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Mike Munchak Fired by Tennessee Titans

USA Today
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2014

One day after it was reported the Tennessee Titans were planning to bring back head coach Mike Munchak for another season, the team has decided to part ways with the longtime member of the franchise. Munchak is the seventh coach to get his walking papers this season.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN cited league sources who state Munchak has been fired:

Mike Munchak fired. ,per league sources

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 4, 2014

Miik Munchak is scheduled to interview today with alma mater, Penn State, after turning down a hefty raise and extension offer from Titans.

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 5, 2014

The extension offered to Munchak was muilple years - at least two - if he would make more than a dozen staff changes. No go.

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 5, 2014

Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo continued:

Miik Munchak is scheduled to interview today with alma mater, Penn State, after turning down a hefty raise and extension offer from Titans.

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 5, 2014

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora adds a note about the coaching staff:

We're going on, what 5 hours after the Titans fired Mike Munchak, and still member of the coaching staff have been told nothing

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 5, 2014

Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman passed along details from the Titans:

Part of Titans statement: "Tough choices were presented to all sides and the end result was to part ways and move forward without Mike."

— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) January 4, 2014

John Glennon of The Tennessean supplied Munchak's thoughts:

Munchak: “This is a day I hoped would never come, but there is a reason for everything." 1/2

— John Glennon (@glennonsports) January 4, 2014

Munchak cont.: "Words cannot express the sadness for leaving this organization that I have been a part of for over 30 years." 2/2

— John Glennon (@glennonsports) January 4, 2014

More Munch: "Sometimes rebuilding a team and its culture takes time, but I truly believe we were on the verge of great things." 1/2

— John Glennon (@glennonsports) January 4, 2014

Munch cont.: " Unfortunately my vision did not match that of the organization, so we will part ways." 2/2

— John Glennon (@glennonsports) January 4, 2014

Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean provided Munchak's contract information:

Munchak had one year remaining on his contract, worth roughly $3 million #Titans

— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) January 4, 2014

The move comes after Wyatt reported there was a plan to keep Munchak despite a 22-26 record through three seasons:

Although the conditions were not announced after Munchak’s meeting with Titans president/CEO Tommy Smith and general manager Ruston Webster on Friday in Houston, they are believed to involve changes to the coaching staff.

The meeting concluded with the expectation that Munchak would follow through on the conditions.

Webster gave a statement to the Titans' official website:

First I want to thank Mike Munchak for his professionalism through this process and thank him for his years of dedication to the Titans/Oilers organization. He is first-class and I wish him and his family nothing but the best. I also want to praise Tommy Smith for his involvement during the weeklong process. He was thorough and thoughtful.

The last week has been a difficult time trying to navigate through many issues to find the best resolution for this franchise moving forward. Tough choices were presented to all sides and the end result was to part ways and move forward without Mike.

We will immediately begin a search for a new head coach.

I am confident that we will find a coach that can continue our growth as a team and lead us to sustained success.

Paul Kuharsky of ESPN passes along this statement from Tommy Smith:

Tommy Smith on Munchak: He is one of the most genuine people I have ever known & he will always be a large part of our history" #Titans

— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) January 4, 2014

Wyatt posted an update following the latest news, stating Munchak must have reversed course when it came to the conditions put in place:

What I reported on Friday was the #Titans planned to bring him back, with conditions. Munchak must've balked on conditions

— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) January 4, 2014

Among the coaches Munchak was going to have to let go: DC Gray, OC Loggains, OL coach Matthews and LB coach Parlavecchio #Titans

— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) January 4, 2014

Jason McCourty, a 3-year starter under Munchak, took to Twitter to express his feelings about the coach's firing:

Ton of respect for Coach Munch and the type of coach he is. Taught a lot of guys how to be Pros and did it the right way! (J-Mac)

— Devin+Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) January 4, 2014

So apparently something broke down over the past two days that led to Munchak getting relieved of his duties rather than returning for a fourth season. But whatever the reason, his run with the franchise after more than three decades as a player and coach is apparently over. His 2-20 record against teams that finished seasons with a winning record over his three seasons couldn't have helped the situation much.

Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1 reported Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin is a name to watch in connection with the Titans job:

If #Titans end up firing Mike Munchak, keep an eye on Vanderbilt HC James Franklin as potential replacement

— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) January 4, 2014

It's a very fluid situation in Tennessee at this point. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

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