Brunell interviewed for the job on Thursday and was one of three candidates for the job, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The identities of the other two candidates were never made public.
As for Brunell, this will be his first foray in to NFL coaching. He spent 19 years in the league as a quarterback, amassing three Pro Bowls, 184 touchdowns, 108 interceptions, a career passer rating of 84.0, and an overall record of 78-73.
He has spent his last eight years as the head coach of the Episcopal High School football team in Jacksonville, Florida. Brunell inherited a 3-8 football team in 2013 and took them all the way to 10-2 in 2019, earning the school’s first home playoff win and state ranking in the history of the program. In 2020, the team finished 6-3 and made it to the regional semifinals in the playoffs.
Brunell will be tasked with the all-important duty of coaching up whoever Matthew Stafford’s successor will be, as the Lions have mutually agreed to trade the franchise quarterback before the start of the 2021 season.
This hire follows the Lions’ recent trend of hiring former players into their coaching staff. Head coach Dan Campbell, running backs coach Duce Staley, offensive line coach Hank Fraley, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn all had significant NFL careers as players.