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Rating NFL head-coaching hires

A study has shown that "retreads" are more successful than first-timers. So who wins?

Updated: February 14, 2012, 8:31 AM ET
By Seth Wickersham | ESPN The Magazine

A couple of years ago, I wrote about quantitative methods that NFL teams and independent researchers had devised in the desperate search to find the next great coach. (I swear, the story was more exciting than that.) These folks, ranging from team execs to college professors, analyzed more than 100 hires, breaking down dozens of traits from experience to race to coaching trees. As I wrote, the vast majority of successful coaches possessed at least one of the following four characteristics:

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