Following their loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, effectively dashing their hopes of making the playoffs, the Falcons decided Monday morning to part ways with head coach Mike Smith.
To add insult to injury, just before Sunday's game, news emerged that the Falcons had hired the search firm Korn Ferry in the event that they would replace Smith.
Smith took the reigns of the franchise back in 2011 and led the team to an 11-5 finish in year one, with a post season appearance against Arizona in the NFC Wild-Card game. Smith was awarded the NFL Coach of the Year following that first season. In year two, the Falcons narrowly missed the playoffs in 2009 with a 9-7 finish, but were able to use that season to catapult the franchise to new heights in the years that followed.
In 2010, 2011 and 2012, the Falcons were one of the best teams in the NFL during the regular season, going a combined 36-12 during those three regular seasons. The first two years resulted in first round playoff exits, while the Falcons won one playoff game in 2012 before losing to San Francisco in the NFC Championship game. In two of those three seasons the Falcons won the NFC South.
In the two years since, Smith has failed to lead the team back to the post season, with a 4-12 finish in 2013 and a 6-10 finish this season.
Smith's teams in Atlanta were a combined 66-45 in the regular season and just 1-4 in post season play.
Dating back to 1999, Smith has been a part of NFL defensive staffs with the Ravens (1999-2002) and Jaguars (2002-2007). Prior that that, he served on staffs at Tennessee Tech (defensive coordinator, defensive line, and special teams coordinator), Morehead State (DL), and got his coaching career started at San Diego State (grad assistant and LBs).
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