The Atlanta Falcons have announced that head coach Mike Smith won't be returning for an eighth season after submitting a second consecutive losing year.
Falcons have fired Mike Smith— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 29, 2014
The #Falcons will announce the firing of coach Mike Smith at their press conference source says. It’s over.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 29, 2014
Though the Falcons were in the thick of the NFC South race until Week 17, the team was blown out 34-3 at home by the Carolina Panthers in a game that decided the division. There were reports that Smith needed at least one playoff win to save his job.
Smith led the Falcons to the playoffs four times during his seven-year career in Atlanta, including an NFC Championship appearance following a 13-3 regular-season in 2012. In fact, the Falcons posted just two losing seasons under Smith, but those came in the last two years, and he ends his time in Atlanta with a 66-46 record.
Prior to Sunday's game, ESPN reported the Falcons had hired search firm Korn Ferry to identify head-coaching candidates in the event the team made a coaching change.