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Scott Linehan

Coaching Record

Years Coached Record Win % Playoff record Playoff win %
17 120-140-0 46.15% 3-5 37.50%

Coaching Tree

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Biography

Scott Linehan was a football coach in the National Football League (NFL) from 2002 to 2018, finishing his career as the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys. Over his seventeen years of coaching his teams compiled a cumulative win/loss record of 122-150-0. He was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams from 2006 until the 2008 season, during which time the Rams went 13-35-0. During his career he was a head coach for three seasons.

As the offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions he coached one player to an award-winning season: Matthew Stafford, Comeback Player of the Year in 2011. As the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys he coached one player to an award-winning season: Dak Prescott, AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016.

Playing Career

Scott Linehan played quarterback at the University of Idaho from 1982-1986 under head coach Dennis Erickson. During his time with Idaho, the team won the Big Sky Championship in 1985 and earned a playoff berth three straight seasons (1984-1986). After his college career, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. However, Linehan sustained a shoulder injury in training camp and never made the roster.

Coaching Career

College Career

University of Idaho

In 1989, Linehan began his coaching career at his alma mater as the Vandals' wide receiver coach. During his first coaching stint with Idaho the university made it to the Division 1-AA playoffs both seasons Linehan was on the sideline, winning the Big Sky Conference in 1989.

University of Nevada-Las Vegas

After two seasons in Idaho, Linehan was hired as the quarterbacks coach for UNLV for the 1991 season. His stay in Las Vegas was short. After a single losing season, he departed the football program and returned to Idaho.

University of Idaho, Second Time

After a single season away from Idaho, Linehan returned to the Vandals in 1992 as their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Vandals won the Big Sky Conference championship in 1992 and made the playoffs in both 1992 and 1993. Linehan's coaching helped the Vandals lead the nation in both scoring and total offense in 1993.

Washington State University

In 1994, Linehan jumped to the highest level of college football when he was hired by the Washington State Cougars as their new wide receivers coach. After two seasons in that role, Linehan was promoted to offensive coordinator while keeping his position as receivers coach. After an additional two seasons, he swapped his receivers coach position for quarterbacks coach while retaining the offensive coordinator position for the 1998 season. During his five seasons with the Cougars, the team made four bowl games and won the Pac-10 in 1995. This marked his third conference championship in his coaching career.

Louisville Cardinals

In 1999, Linehan moved east for his next coaching position at Louisville as their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Between 1999 and 2001, a Louisville quarterback won the Conference-USA Player of the Year award each season. In addition to the Player of the Year awards, Louisville became the first Conference-USA team to ever win back-to-back conference championships in 2000 and 2001, adding to a total of five championships in Linehan’s college coaching career.

NFL Career

Minnesota Vikings

In 2002, Linehan jumped to the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings when new head coach Mike Tice hired him as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Linehan helped the Vikings offense reach new heights. In his first season, starting running back Michael Bennett helped the Vikings achieve the top ranked rushing offense in the league. Bennett earned his only Pro Bowl appearance after that season. Beyond a potent rushing offense, Linehan's tenure with the Vikings was also defined by an explosive air attack led by Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss. Overall, his three years in Minnesota set many league or team offensive records, including points, total yards, and rushing touchdowns.

Miami Dolphins

In 2005, Linehan accepted the offensive coordinator position with the Miami Dolphins under new head coach Nick Saban. That year, Linehan coached two running backs (Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams) so effectively that the offense moved from 29th in total yards in 2004 to 14th in 2005. The increased offensive output helped the Dolphins rebound from their first losing season since 1988 in 2004 as the team finished 9-7.

St. Louis Rams

In 2006, Linehan parlayed his track record of offensive success into his first head coaching opportunity. He accepted the head coach position with the St. Louis Rams to replace Mike Martz. Linehan continued his ability to run a successful offense as starting running back Steven Jackson led the league in all-purpose yards and quarterback Marc Bulger threw for the second most touchdowns in Rams’ history. Despite the offense, the Rams struggled as a team, failing to have a winning season during Linehan’s tenure. In 2008, with the team off to an 0-4 start, the Rams fired Linehan.

Detroit Lions

In 2009, Linehan was hired as the offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions. Linehan was charged with successfully coaching rookie quarterback Matt Stafford. By the end of the season, Stafford set or tied many team rookie records, despite being placed on the injured reserve list after 10 games. In 2010, the Lions offense was the third most improved offense in the league, scoring 100 more points than the year before. This improvement was without Stafford, who again was sidelined with an injury after only a few games.

In 2011, the team secured their first playoff berth since 1999 behind a record-breaking offense. That year, Stafford became the fourth quarterback to ever throw for more than 5,000 yards, and the team set a new Lions’ record for most points in a season. Another key piece of the Lions’ offensive success during Linehan's tenure was wide receiver Calvin Johnson. In 2012, Johnson set the NFL record for receiving yards in a season at 1,964. Linehan continued in his role until the end of the 2013 season.

Dallas Cowboys

In 2014, Linehan was hired by Dallas Cowboys as their new passing game coordinator. His work with the offense helped the team finish tied for first in the NFC. Three key offensive players set franchise records that year: Running back DeMarco Murray, Wide Receiver Dez Bryant, and Quarterback Tony Romo. Following that successful season, Linehan was promoted to offensive coordinator. However, injuries limited the team’s effectiveness as the Cowboys finished 4-12 in the 2015 season.

They rebounded in 2016, achieving the 5th ranked offense in the league behind rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott and had a successful 13-3 season. However, the offense regressed for 2 consecutive years, and Linehan was fired at the conclusion of the 2018 season.


History

Year Position Record Playoff record
2018 Offensive Coordinator 10-6-0 1-1
2017 Offensive Coordinator 9-7-0 0-0
2016 Offensive Coordinator 13-3-0 0-1
2015 Offensive Coordinator 4-12-0 0-0
2014 Passing Game Coordinator 12-4-0 1-1
2013 Offensive Coordinator 7-9-0 0-0
2012 Offensive Coordinator 4-12-0 0-0
2011 Offensive Coordinator 10-6-0 0-1
2010 Offensive Coordinator 6-10-0 0-0
2009 Offensive Coordinator 2-14-0 0-0
2008 Head Coach 0-4-0 0-0
2007 Head Coach 3-13-0 0-0
2006 Head Coach 8-8-0 0-0
2005 Offensive Coordinator 9-7-0 0-0
2004 Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach 8-8-0 1-1
2003 Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach 9-7-0 0-0
2002 Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach 6-10-0 0-0

Coach history guide

Seasons with a championship win Seasons with a conference championship