As expected, the Washington Commanders’ first season under owner Josh Harris was the last under head coach Ron Rivera.
Rivera was the second head coach fired on Black Monday after the Atlanta Hawks announced the dismissal of Arthur Smith.
The decision by the new ownership, which seeks to rebuild a franchise that languished under prior owner Dan Snyder, comes a day after Rivera led the team to a 4-13 record. Minutes after the change was announced, Harris added that former Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers and former Vikings GM Rick Spielman would assist co-owners Mitch Rales, Magic Johnson, and David Blitzer in a search for a new head coach and a head of football operations.
“To deliver upon our ultimate goal of becoming an elite franchise and consistently competing for the Super Bowl, there is a lot to do, and first we must establish a strong organizational infrastructure led by the industry’s best and most talented individuals,” Harris said. “As such, we will conduct a thorough search process to ensure we find the right candidates to guide this franchise forward. I consider these decisions to be among the most critical I make for the franchise — attracting exceptional talent, empowering them to lead and holding them accountable. I look forward to being personally involved throughout this process.”
Myers’s advisory role allow him to continue his work as an NBA analyst with ESPN, a source told Front Office Sports.
Rivera was hired by Snyder four years ago amid an NFL workplace investigation that saw several staffers implicated in misconduct. While Harris credited Rivera for helping “navigate this organization through some challenging times,” his first season in 2020 was the only campaign that led to a playoff appearance.
Rivera finished with a 26-40-1 record over four seasons.
“I want every Washington fan to know how much I appreciate your unwavering support,” Rivera said in a statement. “Through all the name changes, roster moves, non-football headlines and seasons that did not meet your expectations, you still stood by this team. We did win an NFC East title in 2020, but we fell short since then and for that, I am truly disappointed.
“It wasn’t easy and there is a lot more to be done, but I believe we began to change the culture of this organization in meaningful ways. And on a personal note, it has been one of the greatest honors of my career to serve this franchise and those who cheer it on every week.”
Smith was 21-30 over three seasons and never secured a playoff berth.
The Carolina Panthers announced Monday that they had parted ways with GM Scott Fitterer, a move that followed the midseason firing of Frank Reich.
“As we move forward with the new direction for our franchise, I have made the decision that Scott Fitterer will no longer serve as our general manager,” Panthers owner David Tepper said in a statement. “I appreciate Scott’s efforts and wish the best for him and his family.”