Jim Caldwell Fired: Colts Dimiss Coach After Worst Season in 20 Years

After finishing the 2011 season with an abysmal 2-14 record, the Indianapolis Colts announced via their team website on Tuesday that they have fired head coach Jim Caldwell.

“This was a difficult decision,” owner Jim Irsay said of the organization’s move to axe Caldwell. “I wanted to make sure we took all the time we needed to make sure it was the right decision…. And just like 14 years, ago, it’s a big change for the franchise and at the same time, there’s players, coaches, many people on the staff that will go into the new day and get on with the work of 2012.”

Caldwell’s dismissal is the latest turn in a tumultuous month that began with the firing of longtime vice chairman Bill Polian and his son, GM Chris Polian.

After overhauling the front office, Irsay hired 39-year-old Ryan Grigson as his new general manager, then wanted to wait until Grigson had time to evaluate Caldwell’s performance.

Caldwell joined the Colts’ organization in 2002 as the quarterbacks coach before succeeding Tony Dungy as head coach in 2009. Over the course of his three years as chief, Caldwell accumulated a 28-24 record, which included a 14-2 season and trip to Super Bowl XLIV in his first year, although the New Orleans Saints prevailed in that finale.

With Jim Caldwell‘s firing, the Colts now enter a group of teams looking for a new head coach, joining the Buccaneers, Dolphins and Raiders. One has to wonder if this also means that Peyton Manning will be next to go, with staples like the Polians already gone and Andrew Luck all-but-confirmed as the next quarterback of the organization.

via USA Today