Former New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini ’94 got the ax today after three seasons, leaving only one Wesleyan alum among the NFL’s head coaching ranks: Bill Belichick ’75.
The Mangenius went 23-26 in three years, including a 9-7 mark in ’08. The Jets were 8-3 this season after taking down the then-undefeated Tennessee Titans, but the boys in green lost four of their last five, including a pair of humiliating losses at San Francisco and Seattle. Ironically, the Jets’ playoff fate was sealed yesterday by another Wesleyan grad, as Belichick’s Patriots trounced the Buffalo Bills earlier in the day to (essentially) eliminate the NYJs from the race.
It’s worth pointing out that after the Baltimore Ravens canned Brian Billick (FINALLY) last winter, only Southern California had produced more active NFL head coaches (three) than Wesleyan. Also, to the best of my knowledge, we’re one of only two schools outside Division I (the other is NAIA member Baker University) that can claim an NFL head coach among its alumni.
[EDIT] Whoops. Mike Shanahan went to Eastern Illinois, not BYU. So we were actually third in the hierarchy behind USC and Eastern Illinois, which has also sent three to the pros. Still pretty impressive, if you ask me. Also, some commenters have reminded me that the Jets could have earned the sixth seed with a win over the Miami Dolphins and a Ravens loss. It’s just difficult to see these things through my purple-colored glasses.