Reeling from a 51-14 Christmas Day defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams that gave them a record of 4-11 — and less than a week before they are scheduled to play the Kansas City Chiefs on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium — the Denver Broncos have fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett, according to an official statement released by new owner and CEO Greg Penner.
“On behalf of our ownership and organization, I want to thank Nathaniel Hackett for his dedication as head coach of the Denver Broncos. We sincerely appreciate Nathaniel’s efforts and wish him and his family all the best in the future.
“Following extensive conversations with George and our ownership group, we determined a new direction would ultimately be in the best interest of the Broncos. This change was made now out of respect for everyone involved and allows us to immediately begin the search for a new head coach.
“We recognize and appreciate this organization’s championship history, and we understand we have not met that standard. Our fans deserve much better, and I can’t say enough about their loyalty during such a challenging stretch for our team.
“Moving forward, we will carefully evaluate every aspect of our football operations and make whatever changes are necessary to restore this franchise’s winning tradition.
“I will lead our head coaching search with support from our ownership group and George, whom I have confidence in as our general manager. As we begin the process of selecting our next head coach, we remain focused on playing competitive football to finish the season on a positive note.”
Hackett was in his first season as the Broncos’ head coach.
At this time, it is unknown who will be serving as the interim head coach when Denver comes to Kansas City for this Sunday’s Week 17 game.