Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Moeller Era Ends Quickly Dismissal Means Jaguars without Both Coordinators

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Moeller Era Ends Quickly Dismissal Means Jaguars without Both Coordinators

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino, Times-Union sports writer

Gary Moeller's controversial tenure as the Jaguars' defensive coordinator ended after one season yesterday.

Moeller was dismissed by coach Tom Coughlin after the team blew six leads in the final 5 minutes, though the defense allowed the fourth-fewest points in the league.

"I have great respect for coach Gary Moeller," Coughlin said in a statement released by the club. "However, after evaluating the past season, we disagree on where we are. With an eye on the team's future, the best solution is to make a change now."

Coughlin and Moeller were not available for further comment. Moeller's wife, Ann, told a Times-Union reporter last night that he wasn't home. Calls to his office were not answered.

Coughlin now has three openings on his staff. Offensive coordinator Bob Petrino resigned after the season to take the coordinator's job at Auburn despite taking a paycut, and tight ends coach Fred Hoaglin retired.

Coughlin vigorously pursued Moeller last year to replace to replace Dom Capers -- who left to become the head coach of the new Houston expansion team -- after Moeller was fired by Detroit when the Lions missed the playoffs.

But Moeller's conservative style of play was not popular with the players right from the start. The public discontent started when defensive lineman Tony Brackens paused when he was asked what he thought of Moeller's schemes in training camp.

The criticism continued during the season when the Jaguars started blowing fourth-quarter leads, notably when they went to a three-man rush against Baltimore's Elvis Grbac. Grbac then drove the Ravens for the winning touchdown.

Moeller was never able to explain his schemes because Coughlin does not allow his assistant coaches to speak to the media.

Moeller, who turns 61 on Jan. 26, began his coaching career in 1964 on the high school level. He coached on the college level from 1967-1994, culminating in his promotion to succeed the legendary Bo Schembechler as the University of Michigan coach. He posted a 44-13-3 record in five years at Michigan and won four of five bowl appearances, including the Rose Bowl. …

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