Mike Munchak lasted just three seasons as Tennessee's head coach.
(Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)
Titans coach Mike Munchak's long run with the organization is over.
The Titans have decided to part ways with Munchak after three seasons, one day after his meeting with president/CEO Tommy Smith. A search for his replacement will begin immediately.
"I want to thank Mike Munchak for his professionalism through this process and for his years of dedication," Titans general manager Ruston Webster said. "I am confident we will find a coach that can continue our growth as a team and lead us to sustained success."
In the wake of the team's 7-9 finish, Munchak talked with Smith about the future of the franchise, and potential changes. The team offered him an opportunity to return, with conditions.
Munchak's contract was scheduled to run through the 2014 season.
Smith opted to go in a different direction, however, which ends Munchak's 31-year run with the franchise that dated back to him being drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1982. Munchak later served as a long-time offensive line coach with the team before he was hired to replace Jeff Fisher in 2011.
Munchak finished with a career record of 22-26.
The Titans went 9-7 in Munchak's first season as head coach, missing the playoffs by one game. The team went 6-10 in 2012, when the defense gave up a franchise record for points in a season.
Following an offseason when the Titans spent over $100 million in free agency, the Titans had high expectations this season, especially after a 3-1 start. But the Titans lost eight of 10 games at one point, and needed a two-game winning streak against the Jaguars and Texans at the end of the season to finish 7-9.
Some numbers that hurt Munchak's case:
- The Titans posted a 6-12 mark against AFC South competition under Munchak, including a 2-4 mark in 2013.
- The Titans lost five straight home games at LP Field in 2013, the longest streak since the team moved into the downtown stadium in 1999.
After Sunday's 16-10 win over the Texans, Munchak said he hoped to convince Smith for another chance in 2014, and players expressed their support.
"I feel real good about this team, how we have grown as a team throughout the year. I see it first-hand every day. I see the tape. I see what we are doing. I think I have a great feel for what we need as we continue to get better,'' Munchak said.
"I don't think we are that far off I mean I think you saw that in the way we played this year. I don't think you saw a team that last year we had a hard time hanging in games. This year, we were right there. We just got to find, get a few closures. We just need to find a few more guys to help us close out games and we'll be in great shape."
Jim Wyatt also writes for The Tennessean