach 60 or older has done -- win.

Norm Hall

Last offseason, I wrote about a stat/fact I found in the 2013 Football Outsiders Almanac. It was about how Bruce Arians had history against him, not only as a coach of the historically bad Cardinals, but also because head coaches getting their first head coaching job age 60 or later have never...NEVER done well.

In fact, here is the graphic to illustrate the poor history of such coaches.


Arians led the Cardinals to 10 wins in one season. Wilkinson has the highest winning percentage of the group at .310. With his one year of success, as long as the Cardinals don't go 0-16 next season, he will remain at the top of the list.

Of course, with the 10-6 season, he also got himself off to the second best season that a first-year Cardinals coach has ever had. In recent history, we saw Ken Whisenhunt and Buddy Ryan both lead the team to eight wins in their first season. But you have to go back to 1925 to find a coach for the Cardinals that led the team to more wins in their first year. That was Norm Barry, who led the team to 11 wins that year.

Maybe it's because he is "60 and sexy," as he said when Carson Palmer was introduced to the media. Maybe it's because he just didn't get his first NFL head coaching job early enough. Whatever the reason, he has changed history in one phase and, if he can keep it up with Arizona, he will continue to change history for the franchise.