Chris Palmer (American football)
|Title||Senior Offensive Assistant|
September 23, 1949|
Brewster, New York
|Alma mater||Southern Connecticut State|
|1969–1971||Southern Connecticut State|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1983||Montreal Concordes (OL)|
|1984||New Jersey Generals (WR)|
|1985||New Jersey Generals (OC/QB)|
|1990–1992||Houston Oilers (WR)|
|1993–1995||New England Patriots (WR)|
|1996||New England Patriots (QB)|
|1997–1998||Jacksonville Jaguars (OC)|
|2002–2005||Houston Texans (OC)|
|2006||Dallas Cowboys (QB)|
|2007–2009||New York Giants (QB)|
|2011–2012||Tennessee Titans (OC)|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers (offensive assistant)|
|2015–present||Buffalo Bills (senior offensive assistant)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|2010||Hartford Colonials (GM)|
|Head coaching record|
Chris Palmer (born September 23, 1949) is an American football coach. He is currently the Senior offensive assistant for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). Palmer served as the head coach of the NFL's Cleveland Browns from 1999 to 2000 and in the same capacity with the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League (UFL) in 2010. He was the head football coach at the University of New Haven from 1986 to 1987 and at Boston University from 1988 to 1989. He has also served as an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Oilers and the Buffalo Bills of the NFL.
High school and college
Palmer played high school football at Immaculate High School a small Catholic high school located in Danbury, Connecticut. After high school he attended and played college football at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). Palmer played quarterback for Southern Connecticut State from 1968 to 1971. He earned both bachelor's and master's degrees at SCSU, where he was inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Hall of Fame at New Haven and Immaculate High School.
After graduation from Southern Connecticut State University, Palmer coached under Larry Naviaux at the University of Connecticut. While at Connecticut, Palmer also devoted his time to help develop sports talent, as quoted by Jeff Naviaux "Chris helped me learn the importance of a team". Palmer coached the freshman defensive line in 1972 and the varsity wide receivers in 1973 and 1974. In 1975, he became the wide receivers coach at Lehigh University. The following year, Palmer was named the offensive coordinator at Colgate University, where he stayed for seven years. In 1977, the Red Raiders led the nation in total offense with an average of 486 yards a game.
Prior to entering the NFL, Palmer was a college football coach. He was the head coach at Boston University in 1988 and 1989 and at the University of New Haven in 1986 and 1987, when the Chargers posted consecutive 8–2 records.
Initial professional coaching experience
Palmer's first professional coaching experience came in 1983, when he was the offensive line coach for the Montreal Concordes in the Canadian Football League. The following year, he coached the wide receivers for the USFL's New Jersey Generals. In 1985, he was promoted to quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. That year, Palmer's offense featured quarterback Doug Flutie and running back Herschel Walker, who rushed for 2,411 yards.
Palmer's first NFL coaching experience was as the Houston Oilers wide receivers coach from 1990 to 1992 when Kevin Gilbride was the Houston offensive coordinator. During those three seasons, the Run ‘N Shoot Oilers had the NFL's most productive passing attack. Four Houston wide receivers—Curtis Duncan, Ernest Givens (twice), Drew Hill and Haywood Jeffires (twice)—made the Pro Bowl while being coached by Palmer.
New England Patriots
Palmer first worked under Bill Parcells as the New England Patriots wide receivers coach from 1993 to 1995. In 1996, he became the quarterbacks coach, where he worked with Drew Bledsoe as they advanced to Super Bowl XXXI.
Palmer became the head coach of the reborn Cleveland Browns for the 1999–2000 seasons, the first two for the "new" Browns after the original team had moved to Baltimore. With a roster full of inexperienced players and cast-offs from other franchises, Palmer struggled to get the team competitive, especially on offense. Palmer was fired after posting a 5–27 record in two seasons, and was succeeded by former University of Miami coach Butch Davis. During his tenure in Cleveland, he starred as himself on an episode of The Drew Carey Show, which took place in Cleveland.
In 2002, he became the offensive coordinator of the Houston Texans under head coach Dom Capers. He remained with Houston until he was fired in Week 2 of the 2005 NFL season as a result of Houston's lackluster offense.
In January 2006, several months after his firing from Houston, Palmer was hired by the Dallas Cowboys to be the quarterbacks coach. He was reunited with head coach Bill Parcells and quarterback Drew Bledsoe with whom he had worked during his days with the New England Patriots.
New York Giants
On February 15, 2011, the Tennessee Titans named Palmer as the new offensive coordinator, which was previously held by Mike Heimerdinger. Under Palmer during the 2011 season the Titans scored 325 points (20.3/g), 21st of 32 in the NFL. On November 26, 2012, Palmer was fired by the team midway through the season, and replaced by quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains.
San Francisco 49ers
During the 2014 season, the San Francisco 49ers had Palmer as an offensive assistant. 2014 was the inaugural season playing their home games at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. At the end of the season, the 49ers released Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, and ultimately Palmer as well.
Palmer followed Roman to Buffalo, and is serving as an offensive assistant on Rex Ryan's staff.
Head coaching record
|New Haven Chargers (NCAA Division II independent) (1986–1987)|
|Boston University Terriers (Yankee Conference) (1988–1989)|
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|CLE||1999||2||14||0||.125||6th in AFC Central||-||-||-||-|
|CLE||2000||3||13||0||.188||6th in AFC Central||-||-||-||-|
|HAR||2010||3||5||0||.375||4th in UFL||-||-||-||-|
NFL head coaches under whom Palmer has served:
- Jack Pardee, Houston Oilers (1990–1992)
- Bill Parcells, New England Patriots (1993–1996), Dallas Cowboys (2006)
- Tom Coughlin, Jacksonville Jaguars (1997–1998), New York Giants (2007–2009)
- Dom Capers, Houston Texans (2002–2005)
- Mike Munchak, Tennessee Titans (2011–2012)
- Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers (2013–2014)
- Rex Ryan, Buffalo Bills (2015–present)
Assistant coaches under Palmer who became NFL head coaches:
- Romeo Crennel, Cleveland Browns (2005–2008)
- Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals (2007–2012), Tennessee Titans (2013–present)
- Tony Sparano, Miami Dolphins (2008–2011)
|Jacksonville Jaguars Offensive Coordinator
| Succeeded by|
(simultaneously serving as head coach)
|Houston Texans Offensive Coordinator
| Succeeded by|
Joe Pendry (interim)