Search begins for new head coach, GM after Bears fire Matt Nagy, Ryan Pace

George McCaskey press conference revealed who will help in search
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Bears are in need of a new head coach and general manager after firing Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace Monday morning.

Bears chairman George McCaskey did not clean out the whole house, as President and CEO Ted Phillips will remain in place.

McCaskey addressed the firings at a press conference Monday afternoon. He said the search for a new general manager and head coach starts now.

SEE ALSO | Chicago Bears encouraged to prioritize diversity when hiring new head coach, general manager
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Some say with the demographics of the NFL, there should not only be more Black coaches but also more Black general managers.

McCaskey said Phillips, former Bills and Colts GM Bill Polian and others will assist in the search, but, ultimately, he will make the hiring decision. The new general manager will lead football operations and report directly to McCaskey, he said. Phillips will focus on the team's purchase of the Arlington Park land.

Indeed, there are other family-owned teams in the league who have typically delegated football decisions to experienced football people. But McCaskey clearly stated Monday that's not for him.

"Because I trust Ted implicitly, because I have great respect for his judgement, his instincts when it comes to the people that we're interviewing," McCaskey said. "We're confident that with the experience we've gained, with the makeup of our search team, we will find a general manager and head coach who will lead us to the success that all Bears fans deserve."

Nagy and Pace were fired after yet another disappointing season ended with a loss to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday. McCaskey said Nagy and Pace were notified of the decision Monday morning.

"We know how the season went this year. We know how it went toward the end of the year and of course today's game," Nagy said Sunday. "I've never been in this position, and, for me, I continue to just go about business like normal. I mean that. I have had conversations. Nothing has changed, as I told you guys a few days ago. I know this: Whatever is supposed to happen will happen."

"The McCaskey family is very proud, as it should be, and I think sometimes that pride might get in the way of their decision making," former Chicago Tribune sports columnist Fred Mitchell said.

The firing of Nagy and Pace was not unexpected, as the pair went four years without a playoff win. Despite some success in 2018, their performance in a win-now league was simply short of what is acceptable.

"They weren't good enough," ESPN Radio host and former Chicago Bear Tom Waddle said. "They didn't win enough games, and the direction of this team was not headed where we all wanted it to go. Didn't develop the quarterback, the offense was consistently a bottom-third offense."

By the time they're ready to play football again, the new regime will be well in place hoping to bring new memories for long-suffering Bears fans. At this point, judging by the initial reaction, it's going to be a tall order.

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Reaction is pouring in after the Chicago Bears fired head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace Monday.

The phone lines were hot on ESPN 1000's Kap and J Hood Show Monday morning after the news broke.

"Yeah it's the right choice," said J Hood. "I think that sometimes there's fatigue between coach and team. There's been a lot of fatigue between Nagy and the fan base."

Bears fans at the Palace Grill also digested the news.

"It's like the same game plan no matter who's the coach; no matter who is in charge they just go back to the same routine," said Bears fan Sam Roti. "They need to change their whole system."

Now the Bears will be looking for a replacement that can help quarterback Justin Fields reach his full potential, and there are some big names being tossed around.

One of the names floating out there is former Bears QB and now Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

"The next coach, I'd love to see Jim Harbaugh," Roti said. "Love to see him. He's nuts, but he reminds me of a Ditka. I think he'd be great for the team, for the young players, but they gotta let him control the team."

McCaskey said the team's senior vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, Tanesha Wade, will also be one of those involved in helping select the new GM.

"I think it's interesting that George McCaskey is on an NFL diversity committee; they're quite mindful of this situation, and will do more than token efforts," Mitchell said.

Nagy was hired by Pace in 2018 after serving as an offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Bears would finish with a 12-4 record and an appearance in the playoffs in his first season as Nagy was named the AP NFL Coach of the Year.

But over the next three seasons, the Bears would only make the playoffs once and did not have a winning record.

Pace has been the Bears' general manager for six seasons, two more than Nagy has been head coach. The Bears made the playoffs twice during his tenure.

Notable moves by Pace include moving up in the draft to select quarterback Mitch Trubisky and Justin Fields as well as trading for linebacker Khalil Mack.

Prior to joining the Bears, Pace had served as director of player personnel for the New Orleans Saints.
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