Struggling Texans fire head coach Kubiak

Fri Dec 6, 2013 5:39pm EST
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(Reuters) - Gary Kubiak became the first coaching casualty of the National Football League's (NFL) 2013 season when the Houston Texans fired him on Friday with the team in the midst of a franchise-record 11-game losing streak.

The decision comes a day after Houston lost to Jacksonville and fell to an NFL-worst 2-11, a huge swing from last season when they went 12-4 and won the AFC South Division.

"This has been a very disappointing year," said Texans chief executive Bob McNair. "We started with such high hopes. To have this string of losses is unacceptable."

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will serve as interim coach for the Texans' final three games of the 2013 season, the team said in a statement.

With Kubiak's departure, Bob Ligashesky was promoted from special teams assistant to special teams coordinator, replacing Joe Marciano who was sacked.

Houston entered the 2013 NFL season with high hopes and were considered a Super Bowl contender by some given a mix of high-profile names at several positions, a veteran coaching staff and a reputation as a legitimate AFC powerhouse following division titles the prior two seasons.

But after opening the campaign with a pair of wins, Houston fell apart due to a combination of unsteady play at quarterback and injuries to key players, including tight end Owen Daniels and running back Arian Foster.

Kubiak, who went 61-64 during the regular season and 2-2 in the playoffs since taking the head coaching job in 2006, missed time earlier this season after collapsing at halftime during a game last month.

He was diagnosed as having suffered a mini-stroke and missed one game before working the following two contests from the booth. Kubiak returned to the sidelines on December 1.   Continued...

Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak yells to his team during their NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore, Maryland September 22, 2013. REUTERS/Richard Clement