The Jim Schwartz era is over.
Coach Schwartz was relieved of his duties this morning, after the team finished a disappointing campaign 7-9. The Lions had been 6-3 with the NFC North title seemingly in the bag, before a late season collapse sealed the end of Schwartz’s tenure. This followed the team’s dismal 0-8 finish to the 2012 season.
Coaches Scott Linehan and Tim Lappano were also relieved of their duties, whilst General Manager Martin Mayhew will stay in office.
Coach Schwartz took on the Head Coach role after the team’s 0-16 season. A major rebuilding campaign began with Matthew Stafford selected with the team’s 1st pick in the 2009 draft. Seasons of 2-14 and 6-10 began Schwartz’s tenure before 2011 saw the Lions make the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
Ultimately, back-to-back disappointing seasons in 2012 and 2013 meant that Schwartz would not return for a sixth season, despite him stating Sunday that he would ‘like to return’ and that he had ‘unfinished business’.
Schwartz addressed the players immediately following his dismissal and gave an emotional 15-minute speech to tell them the news. WR Nate Burleson described it as a ‘heart-felt moment’ according to mlive.com.
The move leaves the team searching for a new head coach for the off-season. With major pieces of a competitive squad in place, the Lions franchise is an attractive prospect for candidates looking to head up an NFl franchise.