Titans split with Mularkey after 1st playoff win in 14 years

8 days after statement of support from owner, Mularkey out door

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans have split with coach Mike Mularkey after he revived a team with the NFL's worst record over two seasons and led them to their first playoff victory in 14 years.

The Titans announced the move Monday, two days after a 35-14 loss to New England in the AFC divisional round.

Controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement they discussed extending his contract during the past week. But she says they saw different paths to take the team to greater success.

General manager Jon Robinson will oversee his first coaching search with the Titans. He was hired two days before Mularkey had the interim title removed in January 2016.

The Titans have scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon.

The move to part ways with Mularkey, who coached the Jaguars in the 2012 season, came eight days after Strunk shot down speculation that Mularkey's job was at risk.

Strunk had said her coach was going nowhere after helping change the Titans' culture and getting their first playoff victory in 14 years.

National reports first had Mularkey potentially fired if the Titans lost their regular-season finale and again if Tennessee lost its AFC wild-card game at Kansas City. Instead, the Titans pulled off a major comeback after trailing 21-3 at halftime.

Strunk tried to stop all the talk with her statement on Mularkey's job security last week.

"I regret that outside rumors gained a life of their own," Strunk said. "No one has been a bigger supporter of Mike Mularkey than I have over the last two-plus seasons. ... Just to eliminate any distractions moving forward, Mike Mularkey is our head coach and will be our head coach moving forward."

Being embarrassed by the Patriots 35-14 clearly changed things.

Strunk made Mularkey interim head coach in November 2015 after firing Ken Whisenhunt who went 3-20 in his short tenure. Mularkey went 2-7 before Strunk gave him a three-year contract as head coach in January 2016, two days after hiring Robinson as general manager.

Mularkey addressed the national reports that his job was on the line after the Titans beat Kansas City 22-21 on Saturday.

"No," Mularkey said. "I haven't had any support to say that I was (secure). No. I just assumed the worst."