January 6, 1995 in Sports

Kotite Grabs Nfl Brass Ring Again Ex-Eagles Coach Back With Jets As Carroll Fired After Just One Year

Associated Press

The NFL coaching carousel is in full spin.

Pete Carroll is out in New York, with Rich Kotite taking his place as head coach with the Jets.

Dick Vermeil appears set to replace Kotite in Philadelphia. Jeff Fisher is safe in Houston, being rehired on Thursday despite going 1-5 after taking over for Jack Pardee.

Wayne Fontes is staying in Detroit, smiling broadly with a two-year contract extension. Barry Switzer had his agreement with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones rolled over, meaning he still has a five-year deal.

The playoffs are full swing, but NFL teams are competing for news space with coaching moves. On Thursday, the Jets changed coaches for the second straight year, firing Carroll and hiring Kotite, once an assistant for them, who was fired by the Eagles last month.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Kotite, who received a three-year contract. “I’m able to come back to the Jets’ family. I always felt a part of it.”

Carroll was 6-10 in his only season after being elevated from defensive coordinator when Bruce Coslet was fired. His enthusiastic, friendly approach was popular with the players, but the team lacked discipline and many Jets appeared to quit late in the season as the team ended with a five-game losing streak.

“Pete was shocked,” said Jets owner Leon Hess, who rarely makes such decisions, but pursued Kotite without consulting general manager Dick Steinberg. “He’s a great, high-principled man. He didn’t expect it. It was a decision I made.”

Short of going to the Super Bowl, Kotite really never had a chance in Philadelphia once Jeff Lurie bought the Eagles. Lurie wanted to hire his own staff, and when the Eagles fell apart in the second half of the season, losing seven straight to fall out of the playoffs, Kotite was history.

Lurie has offered Vermeil $2 million a year for five years to be coach and general manager, and many close to the former Eagles coach say he’ll take it.

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