Who’s Jim Bob Cooter? Why did the Lions hire him? Here’s five things to know about Detroit new offensive coordinator.
The Lions made big news Monday when they fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, but that’s not the move that had the Internet buzzing. The move that sent the Internet into a frenzy was the promotion of Jim Bob Cooter.
After Lombardi was fired, the Lions made the decision to give the offensive coordinator job to Cooter, who’s only in his second year with the team.
Cooter is a relative unknown in the NFL, so here are five things to know about the Lions new offensive coordinator, including the big question most people want to know: Is that his real name?
1. His legal name isn’t Jim Bob Cooter. Cooter’s birth name is James Robert Cooter, but he decided to shorten that down to Jim Bob. It’s not clear how long he’s been going by Jim Bob, but he’s definitely had the name since at least his freshman year of college.
Dude could’ve gone by James Cooter. But he chose Jim Bob. That’s a lifestyle decision.
— James Hell Brooks (@BobbyBigWheel) October 26, 2015
2. He’s only 31. One of the more surprising things about Cooter is that he’s only 31. Cooter’s promotion to offensive coordinator means he’s now the second-youngest offensive coordinator in the NFL, trailing only Washington’s Sean McVay, who turns 30 in January.
As a backup, Cooter only played in three games during his career. However, his time at Tennessee is actually what launched his NFL coaching career. Before coming to the NFL, Cooter was a graduate assistant at Tennessee for two seasons (2007-08).
4. He’s been coaching in the NFL since 2009. You already know that Cooter’s only 31, so it might be even more surprising to hear that he actually started his NFL coaching career in 2009, when he was just 25. Cooter used his Tennessee ties to land a job with the Colts, where he worked as an offensive assistant for three seasons (2009-11). During his final year with the Colts, Cooter was promoted to assistant offensive coordinator.
After three years in Indy, Cooter served one season as the Chiefs offensive quality control coach (2012). After that, Cooter made the move to Denver. Peyton Manning was a big fan of Cooter in Indy and was instrumental in bringing him to Denver in 2013.
When Cooter was hired by the Lions in 2014, Manning was actually disappointed.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 26, 2015
In February 2015, the Lions did everything they could to keep him.
“He’s a phenomenal quarterbacks coach,” general manager Martin Mayhew said at the time, via the Detroit Free Press. “He’s been around great quarterbacks, he played the position himself, he’s a great teacher. He has an understanding of what coach (Jim) Caldwell wants taught. He’s got a great relationship with those guys in that room. Very knowledgeable coach. Great guy to be around.”
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