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NFL coaches fired 2023: Kliff Kingsbury, Lovie Smith fired after Week 18

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
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The National Football League hasn’t even reached the offseason and we’ve already seen a number of NFL coaches fired in 2022. Some of the head coaches fired in-season didn’t come as a surprise and more will certainly follow once the regular season ends.

Black Monday, the first day after the regular season, is typically when we see NFL coaches fired. It allows organizations to make a clean break, providing their head coach with an opportunity to end his full season and then part ways in a more professional manner.

However, this doesn’t always happen. We see samples of head coaches fired during the regular season every year and there are plenty of examples of it in 2022.

Related: NFL coaching candidates 2023

Here are the NFL coaches fired during the 2022 season. We’ll provide updates when head coaches are fired during the 2023 offseason as well. Here’s everything you need to know about the NFL coaches fired in 2023 along with coaches and general managers on the hot seat.

How many NFL coaches have been fired this season?

Four NFL coaches have been fired during the 2022 season. The Carolina Panthers made the first in-season firing, parting ways with Matt Rhule after he entered Week 1 on the hot seat. A few weeks later, Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich was fired. Finally, the Denver Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett a day after Week 16. Following Sunday’s win over the Indianapolis Colts, the Houston Texans fired Lovie Smith.

NFL coaches fired 2023

  • Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers
  • Frank Reich, Indianapolis Colts
  • Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos
  • Lovie Smith, Houston Texans
  • Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals

Below is a breakdown of why each of the fivehead coaches were fired.

Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals

arizona cardinals fire kliff kingsbury
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It’s a rather simple equation. Arizona lost 17 of its final 20 games with Kingsbury manning the sinking ship in the desert. He posted a disasterous 28-37-1 record in four seasons with Arizona. If you eliminate a 7-0 start to the 2021 campaign, that mark goes down to 21-37-1.

Kingsbury was also mired in a rift with Kyler Murray prior to the star quarterback going down to a torn ACL. Despite having signed Kingsbury to an extension last offseason, it was becoming clear that the Cards would move off the embattled head coach. That’s now happened.

Lovie Smith, Houston Texans

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans
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The Houston Texans fired Lovie Smith on Sunday night, immediately after the team defeated the Colts and missed out on the No.1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Smith, Houston’s defensive coordinator in 2021, then took over for David Culley following his termination.

While Smith campaigned with ownership to keep the job, it became evident the Texans’ front office wanted to go in another direction. Houston will be conducting a coaching search for the third consecutive offseason, firing Bill O’Brien midway through the 2020 season then cutties ties with Culley on Jan. 13, 2022.

Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers
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The Carolina Panthers fired Matt Rhule on Oct. 10. Many around the league viewed Rhule as a lame duck entering the season, especially after owner David Tepper expressed frustrations with the team’s performance under Rhule and regretted signing him to a lucrative contract. Following a 1-4 start, Rhule was fired and replaced by interim coach Steve Wilks.

Rhule didn’t stay out of work for long. Less than two months after being fired, Rhule returned to college as the Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach. College always seemed to be the best fit for Rhule, who is known as a program builder. Rhule’s stay in Carolina will likely be the last time we see him working in the NFL.

Frank Reich, Indianapolis Colts

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
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The Indianapolis Colts fired Frank Reich on Nov. 7. Hired in 2018, Reich came to Indianapolis under unusual circumstances. Josh McDaniels originally agreed to become the Colts’ head coach and it was followed by an official announcement. However, he later backed out and Reich became the next man up.

  • Frank Reich coaching record: 40-33-1

After the sudden retirement of Andrew Luck right before the 2019 season, Indianapolis could never quite solve its quarterback problem. Stop-gap solutions worked briefly, but the results progressively got worse. Following a 3-5-1 start, owner Jim Irsay fired Reich and named Jeff Saturday as the interim coach. Many expect Reich will eventually receive a second chance as an NFL head coach, either in 2023 or 2024.

Related: Indianapolis Colts coaching candidates

Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos

NFL: Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens
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The Denver Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett on Dec. 26. He became the third head coach to be fired within a year of his hiring, joining Urban Meyer and David Culley from last season. Hackett’s termination came a day after an ugly loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas Day, with Denver cutting ties with him after the team fell far short of expectations in 2022.

