The Bears have reportedly fired Head Coach John Fox following their 5-11 season in 2016.
Per Reports by Ian Rapoport, the Bears have fired the 62-year old Fox, their third-year head coach, after yesterday’s loss in Minnesota, which dropped their record to 5-11.
Fox has been an NFL head coach since 2002 when he was hired by the Carolina Panthers. His resume consists of two conference championships, one with Carolina and one with the Denver Broncos. Prior to being hired by Carolina, Fox served as the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants.
Fox inherited a locker room riddled with bad blood and a defense whose porousness resembled swiss cheese and fixed both those problems. However, incredible offense regression combined with an unsuccessful, run-first style of play saw fans calling for his head midway through the year.
Fox was hired by General Manager Ryan Pace in 2015, Pace’s first big move as the general manager of the team. After hiring Ernie Accorsi to oversee the hiring process, the Bears hired pace over other candidates such as Dan Quinn and Doug Marrone. Fox went 14-34 as the head coach of the organization since, his best year being a 6-10 finish in the 2015 season.
Fox’s most memorable win in the Windy City came in this 2015 season when the Bears spoiled Brett Favre’s jersey retirement on Thanksgiving. The Bears beat Green Bay by a final score of 17-13 in the Turkey Day finale.
Fox’s 2016 season, which saw the Bears finish 3-13, was the second worst of his career, trailing only the 2-14 season in 2010 which saw him fired by Carolina Panthers. That 3-13 season is tied for the worst record in the history of the Bears franchise since the NFL switched to a 16-game season in 1978.
Fox was reportedly kept out of the loop by the Bears’ front office as to what they planned to do with their first-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, with Fox not knowing they had planned to take quarterback Mitchell Trubisky until hours before the draft. This was even further stirred by a tweet which the Bears official twitter put out on draft day, listing off names of coaches which had Trubisky graded as the top quarterback, but not naming Fox as one of those coaches.
Chatter around the league pins Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub as a major candidate for the open position. Toub has long been considered a future head coach and served on the Bears staff from 2004 until 2012.
Offensive names which have been mentioned include Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, and Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, another former Broncos head coach, is also an obvious candidate.
On the defensive side of the ball, New England’s other coordinator, Matt Patricia, is the cream of the crop. Other names include Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and the Jaguars’ Todd Wash.
Looking into the collegiate ranks, the obvious standout candidate is former Bears quarterback Jim Harbaugh. The other big name college coach being talked about in pro coaching circles is Stanford’s David Shaw, but like Harbaugh, most struggle to see him leaving his alma mater for the pros.
There is no confirmation yet on whether general manager Ryan Pace will meet with the media on Monday to inform the public of the fate of the rest of Fox’s staff. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is reportedly out of a contract after this season and no contract information is readily available for Dowell Loggains.