DETROIT (UPI) — The Detroit Lions fired coach Jim Caldwell after four seasons at the helm, the team announced Monday.
The move comes less than one year after he signed an extension.
Caldwell posted winning seasons in three of his four years as coach of the Lions, however, the team missed the playoffs twice in the last three seasons — including this year following a 9-7 mark.
“I believe Jim is one of the finest leaders we’ve ever had as our head coach,” Lions owner and chairman Martha Firestone Ford said in a statement. “Not only did he guide us on the field to three winning seasons, but he also set a standard of excellence off the field that had a tremendous impact on everyone in our organization and our entire community. As many of our players have already said, his influence on them transcended the game of football and will positively serve them throughout their lives.
“Our organization is better because of Jim, and we are forever grateful.”
The 62-year-old Caldwell notched a 36-28 mark with Detroit after posting a 26-22 record and one Super Bowl appearance in three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Lions, however, have not won a playoff game since 1991, the second-longest active drought in the NFL. The team went 0-2 in the postseason under Caldwell.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Lions are expected to interview Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia for their open coaching position.
Patricia was asked Monday about his expectations for this week and if he was planning to interview with any of these teams that are making coaching changes.
“Yeah, I mean I have no idea about any of that. None of that is even really applicable for me right now because I don’t have any information on that,” Patricia said.
The Lions have also reached out to current Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel and Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks for interviews, per multiple reports.
Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin will interview for the head coaching position on Tuesday, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported.