Published January 10, 2013
| Sports Network
Jacksonville, FL – The Jacksonville Jaguars have fired head coach Mike Mularkey after just one season.
New general manager David Caldwell announced the decision Thursday, less than 48 hours after taking the job.
"I informed Mike today that he will not return as head coach of the Jaguars," said Caldwell in a statement. "I know Mike well and do not want anyone to misinterpret the rationale behind my decision. Mike is an excellent coach and I am sure he will succeed in his next stop in the NFL. However, I must do what I believe is best for the Jacksonville Jaguars and immediately explore every avenue possible to turn our football team around. For that to happen as seamlessly as we want, and as quickly as our fans deserve, I feel it is in everyone's best interests for an immediate and clean restart."
The Jaguars were 2-14 in Mularkey's lone season. They beat only Indianapolis in Week 3 and Tennessee in Week 12 before closing the campaign with five straight losses.
A day after the season, general manager Gene Smith was fired. Owner Shad Khan then indicated that Mularkey's status would be determined once a new GM was in place.
"Mike Mularkey is leaving our organization with my utmost respect," said Khan on Thursday. "Mike gave the Jaguars everything he had on and off the field, and his efforts as our head coach will always be appreciated. Mike will land on his feet soon. Until then, I wish nothing but the best for Mike and his family."
Mularkey joined the Jaguars after a four-year run as offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, but Jacksonville's offense was stagnant for much of the season -- ranking 29th in the league. The defense was even worse, ranking 30th.
The Jaguars played much of 2012 without their top offensive weapon, as running back Maurice Jones-Drew didn't appear in a game after Week 7 because of a foot injury. Their quarterback situation was also a problem, as the struggles for 2011 first-round pick Blaine Gabbert continued. He threw for only 1,662 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions before injuries ended his season in November and Chad Henne took over under center.
Mularkey now has a record of 16-32 in three years as an NFL head coach, as he was 14-18 with Buffalo in 2004 and '05.