Mike Mularkey has been dismissed by the Jacksonville Jaguars the morning of January 10th, less than a year after he joined the team. Mularkey posted a franchise worst 2-14 record in the 2012 season and his job hung in the balance after Jaguars owner Shahid Khan fired general manager Gene Smith. With Smith gone and successor David Caldwell hired, Jaguar Nation was waiting for the other shoe to drop. It did this morning. Mularkey will not be returning.
Mularkey had two years left on his contract before his dismissal.
Caldwell and Mularkey worked together for the Atlanta Falcons during their rebuilding the past four seasons. Mularkey was the offensive coordinator and Caldwell was the director of college scouting. In a statement Caldwell said,
I informed Mike today that he will not return as head coach of the Jaguars. 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.
A clean restart is exactly what happened when the Atlanta Falcons hired Mike Smith from Jacksonville to be their new head coach. It worked well in Atlanta and Caldwell may be trying to emulate some success that he had there. It is common practice for GMs to want to bring in their own man to head the team when they take over. For Caldwell it has long been speculated that he would target San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
Khan expressed his appreciation and support for Mularkey as well,
Mike Mularkey is leaving our organization with my utmost respect. 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.
For a young owner and a new general manager, the entire Jaguars organization just became a clean slate on which they can build a new, solid foundation.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims