NFL head coaches fired: Tracking all the openings, candidates and changes in 2023-24

Here's everything you need to know for the 2023-24 NFL coaching cycle

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With the NFL regular season in the books, change is inevitable.

Each year, a handful of teams make drastic changes -- either to their roster, coaching staff or front office. But some owners act quicker than others, and some departures are bigger than others.

There have also been several examples of head coaches getting canned in 2023, and the firings for coaches, general managers and coordinators has continued into 2024.

Who has been fired so far and who could be next? Also, what coaches could be candidates to fill these job openings? Here's a tracker of everything you need to know for the 2023-24 NFL coaching cycle:

List of fired NFL head coaches in the 2023 season

Eight head coaches were ousted this season: Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, Mike Vrabel, Ron Rivera, Arthur Smith, Josh McDaniels, Frank Reich and Brandon Staley.

The biggest coaching decision in recent NFL history came in New England. Belichick and the New England Patriots parted ways after 24 seasons and six Super Bowl titles. The 71-year-old reportedly is still interested in coaching and chasing the all-time coaching wins record, and any of the above teams -- and even some that have not yet moved on from their head coach -- could be interested in hiring him. The Patriots wasted little time naming Belichick's successor, as they announced that Jerod Mayo will take over the role in New England.

The Las Vegas Raiders cut ties with McDaniels on Nov. 1 following a 3-5 start to the season. McDaniels, along with GM Dave Ziegler, were both fired less than two seasons into their tenures. The duo went 9-16 in Las Vegas after getting poached away from the New England Patriots, where they served as offensive coordinator and director of player personnel. Antonio Pierce took over as interim head coach, while Champ Kelly filled the interim GM role, and the team is keeping Pierce as their full-time coach.

Reich only lasted 11 games as the Carolina Panthers' head coach. The former NFL quarterback went 1-10 in Carolina after a 40-33-1 stint with the Indianapolis Colts. Reich was among the first coaches to get fired midseason in two consecutive years and his run with the Panthers marked the second-shortest head coaching tenure in NFL history (not including interim coaches). Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor was named interim head coach by owner David Tepper before the team hired former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales as its full-time head coach on Jan. 25.

Staley's Chargers tenure came to an end in Week 15 after Los Angeles suffered a historic 63-21 road loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. The lopsided defeat dropped the Justin Herbert-less Chargers to 5-9, looking well on their way to missing the playoffs for a second time in three years since Staley was hired. And when Staley and Co. did make the playoffs last season, they blew a 27-point lead to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the wild card round.

In addition to Staley, longtime Chargers general manager Tom Telesco was also relieved of his duties following an 11-year run. Outside linebackers coach Giff Smith and director of player personnel JoJo Wooden were named the interim head coach and interim general manager, respectively.

The Chargers found their new head coach in Jim Harbaugh, a former Charger quarterback who just led Michigan to a national championship. They then hired Ravens executive Joe Hortiz as their new general manager.

The Los Angeles Chargers have fired head coach Brandon Staley and GM Tom Telesco.

The Falcons fired Smith as soon as the clock turned to Black Monday, as Atlanta finished 7-10 for the third year running since the 41-year-old took over. Atlanta had the chance to win a lowly NFC South but never found consistency and key offensive players usually struggled despite flashes of brilliance. General manager Terry Fontenot will stayed on board and helped find a replacement, which was determined to be Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.

Later on Black Monday, the Commanders fired Rivera in what was an expected move. Washington went 4-13 in his fourth and final season, bringing his overall record with the club to 26-40-1. New owner Josh Harris turned the page by bringing in Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as the new head coach.

A day after Black Monday, the Titans parted ways with Vrabel. The former Patriots linebacker coached the Titans for six seasons, going 54-45 and earning NFL Coach of the Year honors in 2021. Tennessee hired former Cincinnati offensive coordinator Brian Callahan to be its new head coach.

On the Wednesday after Black Monday, Carroll and the Seahawks agreed to make a change. The 72-year-old Carroll will remain with the franchise as an advisor, owner Jody Allen said in a statement. In 14 seasons as Seattle's head coach, Carroll went 137-89-1 with 10 playoff appearances and a Super Bowl victory. The Seahawks hired Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald as their new head coach.

What NFL coordinators have been fired during the 2023 season?

Firing a coordinator can help a head coach in several ways. Of course, the main goal is to shake things up and improve a struggling unit. But the hidden consequence is that it sometimes buys the head coach more time in his own role.

Here are all the offensive and defensive coordinators that have been fired so far this season:

  • Mick Lombardi, Raiders offensive coordinator
  • Ken Dorsey, Bills offensive coordinator
  • Matt Canada, Steelers offensive coordinator
  • Jack Del Rio, Commanders defensive coordinator
  • Mike Caldwell, Jaguars defensive coordinator
  • Luke Getsy, Bears offensive coordinator
  • Pete Carmichael, Saints offensive coordinator
  • Alex Van Pelt, Browns offensive coordinator
  • Brian Johnson, Eagles offensive coordinator
  • Sean Desai, Eagles defensive coordinator
  • Joe Barry, Packers defensive coordinator
  • Vic Fangio, Dolphins defensive coordinator

Who are the best NFL head coaching candidates?

NFL teams have a lot to consider when hiring a new head coach. There a several factors to consider, including scheme, culture, experience, age and more. Here are some of the top candidates to become head coaches in the future:

Ben Johnson, Lions offensive coordinator: The 37-year-old Johnson passed on head coaching opportunities to stay in Detroit. He'll likely have plenty of offers again next winter after an impressive season.

Bobby Slowik, Texans offensive coordinator: In his first season as an OC, Slowik has helped transform the Texans' offensive. Having a star rookie quarterback obviously helps, but a young offensive mind (36 years old) from the Kyle Shanahan system was in demand before opting to stay in Houston.

Frank Smith, Dolphins offensive coordinator: The Dolphins offense has taken off over the last two seasons with Smith as OC. Head coach Mike McDaniel is the play-caller, but Smith has obviously helped unlock Tua Tagovailoa and Co.

Ejiro Evero, Panthers defensive coordinator: Evero, 42, had interviews last year before moving from Denver to Carolina and remaining a DC. He could be looking for another new gig with the Panthers changing head coaches.

Lou Anarumo, Bengals defensive coordinator: It's not often that your first head coaching gig comes at 57 years old, but that's the situation that Anarumo is eyeing. He has transformed Cincinnati's defense, which isn't exactly loaded with stars.

Steve Wilks, 49ers defensive coordinator: Wilks went 3-13 with the Cardinals and got fired after one season. Then he went 6-6 as the Panthers' interim coach before being passed on. Now he's leading an elite defense in San Francisco. The 54-year-old Wilks has earned a long-term leash as a head coach.

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