GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers fired coach Mike McCarthy Sunday night, roughly three hours after the team’s embarrassing 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field.
Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin was named the interim head coach. Philbin coached the Miami Dolphins from 2012 to 2015. He went 24-28 before being fired early in the 2015 season.
“The 2018 season has not lived up to the expectations and standards of the Green Bay Packers. As a result, I made the difficult decision to relieve Mike McCarthy of his role as head coach, effective immediately,” Packers team president/CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement released by the team shortly after 6 p.m. “Mike has been a terrific head coach and leader of the Packers for 13 seasons, during which time we experienced a great deal of success on and off the field.
“We want to thank Mike, his wife, Jessica, and the rest of the McCarthy family for all that they have done for the Packers and the Green Bay and Wisconsin communities. We will immediately begin the process of selecting the next head coach of the Green Bay Packers.”
The loss dropped the Packers to 4-7-1 on the season but did not mathematically eliminate them from playoff contention.
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McCarthy gave no indication during his postgame news conference that he might be fired.
“I’ve never been in this spot,” a dejected McCarthy replied after the game when asked what the team does going forward. “I’m not going to act like I know what the hell I’m going to do tomorrow when they get in here. We’re going to do what we always do: We’re going to represent the Packers the right way. I know that.”
The loss to the Cardinals, who came in 2-9 and with the league’s worst offense, apparently sealed McCarthy’s fate.
“Stating the obvious, that was clearly a very disappointing loss,” McCarthy said after the game. “That was a game we needed to win. We’re all disappointed. I did not do a good enough job. We didn’t do a good enough job as a football team.”
McCarthy was in his 13th season as the Packers’ coach, and departs with a record of 135-87-2, including his 10-8 record in the postseason. He led the 2010 team to the Super Bowl XLV title, and the Packers had been to the playoffs in nine of his previous 12 years in charge. The team lost the 2007, 2014 and 2016 NFC Championship Games, one victory shy of the Super Bowl.
McCarthy, 55, had signed a one-year contract extension through the 2019 season on Jan. 2 of this year.
Jason Wilde covers the Packers for ESPN Wisconsin. Listen to him with former Packers and Badgers offensive lineman Mark Tauscher weekdays from 9-11 on “Wilde & Tausch” on your local ESPN station.