LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Rams have fired head coach Jeff Fisher and promoted special teams coordinator John Fassel to serve as Fisher’s interim replacement, the team announced Monday.
The decision to fire Fisher comes a day after the Rams lost in a 42-14 blowout to the Falcons, bringing the team’s record to 4-9 this season.
Fisher was hired as head coach of the Rams in 2012 and had a record of 31-45-1 with the team in St. Louis and Los Angeles.
“He was the right person when we hired him in 2012,” Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said at a Monday news conference. “This season we didn’t have the kind of success we all expected and wanted.”
Fisher on Sunday reached an inauspicious milestone by losing his 165th NFL game — tying him with Dan Reeves for the most losses of any head coach in the league’s history.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke said the decision to fire a coach mid-season is “one of the most difficult in sports.”
“Making a decision such as this — especially during the season — is one of the most difficult in sports,” Kroenke said in a statement. “I have great respect for Jeff as a coach, person, father and friend.”
Fisher had signed a two-year contract extension before the season began, confounding his many critics including Rams legend Eric Dickerson.
The deal included an option for the team to part ways with Fisher at the end of this season and owe Fisher only one year of salary, ESPN reported.
As special teams coordinator, Fassel has overseen the development of perhaps the Rams’ most valuable player — two-time Pro Bowl punter Johnny Hekker.
Fassel joined the Rams in 2012 following a three-year stint as special teams coordinator with the Raiders. He was previously an assistant special teams coach with the Ravens. Before that, he coached at the collegiate level. Fassel is the son of former Giants coach Jim Fassel.
Fassel told reporters Monday afternoon that he was “surprised” he got the call up to serve as interim head coach, and that he was grateful for the opportunity.