/NFL coaches fired: Dolphins Brian Flores, Vikings Mike Zimmer, Bears Matt Nagy among those out

NFL coaches fired: Dolphins Brian Flores, Vikings Mike Zimmer, Bears Matt Nagy among those out


NFC Week 18 overreactions: Jimmy G’s heroics get Niners into wide open playoffs

Mackenzie Salmon ‘overreacts’ to the biggest NFC storylines from Week 18 in the NFL and provides a first look the NFC playoff bracket.

SportsPulse, USA TODAY

The day after the NFL regular season ends is one that coaches dread more than any other. It’s when teams unhappy with their overall results announce that they’re “moving in a different direction” or “seeking a fresh start” by firing their head coaches (and most likely the rest of the coaching staff). 

After the longest season in NFL history, several clubs have already decided they need new leadership to take over in 2022. Here’s a roundup of the NFL coaches who managed to make it to the end of this season, but whose teams decided they won’t be returning for another one.

NFL NEWSLETTER: Sign up now for exclusive content and never miss a snap

Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings

Zimmer was the third-winningest coach in Vikings history, compiling a 72-56-1 record over eight seasons. Despite two division titles, three playoff appearances and at least seven wins in every season, it wasn’t good enough for him to keep his job.

He and general manager Rick Spielman were both fired after Minnesota finished out of the playoff picture for the second consecutive year with an 8-9 record. 

“While these decisions are not easy, we believe it is time for new leadership to elevate our team so we can consistently contend for championships,” Vikings owners Zigi and Mark Wilf said in a statement. 

Brian Flores, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins started Flores’ third season in Miami 1-7, but caught fire in midseason and won seven in a row to get above .500. A Week 17 loss to the Tennessee Titans put an end to the team’s playoff hopes, but the Dolphins capped the season with a convincing 33-24 victory over the New England Patriots to finish with a winning record. 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save Flores’ job

In his first stint as an NFL head coach, Flores compiled a record of 24-25.

Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears

Nagy’s exit was perhaps the least surprising of them all. Under fire for almost the entire season, the fourth-year coach had to deal with questions and speculation about his job security on an almost-weekly basis. 

With the Bears struggling to a 6-11 record, both Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace were fired on Monday. 

“That’s real. That’s life. We know our record’s not good enough. You can’t run from it,” Nagy said after Sunday’s season-ending loss to the Vikings. 

Nagy was voted NFL Coach of the Year in 2018 when he led the Bears to a 12-4 record and an NFC North title. However, things went steadily downhill — despite a playoff berth last season — and he finished his four-year tenure with a mark of 34-31.

Vic Fangio, Denver Broncos

Fangio never had a winning season in his three years in Denver, finishing 19-30 overall. A four-game losing streak to finish the 2021 campaign 7-10 likely sealed his fate. Despite constant issues at quarterback, the Broncos fought hard until the end, falling to the AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs 28-24 on Saturday.

The team made Fangio’s firing official a day later.

Since winning Super Bowl 50, the Broncos have not been to the playoffs in six years — the second-longest active streak behind the New York Jets.