Jay Gruden was fired at 5 a.m. That’s harsh but definitely not the most brutal firing ever

Jay Gruden during the fourth quarter of the Washington Redskins' 24-3 loss to the New York Giants on Sep. 29. Gruden was fired Monday by the Redskins after an 0-5 start to the season.
(Elsa / Getty Images)

Jay Gruden was summoned to the Washington Redskins team facility at 5 a.m. Monday to be informed by owner Daniel Snyder and President Bruce Allen that he was no longer the team’s coach, according to the Washington Post.

The Post reports that Snyder and Allen left FedEx Field “almost immediately after” the Redskins’ 33-7 loss Sunday to the New England Patriots, which dropped the team to 0-5 this season and Gruden to 35-49-1 as coach.

The firing surprised absolutely no one, which makes the nature in which it was delivered seem unnecessarily brutal. 5 a.m.? Really?


Still, several other coaches have been dumped by their teams in even more unceremonious fashion. Here’s some:

Veteran Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has been in this boat before, another slow start at 2-3, and knows playoff chances hinge on a fast recovery.

Oct. 6, 2019

— Mike Sherman learned he had been fired as Texas A&M’s head coach just as he was pulling into a recruit’s driveway in 2003.

— Bob Sutton is said to have been fired as Army’s head coach on a Philadelphia street corner the day after a loss to Navy in 1999.

— Ralph Krueger has stated he was fired as the Edmonton Oilers’ head coach in 2013 via Skype, just after accepting a friend request for the video-phone service from the team’s general manager.

— Fredi Gonzalez reportedly learned he was out of a job as the Atlanta Braves’ manager in 2016 when he received an email from a commercial airline confirming his flight home from Pittsburgh for the next day ... even though the team’s series against the Pirates didn’t end until three days later.

USC fired coach Lane Kiffin early on the morning of Sept. 29, 2013, following a 62-41 loss to Arizona State.
(Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

— And, of course, no list like this would be complete without the account of Lane Kiffin getting canned as USC’s head coach in the middle of the night (3:14 a.m., he has said) at LAX, just after getting off the team’s flight from Tempe, where the Trojans had lost to Arizona State 62-41 hours earlier.

Kiffin has said he had just put his briefcase on the team bus when he was called into a private meeting with USC athletic director Pat Haden. After Kiffin learned his fate, he was driven home by security and his briefcase was later delivered to him by a staff member.

Not that any of this is any consolation to Gruden, but it seems there really is no good way to fire a coach. There are definitely some that are worse than others, though.