Ted Marchibroda was fired as coach of the Baltimore Ravens Monday after he failed to produce a winning season in his three years with the team.
Marchibroda's entire staff of assistant coaches also was dismissed.
"It's a bittersweet moment," Ravens owner Art Modell said. "I'm saddened by what I had to do today, but look forward to winning again. I didn't come from Cleveland to Baltimore to lose."
Baltimore closed a 6-10 season Sunday with a 19-10 victory over the Detroit Lions. The game marked the conclusion of Marchibroda's three-year contract, which he signed shortly after Modell moved the franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore. The Ravens were 16-31-1 under Marchibroda, winning three consecutive games only once and never coming close to reaching the playoffs.
Modell held out the possibility that there might be a place for Marchibroda in the organization as an advisor.
Candidates for his job include former San Francisco 49ers coach George Seifert and Denver Broncos assistant Gary Kubiak.
| Marchibroda was fired after three seasons with the Ravens. (AP) |
"The man we want hopefully will have NFL experience at some level," Modell said. "We hope to complete the process by the end of January because it will take time to assemble a staff."
Marchiabroda was among five NFL coaches fired Monday. The others were Dom Capers of Carolina, Dave Wannstedt of Chicago, Ray Rhodes of Philadelphia and Dennis Erickson of Seattle.
Marchibroda, 67, began his NFL coaching career in 1961 and has an 87-98-1 record as head coach with the Baltimore Colts, Indianapolis Colts and Ravens. He won three AFC East titles during his previous tenure in Baltimore before being fired in 1979 after two straight 5-11 seasons.
After Sunday's game, Marchibroda was resigned to his fate.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity," he said. "I enjoy doing it, even if it doesn't always turn out the way you want."
Marchibroda's task was made more difficult by the fact that he had to work with a team still reeling from the move from Cleveland. Baltimore went 4-12 in its first season and 6-9-1 last year.
"We had a tough climb for three years," he said.
Marchibroda rarely lost his temper and trusted his players to perform their best out of dedication to the job. His laid-back style and unwavering faith in his players created a strong bond with several veterans on the team, including quarterback Jim Harbaugh, who played for Marchibroda in Indianapolis before the Ravens traded for him in February.
"There were a lot of other guys in the room that listen to Ted when he speaks," Harbaugh said. "Sometimes guys hear but don't listen. He's got a lot to offer."
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