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Looking back on Bengals head coaching search of 2003

The Cincinnati Bengals are fortunate to have stability with head coach Marvin Lewis, unlike many coaches who are fired and recycled on "Black Monday." We recap the Bengals' coaching search from 2003.

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NFL teams are firing coaches and piecing together a to-do list for their next eventual head coach (who they'll end up firing anyway). In honor of Black Monday, we pieced together a list of events from the Bengals' head coaching search in 2003 when Dick LeBeau was fired and just more than three weeks later, the Bengals hired Marvin Lewis as their next head coach. Who would have thought that Lewis would still be in Cincinnati 13 years later?

Dec. 29, 2002: Bengals lose 27-9 to the Buffalo Bills, ending a 2-14 season.
Dec. 30, 2002: Bengals fire head coach Dick LeBeau.
Dec. 30, 2002: Bengals request from the Redskins (and were granted) an interview with Marvin Lewis.
Dec. 30, 2002: Bengals request from the Steelers (and were granted) an interview with Mike Mularkey.
Dec. 30, 2002: Jaguars fire head coach Tom Coughlin.
Dec. 31, 2002: Bengals interview Redskins DC Marvin Lewis and were impressed with his knowledge of the team's organization; not just knowledge on the field. Lewis also made a convincing argument to have a say on personnel decisions (however he never asked for full control). 
Jan. 2, 2003: Bengals interview team defensive coordinator Mark Duffner
Jan. 2, 2003: Unknown Bengals official contacts Marvin Lewis to inform him that they were very encouraged with his interview.
Jan. 3, 2003: Bengals interview former Jaguars HC Tom Coughlin.
Jan. 4, 2003: Bengals drove to Heinz Field to interview Steelers OC Mike Mularkey, who had a scheduled game against the Browns the following afternoon.
Jan. 5, 2003: Bengals interview RB coach Jim Anderson for three hours.
Jan. 8, 2003: Lewis contacted "mentor" LeBeau, who gave a favorable scouting report of the Bengals organization.
Jan. 9, 2003: Tom Coughlin flies into Cincinnati for a second interview with the Bengals. Coughlin presented an "action plan". Unresolved issues remain about personnel department.
Jan. 9, 2003: Marvin Lewis has dinner with Mike Brown at the Queen City Club and met until 10 p.m.
Jan. 10, 2003: Brown and other front office officials met with Lewis for breakfast at the Queen City Club. Brown told Lewis they were seriously interested in hiring him. Wanted to give Mularkey an opportunity for a second interview.
Jan. 13, 2003: Bengals met with Mularkey for second interview in Alabama (Senior Bowl) - Mularkey felt he was unprepared for his first interview and made an "outstanding" presentation.
Jan. 13, 2003: Mike Brown and the Blackburns decide that Lewis is their guy.
Jan 14, 2003: Bengals unable to contact Lewis about their decision because he accidentally dropped his cell phone in the toilet. Bengals officials and Lewis were staying at the same hotel in Alabama (Senior Bowl). Troy and Katie Blackburn went searching for Lewis to inform him of their decision.
Jan. 14, 2003: Blackburn's met with Lewis for lunch and worked out the mechanics of a contract.
Jan. 14, 2003: Mike Brown introduces the Bengals newest head coach Marvin Lewis in the Lagoon Room of the Marriott's Grand Hotel.

Sources: Enquirer, ESPN