Jauron edges Belichick for APCoach of theYear title

Sunday, January 20, 2002

Dick Jauron showed the world how to handle being on the hot seat: win 13 games, a division title and The Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year award.

Jauron, who needed a winning season to impress new general manager Jerry Angelo and keep his job, led the Chicago Bears to the NFC Central crown and a first-round playoff bye. The Bears, 5-11 in 2000, had the stingiest defense in the league, allowing 203 points.

Their turnaround earned Jauron 24 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. He edged New England's Bill Belichick, who had 19 1/2 votes in balloting released Saturday.

When Angelo was hired, there was strong conjecture that Jauron had little job security. But then the Bears started winning, compiling the league's second-best record.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: