January 5, 2014 in Sports

Titans fire Munchak after 31 years of service

Teresa M. Walker Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Mike Munchak had 22-26 record in three seasons as Titans head coach.
(Full-size photo)

The Tennessee Titans have fired Mike Munchak after three seasons as head coach and 31 years combined with this franchise as a player and coach.

The Titans confirmed the firing Saturday after holding meetings since they ended the season with a 7-9 record and a 16-10 win over Houston.

“The last week has been a difficult time trying to navigate through many issues to find the best resolution for this franchise moving forward,” general manager Ruston Webster said in a statement. “Tough choices were presented to all sides and the end result was to part ways and move forward without Mike.”

The Titans scheduled a news conference for later Saturday to discuss the firing. Webster now has to oversee this franchise’s first coaching search since Munchak was hired in February 2011 and only the second since the team left Houston in 1997.

Munchak flew to Texas on Friday morning to meet with team president and CEO Tommy Smith and Webster. They returned late in the afternoon, and Munchak eluded reporters by driving his truck through a different airport exit. Smith said in a statement that those talks continued into Saturday.

“Ultimately, we decided it was best to move in different directions,” Smith said. “As I told him, we appreciate his efforts as head coach and I think he helped us progress as a team. We will start the process of finding that person immediately, and Ruston Webster will lead that search for us.”

The coach had a season left on his contract and was 22-26 overall. He had been with this franchise since 1982 when the then-Houston Oilers made him a first-round draft pick, and he joined the coaching staff as an assistant the year after he retired.

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