The Tennessee Titans fired head coach Mike Munchak last week after several lackluster seasons. But the team’s performance on the field wasn’t the only factor in Munchak’s dismissal. According to reports, the 53-year-old coach refused to reshuffle his coaching staff and make substantive changes, so the franchise cut him loose.
Munchak was reportedly offered the chance to return to the Titans with a contract extension, but the team’s brass wanted an entirely new set of coaches working with him. That means he would have had to fire his close friends offensive line coach Bruce Matthews and linebackers coach Chet Parlavecchio.
But it wouldn’t have stopped there. Munchak also would have had to dismiss offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains defensive coordinator Jerry Gray. It’s clear that the Titans really liked Munchak but thought he had surrounded himself with the wrong people.
Munchak had the following to say about the situation:
“I can’t fire someone when I don’t believe they should be fired. Firing someone is awful. Too many people were going to be affected.”
While we admire Munchak for sticking by his staff, there is something to be said for rethinking the coaches you employ when your team is not successful. Sometimes new voices can improve a team’s results.
In three seasons under Munchak the Titans failed to reach the postseason. In his first year in 2011, the team went 9-7, before falling to 6-10 in 2012, then going 7-9 this season.
Munchak is a former 10-time All-Pro as an offensive lineman and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001. He also has No. 63 jersey retired by the Titans franchise after spending his entire playing career as a member of the Houston Oilers (who moved to Tennessee after the 1996 season).
Munchak has never worked for another franchise, as he caught on as an assistant with the Oilers in 1994, the became the offensive line coach for the team in Tennessee from 1997 to 2010, before getting the head coaching job in 2011.
The Penn State alum is set to meet with his alma mater about its vacant head coaching position on Monday.