Len Pasquarelli (whose column I love) makes the case for expanding the Hall to include assistant coaches:
Maybe it's time to address the fact that the Hall of Fame has inducted no one who gained his celebrity predominantly through his contributions as an assistant coach or in some similar capacity. The issue was raised at the annual Hall of Fame selection meeting in February, and is gaining some traction among the people who vote for enshrinement.
"I think it has [gained some support]," said Hall of Fame vice president Joe Horrigan. "Certainly we realize the important role that assistant coaches have had. We're all wiser to the dynamic of what assistant coaches mean to the game...."
I think what you're seeing is a Norv Turner problem--the notion that if you're truly a great assistant, you'll one day be a great head coach. But the two jobs are very different. I don't know how much, but I suspect quite a bit. I always thought Bud Carson deserved a nod for authoring the steel curtain and then coming back and actually improving on Buddy Ryan's defense.