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Lions keep Jim Caldwell as head coach; will face Colts in 2016

The Detroit Lions announced today that Jim Caldwell will continue as head coach for the 2016 season, meaning that the coach will face his former team next year as the Lions travel to Indianapolis.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

After a lengthy decision-making process, the Detroit Lions and new general manager Bob Quinn have decided to keep Jim Caldwell around as their head coach for the 2016 season.

The decision on Caldwell's future was left up to the new GM, and after meeting with Caldwell and looking at the options, Quinn has decided to keep the head coach in place for a third season in Detroit.  It's a move that was met with huge support by the players and makes sense considering the late-season push that the Lions made.

In two years in Detroit, Caldwell has gone 18-16 (.563) with one playoff appearance.  In 2015, the Lions had a disastrous start to a season that had playoff hopes, as Detroit was just 1-7 entering their bye week.  They made a stunning turnaround, however, as the team won six of their last eight games to close the season and finish 7-9 overall.

Before being hired by the Lions in 2014 as their head coach, Caldwell was the offensive coordinator of the Ravens for two seasons (2012-2013) and won a Super Bowl there, and before that he was obviously the head coach of the Colts for three seasons.  Caldwell went 26-22 (.542) during his time in Indy, which included two division titles, a 14-2 record in 2009, and an AFC Championship.  Caldwell was fired after the Colts' terrible 2011 season, when the franchise hit reset and started over.  Overall, in five years as a head coach Caldwell is 44-36 (.550) with three playoff appearances and an AFC title.  Before taking over for Tony Dungy as the Colts' head coach in 2009, Caldwell was a long-time assistant with the franchise, serving as the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach.

What this news also means is that Caldwell will face his former team as a head coach for the first time next season.  He faced the Colts and knocked them out of the playoffs in 2012 while the offensive coordinator of the Ravens, but he has never faced the Colts as a head coach.  That will change next season, as the Colts are scheduled to host the Lions during the 2016 campaign.