The Atlanta Falcons relieved general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn of their duties, effective immediately.
The Falcons started the 2020 NFL season 0-5.
Falcons president and chief operating officer Rich McKay has assumed day-to-day oversight of football operations in the interim and will assist owner Arthur Blank in the search for a new GM and bench boss. Under the direction of McKay, Dimitroff’s responsibilities will be handled by current members of the football operations staff for remainder of 2020. Meanwhile, an interim head coach is expected to be announced on Monday.
“Decisions like these are very difficult, but the previous two seasons and start to this one have been especially hard for me because of the deep love, admiration and respect I and my family have for Dan, Thomas and their families,” Blank said.
Quinn led the Falcons since the start of the 2015 season, amassing an overall win-loss record of 43-42. In 2016 the Falcons finished 11-5 and went on to win the NFC Championship over the Green Bay Packers before falling to New England in Super Bowl LI. Dimitroff joined the Falcons in 2008 and has played a key role in a period of success unmatched in Falcons history.
“For many years, they have represented me, our team, organization and Atlanta with class, commitment and all the passion you would want in the leaders of the team. But as everyone knows, this is a results business and I owe it to our fans to put the best product we can on the field. We have poured every resource possible into winning and will continue to do so, but the results of late do not meet our standard or what I’ve promised our fans. Therefore, we will install new coaching and personnel leadership of the Atlanta Falcons at the appropriate time,” Blank said.
“Our finish in 2019 earned an opportunity to show that momentum could be continued and built upon, but that has clearly not happened,” Blank continued. “And overall, the last 3-plus seasons have fallen short of my commitment to Atlanta and to our fans everywhere. I want them all to know that my commitment to winning has not wavered and I will continue to provide every resource possible to that end.”
Since Dimitroff’s arrival the Falcons have won 109 games, been to the playoffs six times and won the NFC Championship in 2016. His drafts have landed franchise cornerstones Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Jake Matthews, Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones and numerous others who have helped the Falcons become one of the winningest teams in the NFL over the last 10 seasons. Since 2008, the Falcons rank eighth in the NFL and fourth in the NFC in wins.
“We are moving forward and will do everything we can to help this year’s team win as many games as possible while putting a strong plan in place to execute these important leadership searches with an eye to positioning the Falcons for success well into the future. We owe that to our fans,” McKay said.
The Falcons followed up their 2017 NFL Title game appearance with a return to the playoffs the following season, making Atlanta the only NFC team to do so, and defeated the Los Angeles Rams on the road in the NFC Wild Card game before dropping a close game at Philadelphia in the divisional playoff. Quinn’s work off the field has also been recognized, having been named the NFL’s Salute to Service honoree following the 2016 season.
“Dan Quinn represents everything you would want in a man, coach, teacher or neighbor. He is a man of integrity, character and determination. He’s also a friend anyone would like to have. While we have not achieved the results we all expect, I’m very proud of how Dan has represented all of us and the passion he has poured into leading our team. Dan and Stacey have also given back so much to our community, particularly those serving in the military and their families. They will always have my gratitude and our best wishes for all the very best in the future,” Blank said.
“Thomas Dimitroff has been with us through a lot, including a vast majority of my ownership of the team. I’ve seen his two beautiful children grow up here and I have great personal affection for him and his family. I’m also grateful for his hard work and contributions to our many successes over the last 10 years. He came in at a time when the franchise needed to rebuild trust in this community. By bringing in Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and several others, we changed the trajectory of the franchise and set us up for a run of success the team had never achieved before. I am very appreciative of Thomas’ many contributions to the Atlanta Falcons and wish him great success in his future pursuits.”