Related: Denver Broncos coaching candidates

It became evident early in Hackett’s tenure that he wouldn’t last very long. It all started with bad in-game management, especially in critical situations. Denver ultimately hired an assistant just to manage the clock and specific situations for Hackett. In November, with the Broncos’ offense near the bottom in nearly every major category, Hackett gave up play-calling duties.

  • Nathaniel Hackett coaching record: 4-11

Hackett likely won’t get another opportunity to become an NFL head coach. The position proved to be far too much for him and he had a very limited track record as an offensive play-caller before this. Ultimately, he might be best suited as a quarterbacks coach and associate head coach.

Who will be the next NFL coaches fired?

Syndication: Arizona Republic
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Heading into Week 18, there are no other NFL head coaches seemingly in jeopardy of being fired before the regular season ends. However, NFL Black Monday is on Jan. 9 and there will be several more NFL coaches fired by that date. There is also always the possibility that a head coach is fired if their team disappoints in the playoffs.

Who will be the next NFL coach fired?

  • Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals – A pair of four-win seasons and a disconnect with quarterback Kyler Murray are big problems for Kingsbury. While a contract extension signed in 2022 provided him with some margin for error, his overall track record merits firing.
  • Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons – Smith likely won’t be among the NFL coaches fired in 2023, in part because of patience from ownership and the state of the roster. However, a third consecutive losing season would certainly push him out the door.
  • Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints – For now, the Saints appear committed to Payton. He didn’t last long with the Raiders (8-28 in three seasons) and it’s fair to question if he has a long-term future as an NFL head coach. Barring the return of Sean Payton to New Orleans, though, Allen is likely safe until 2024.
  • Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas Raiders – Becoming the first team in NFL history to lose four games when the team had a double-digit lead at halftime might get most head coaches fired. However, the Raiders’ investment into Josh McDaniels along with a belief that he can lure Tom Brady to Las Vegas might spare McDaniels from joining the NFL coaches fired 2023.
  • Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys – Jerry Jones made it clear before the season, changes will come if Dallas fails to advance far in the playoffs. Assuming the Cowboys don’t reach the NFC Championship Game, there’s a strong possibility McCarthy is let go.

NFL general managers fired

Syndication: The Tennessean
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The Tennessee Titans fired Jon Robinson on Dec. 6, making him the only NFL general manager fired in the 2022 season. Incredibly, Tennessee sat in first place in the AFC South when Robinson was dismissed by the team. Since Robinson’s. firing, Tennessee has lost four consecutive games, including defeats to the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars.

NFL general managers on the hot seat

  • Chris Ballard, Indianapolis Colts – Striking out on quarterbacks and the deterioration of the Colts’ offensive line are some of the biggest marks on Ballard’s resume. Indianapolis is also in a great position cap-wise each year, but rarely seems to strike with impact talent in free agency. Ballard has the vote of confidence right now, but it might not last.
  • Steve Keim, Arizona Cardinals – Currently on leave from the organization, Keim is squarely on the hot seat. Whiffing on multiple first-round picks is part of the criticism and Arizona also lacks depth. After so many years in the front office, change feels imminent.
  • George Paton, Denver Broncos – Paton missed on his two biggest moves, the blockbuster quarterback trade and his choice in the head coach. Plenty of NFL general managers wouldn’t survive that, but Paton is returning in 2023. However, ownership has made it clear this will be a prove-it season and there is no better evidence than the next coach reporting to the owner.
  • Andrew Berry, Cleveland Browns – If Kevin Stefanski is on the hot seat in 2023, general manager Andrew Berry at least will be feeling the temperature warm up. Owner Jimmy Haslam will be more involved this offseason and that should put everyone on notice.

NFL coaches fired 2022

The following former NFL head coaches were either fired during the 2021 season or as part of the NFL coaching carousel in the 2022 offseason.

  • Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears
  • Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings
  • Brian Flores, Miami Dolphins
  • Joe Judge, New York Giants
  • David Culley, Houston Texans
  • Vic Fangio, Denver Broncos
  • Jon Gruden, Las Vegas Raiders
  • Urban Meyer, Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL coaches fired 2021

Here are the NFL head coaches fired in 2020 and during the 2021 NFL offseason.

  • Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions
  • Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons
  • Bill O’Brien, Houston Texans
  • Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers
  • Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Adam Gase, New York Jets
  • Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles