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Munchak said firing about more than a few assistants

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Mike Munchak had a chance to keep his job, with an extension even.

But he said the reason he’s the former Titans coach had more to do with the fact he didn’t agree with the long-term vision of owner Tommy Smith and General Manager Ruston Webster.

Munchak told Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean that he was asked to make many changes to his staff, to a point he wasn’t comfortable continuing.

Among those he was asked to fire were two of his best friends — offensive line coach Bruce Matthews and linebackers coach Chet Parlavecchio — along with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and defensive coordinator Jerry Gray. He was told he’d need to fire at least six assistants, maybe more.

“It wasn’t just about Chet or Bruce. People say, ‘Those are Munch’s guys.’ It was about the big picture,” Munchak said. “ A lot of guys were going to be affected. If it was the right thing to do, I would do it. I have fired offensive coordinators (Chris Palmer) before. And I let go of a special teams coach (Alan Lowry).

“It’s not like ‘Munch isn’t here anymore because he wouldn’t fire two guys.’ In my eyes, that’s not what we disagreed on. There was more to it than that. Obviously they made it easy. They fired all of us so they could start over.”

After talking with Smith and Webster Friday, there was still some hope they could continue. But after talking more on Saturday, they couldn’t come to an agreement, and Munchak was gone.

That ended a 31-year run with the organization, going back to his playing days with the Oilers.

“I was so proud when I first got the chance. A lot of things go through your mind. This is an emotional time and I haven’t had to deal with it,’’ Munchak said. “I guess it’s my ‘Welcome to the NFL.’ I have been fired, let go, whatever you want to call it. It just didn’t workout. It is hard, and it hasn’t sunk in. When you start packing your boxes, it hits you.”

Practically every coach working in the NFL ends up getting fired, so Munchak’s not special there. But having the chance to offer up a number of assistants to save his own skin and refusing the chance makes him a bit unique.

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20 Responses to “Munchak said firing about more than a few assistants”
  1. dolfan72 says: Jan 6, 2014 7:55 AM


  2. jimjets says: Jan 6, 2014 8:14 AM

    Good man. Good luck munch

  3. meatcarroll says: Jan 6, 2014 8:22 AM

    How classless of the Titans. Munch dedicated 31 years of life to your organization, through the good times and the bad, and they couldn’t give him 1 more year to do things his way. Tennessee would have easily rolled to the playoffs if Jake Locker hadn’t gotten that freak injury.

  4. redandgoldhitman52 says: Jan 6, 2014 8:35 AM

    how about hiring Lendale White for HC 🙂

  5. dretwann says: Jan 6, 2014 8:43 AM

    That is what you call integrity. Not hard to root for a dude like that.

  6. ldloudin says: Jan 6, 2014 9:09 AM

    Loyalty to your teammates SHOULD always trump security but rarely does these days- bravo to Munchak.

  7. goldrush36 says: Jan 6, 2014 9:18 AM

    Dowell? LOL oh well. Shows Munchak has integrity. Perfect guy for Penn ST

  8. amgdds says: Jan 6, 2014 9:28 AM

    It must be pretty sweet to be able to refer to yourself as ‘munch.’

  9. titaniksigh says: Jan 6, 2014 9:41 AM

    I agree the guy has integrity and that’s admirable, but as the cliche goes, this is a business. His bosses told him what he needed to do to keep his job, and he didn’t want the job bad enough to do it. Hence they had to move on. To the guy who called the Titans a classless organization, it’s a little more involved than that. When you look around LP on Sunday afternoon, and half the seats are empty, something has to be done. The majority of their 15 years have been mediocre, and people are frustrated. We don’t have a durable QB which means one more year would most likely bring more of the same. Continuing to settle for mediocrity while working people shell out thousands of dollars for season tickets would be classless.

  10. bravovictor52 says: Jan 6, 2014 9:44 AM

    Good man with a high character core, however, it was a painfully correct move for the Titans.

  11. chalkruz1989 says: Jan 6, 2014 9:53 AM

    Mike Munchak had an overpaid running back and a quarterback that was oft-injured and missed most of this season.

    I applaud a guy for standing up for what’s right and not choosing the dollar over loyalty. I am hoping Munchak throws his hat into the Penn State vacancy. He has the ties and has a pedigree that is tough to match.

  12. sasquash20 says: Jan 6, 2014 10:03 AM

    This guy was terrible. You cant blame injury every year. They didnt use players right. And as for ownership, stop being so cheap

  13. gorilladunk says: Jan 6, 2014 10:15 AM

    I must be missing something here. Munchak doesn’t want to fire some of his assistants so he gets fired. Does he think the new coach is going to keep those assistants? They’re still going to get fired. I applaud his loyalty, but sometimes you have to look at the broader picture. It looks to me like he didn’t have the guts to do the dirty work himself.

  14. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 6, 2014 10:25 AM

    Some jobs are hard and some jobs are made to look hard. He said it himself, it was hard, and it shouldn’t have to be so hard and getting the job done is what is important. Saying it’s hard just goes to show that “it” is still not a done job. Get somebody who can do it even if it is hard.

  15. stephen031 says: Jan 6, 2014 11:01 AM

    Well yeah, when everyone you hire was your teammate in Houston or Penn State, and most of them are incompetent coaches, of course you’re gonna back them.

    Then again, it may not even be about that.. it may be about that Penn State job he seems to be lying that he didn’t interview for. But yeah, celebrate his integrity for getting the money for the last year of his deal while possibly getting a chance to coach his alma mater.

  16. chalkruz1989 says: Jan 6, 2014 11:13 AM

    This is in response to “gorilladunk.” Mike Munchak was presented with the decision of either firing his assistant coaches or being fired. He knew that by deciding to not go with the first choice that his assistant coaches would also be fired. I don’t know much of Munchak but I am sure his IQ is above 10. He knew that by refusing to fire them, he was fired and so would they.
    Jan 6, 2014 10:15 AM

    I must be missing something here. Munchak doesn’t want to fire some of his assistants so he gets fired. Does he think the new coach is going to keep those assistants? They’re still going to get fired. I applaud his loyalty, but sometimes you have to look at the broader picture. It looks to me like he didn’t have the guts to do the dirty work himself.

  17. jpherling says: Jan 6, 2014 11:37 AM

    All of the assistants will be fired anyway, so what did he accomplish by refusing to do it himself?

  18. bigjdve says: Jan 6, 2014 1:05 PM

    For those people saying that the Titans were classless.

    They were going to double his salary if he would fire the assistants. That means that they were legitimately trying to keep him, even though they really didn’t think he would improve. That shows that they had loyalty to him and not his assistants.

    Besides, if the owner and coach have philosophical differences, the coach won’t be retained no matter the team, or the coach.

  19. dodohead418 says: Jan 6, 2014 1:07 PM

    We all know Munchak is a good guy, but he was never qualified to be a Head Coach.

  20. gilmorelogic says: Jan 6, 2014 2:13 PM

    Good luck ” Munch” in your future endeavors.

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