Despite an 8-1 finish to the season, Brian Flores is out as head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
On Monday, owner Stephen Ross announced the decision, which came on the heels of Miami’s season-ending win over New England, which improved the team’s record to 9-8.
“After evaluating where we are is an organization and what we need going forward to improve, I determined that key dynamics of our football organization weren’t functioning at a level I want it to be and felt that this decision is in the best interest of the Miami Dolphins,” Ross said in a statement.
The owner went on to explain that he is encouraged by the young talent that the Dolphins have on their roster.
Flores had gone 24-25 in three seasons as head coach, but people familiar with the inner workings told USA TODAY Sports that there had been a power struggle between the coach and general manager Chris Grier. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the organization.
Grier will remain as general manager.
At a news conference Monday morning, Ross said he has no replacement in mind. Asked specifically about Jim Harbaugh, Ross said, “I love Jim Harbaugh” but added that Harbaugh is the coach at the University of Michigan.
“That is the school I graduated from and I’m very involved in it,” Ross said. “And I’m not going to be the person to take Jim Harbaugh from the University of Michigan. I hope he stays there. He’s a great coach.”
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Addressing the upcoming coaching search, Ross left open the possibility of hiring a fourth consecutive person who hasn’t been an NFL head coach.
He added, “Certainly having the experience always helps. Sometimes, sure, if you find somebody that’s exceptional that’s been a coordinator or some other position in football, I certainly would look at that very seriously. But our mind is open. We’re just looking for someone that can work together in taking this roster and taking it to its next level.”
Contributing: Hal Habib and Joe Schad, Palm Beach Post