(Reuters) - The Denver Broncos and head coach John Fox have mutually agreed to part ways, the National Football League team said on Monday, a day after a season-ending playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Fox led Denver to four division titles since taking charge of the team in 2011 but his teams came up short in the playoffs each year, losing last season’s Super Bowl and falling in the second round of the playoffs the other three seasons.
Broncos General Manager John Elway said in a statement that he and Fox met for over an hour on Monday to discuss the latest season and goals for the future when it became clear that the timing was right to make a change.
“While we have made significant progress under Coach Fox, there is still work to be done,” said Elway.
“I believe this change at the head coaching position will be in the best interest of our long-term goal, which from day one has been to win World Championships.”
Parting ways with Fox could be the start of an offseason of rebuild in Denver given the uncertainty surrounding 38-year-old Peyton Manning’s future with the team following Sunday’s loss to the Colts and a long list of free agents.
Expectations for a Super Bowl title have been sky-high in Denver since 2012 when the team landed Manning, a future Hall of Fame quarterback who owns several passing records and won an NFL championship with the Indianapolis Colts.
But in their only trip to the Super Bowl under Fox, Denver were humiliated by the Seattle Seahawks in one of the most lopsided championship games.
Fox, who was also head coach with the Carolina Panthers when they reached the Super Bowl in 2004, went 46-18 in Denver.
“I had a productive visit with John Elway this afternoon in which we were both very honest about our time together and how to best move forward,” said Fox. “After this discussion, John and I mutually agreed that the timing was right for this decision.”
With six division titles and two Super Bowl berths between Carolina and Denver along with an overall record of 119-89, Fox could find work quickly with the San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears all looking for head coaches.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue