Lions fire head coach Jim Schwartz - WNEM TV 5

Lions fire head coach Jim Schwartz

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The Detroit Lions have fired head coach Jim Schwartz after five seasons on the job. Sources say the franchise fired Schwartz just before 12 p.m. Monday.

Schwartz was 29-51 as head coach of the Lions, finishing with just one winning season. Detroit went 10-6 in 2011 and were beaten in the first round of the NFC playoffs by New Orleans.

Before joining the Lions, Schwartz was an assistant coach for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans.

Detroit was one of the NFL's biggest disappointments this season. The Lions started the season 6-3 but dropped six of seven games to finish at 7-9. The Lions blew fourth-quarter leads in seven of their nine defeats.

Schwartz still has two years and more than $12 million on a contract extension that he signed in June of 2012.

Possible candidates to replace Schwartz include San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who led the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl five years ago, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien, a former assistant with the New England Patriots, Stanford coach David Shaw, whose father was an assistant with the Lions in the 1980s, and former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith.

Team General Manager Martin Mayhew has been retained by the organization.

Other NFL coaches fired Monday include Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, Tampa Bay Buccaneer coach Greg Schiano, Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski and Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.

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