The Cincinnati Bengals will have a new head coach for the first time since the 2003 season.
Marvin Lewis is out after 16 years at the helm, as team owner Mike Brown informed him of the decision to let Lewis and his staff go on Monday following a 6-10 season, NFL Network reported.
However, when the team announced the move, the official release said that the Bengals and Lewis "mutually decided to part ways after 16 seasons." Perhaps that was earned out of respect for the winningest coach in franchise history who took over a team that had had a winning percentage of .344 and two playoff appearances in the 16 combined seasons prior to his arrival.
Lewis amassed a regular-season record of 131-122-3 (.518 win percentage) with one of the most downtrodden franchises in sports, leading the Bengals to the playoffs seven times. But Lewis' teams never won a single playoff game in that run, and the Bengals missed the postseason each of the past three seasons.
One year ago, it appeared this might happen as Lewis and Brown delayed any announcement of his future by a few days while other teams were making head-coaching decisions. It soon was announced Lewis would return, and there appeared to be a plan in place for finding his eventual replacement.
Lewis, who turned 60 this season, had been the NFL's second-longest tenured head coach behind Bill Belichick.