(Reuters) - The Philadelphia Eagles fired head coach Chip Kelly on Tuesday, less than one week before the end of the regular season.
Amid fan discontent over Kelly’s tactics, trade moves and player management, he was ditched three days after the 6-9 Eagles fell out of playoff contention with a loss to NFC East rivals Washington.
“We appreciate all the contributions that Chip Kelly made and wish him every success going forward,” owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement released by the team.
Pat Shurmur will be interim head coach for Sunday’s season finale against the Giants in New York where the Eagles will bid to snap a two-game losing streak.
Kelly, 52, had a 26-21 record in three seasons in Philadelphia.
The Eagles also released Ed Marynowitz, vice president of player personnel. His replacement is Tom Donahoe, who has been senior football advisor for the Eagles since 2012.
This season the Eagles rank last in the league in time of possession while Kelly’s tactics have been criticized by fans. There have also been grumblings about his interpersonal skills in relating to some of his players.
His move to the Eagles was his first NFL job after he had spent more than two decades coaching in college ranks.
Kelly’s transition to the NFL went well at first, as he turned around a team that was 4-12 in 2012 before his arrival into a winning 10-6 team in his first season in charge and won the NFC East.
Philadelphia lost 26-24 to the New Orleans Saints on a last-second field goal in the first round of the playoffs in what would prove to be Kelly’s only postseason appearance.
The Eagles again finished 10-6 last season, but missed out on the postseason.
Kelly oversaw a big offseason overhaul, parting ways with star running back LeSean McCoy, among others, and he also traded quarterback Nick Foles to St. Louis for Sam Bradford.
Kelly brought in 2014 NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray during free agency, but the former Dallas Cowboy never got comfortable in Kelly’s scheme and has been relegated to a shared backfield role with Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles.
It is an annual ritual for several NFL teams to fire their head coach a day or two after the regular season.
Kelly is the third head coach dumped this season, following Joe Philbin (Miami Dolphins) and Ken Whisenhunt (Tennessee Titans).
Kelly had previously served as head football coach at the University of Oregon where the team compiled an outstanding 46-7 record during his four years in charge and his reputation was based on a high-speed offense.
He was one of the most sought-after college coaches in recent years and his move in 2013 to the NFL came as a surprise since he had indicated he would stay in the college game.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina. Additional reporting by The Sports Xchange.; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes