Callahan and Spagnuolo selected as PFWA 2024 Dr. Z Award class

Tennessee Titans offensive line coach Bill Callahan and Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo have been selected as the 2024 Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman Award winners by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).

Callahan and Spagnuolo are the 24th and 25th recipients of the Dr. Z Award, which was instituted by the PFWA in 2014.

The Dr. Z Award is given for lifetime achievement as an assistant coach in the NFL. The award is named for Zimmerman, who covered the NFL for 29 years as Sports Illustrated’s lead pro football writer. His impact on the writing and football industries was profound. Zimmerman is widely considered one of the best football writers of all time, and his 1970 “A Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football” and revised 1984 “The New Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football” are textbooks to this day for young football writers trying to learn the game and trying to learn to write about the game. He started to cover the NFL in 1966, and he started at Sports Illustrated in 1979. Zimmerman stayed at SI until his writing career was cut short by a series of strokes in November 2008. He served as PFWA president during the 1982 season.

Other 2024 finalists for the Dr. Z Award were the late offensive line coach Larry Beightol, the late defensive coordinator Tom Catlin and Philadelphia Eagles run game coordinator/offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.

Embed from Getty Images

With 25 seasons in the NFL and 46 overall in coaching, Callahan was hired as Tennessee’s offensive line coach in 2024. During his time in the NFL, he has spent 22 seasons coaching the offensive line and seven years as offensive coordinator. He has guided 14 offensive linemen to a total of 35 Pro Bowl selections. Callahan spent the previous four seasons (2020-23) with Cleveland as the O-line coach. He also coached with Washington (2015-19), Dallas (2012-14), New York Jets (2008-11), Oakland (1998-2003; including 2002-03 as head coach), and he began his NFL career with Philadelphia (1995-97). He was head coach at Nebraska (2004-07) as part of a 15-season collegiate coaching career, and he also spent two seasons in the high school ranks.

Embed from Getty Images

Spagnuolo just completed his fifth season as the Chiefs defensive coordinator and 24th in the NFL in 2023. He has coordinated four Super Bowl champion teams, and he is the only coordinator in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with two different franchises (N.Y. Giants 2007; Kansas City 2019, 2022, 2023). His 2023 defensive unit ranked second in both points and yards allowed and held San Francisco’s offense down late in the Chiefs’ OT victory in Super Bowl LVIII. He was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants (2015-17) and the Giants’ interim head coach for the final four weeks of the 2017 season. Spagnuolo began his NFL career with Philadelphia (1999-2006), followed by stints with the Giants (2007-08), St. Louis Rams (2009-11), New Orleans (2012) and Baltimore (2013-14) before returning to the Giants.

PAUL “DR. Z” ZIMMERMAN AWARD WINNERS (For lifetime achievement as an assistant coach in the NFL): 2014 – Jim Johnson, Howard Mudd, Fritz Shurmur and Ernie Zampese; 2015 – Dick LeBeau, Tom Moore and Dante Scarnecchia; 2016 – Monte Kiffin and Wade Phillips; 2017 – Bud Carson; 2018 – Joe Bugel and Emmitt Thomas; 2019 – Gunther Cunningham and Mike Westhoff; 2020 – Bill Arnsparger and Romeo Crennel; 2021 – Rod Marinelli and Bobby Turner; 2022 – Leslie Frazier and Greg Knapp; 2023 – Don “Wink” Martindale, Bobb McKittrick and John Mitchell; 2024 – Bill Callahan and Steve Spagnuolo

ABOUT THE PFWA: In its 61st season in 2024, the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams daily. Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News is the PFWA president for the 2023-24 seasons and the organization’s 31st president. Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post is the PFWA’s first vice-president, Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic is the second vice-president, Lindsay Jones of The Ringer is the advisor to the president and Mike Sando of The Athletic is the secretary-treasurer. At-large board members include Mike Jones of The Athletic,’s Jeff Legwold, Joe Reedy of the Associated Press and’s Charean Williams. Follow the PFWA at and on Twitter/X at @PFWAwriters.