In the midst of what has been a dismal season for the Atlanta Falcons, the team’s ownership announced last night that head coach Dan Quinn and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff have been fired effective immediately.
Falcons President and CEO Rich McKay has assumed day-to-day oversight of football operations in the interim and will assist Arthur Blank, Falcons owner and chairman, in the search for a new general manager and head coach. Under the direction of McKay, Dimitroff’s current responsibilities will be handled by current members of the football operations staff for remainder of 2020.
An interim head coach is expected to be announced on Monday.
“Decisions like these are very difficult, but the previous two seasons and start to this one have been especially hard for me because of the deep love, admiration and respect I and my family have for Dan, Thomas and their families,” said Blank. “For many years, they have represented me, our team, organization and Atlanta with class, commitment and all the passion you would want in the leaders of the team. But as everyone knows, this is a results business and I owe it to our fans to put the best product we can on the field,” He said.
“Our finish in 2019 earned an opportunity to show that momentum could be continued and built upon, but that has clearly not happened,” Blank continued. “And overall, the last 3-plus seasons have fallen short of my commitment to Atlanta and to our fans everywhere. I want them all to know that my commitment to winning has not wavered and I will continue to provide every resource possible to that end.”
The Falcons (0-5) travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings on Oct. 18.
“We are moving forward and will do everything we can to help this year’s team win as many games as possible while putting a strong plan in place to execute these important leadership searches with an eye to positioning the Falcons for success well into the future. We owe that to our fans,” said McKay.
Dimitroff joined the Falcons in 2008 and has played a key role in a period of success unmatched in Falcons history. Since his arrival the Falcons have won 109 games, been to the playoffs six times and won the NFC Championship in 2016. His drafts have landed franchise cornerstones Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Jake Matthews, Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones and numerous others who have helped the Falcons become one of the winningest teams in the NFL over the last 10 seasons. Since 2008, the Falcons rank eighth in the NFL and fourth in the NFC in wins.
Quinn has led the Falcons since the start of the 2015 season, amassing an overall record of 43-42. In 2016 the Falcons finished 11-5 and went on to win the NFC Championship over the Green Bay Packers before falling to New England in Super Bowl LI. The Falcons followed that up with a return to the playoffs in 2017, making Atlanta the only NFC team to do so, and defeated the Los Angeles Rams on the road in the NFC Wild Card game before dropping a close game at Philadelphia in the divisional playoff. Quinn’s work off the field has also been recognized, having been named the NFL’s Salute to Service honoree following the 2016 season.