Washington Commanders make massive overhaul, fire head coach Ron Rivera and hire ex-NBA general manager

The Washington Commanders are making a massive overhaul in the team’s front office, firing head coach Ron Rivera and hiring a surprise face from basketball.

In addition to Rivera’s dismissal, Commanders owner Josh Harris has opted to hire Bob Myers – the former general manager of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors – and former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman to help in the search for a new head of football operations and head coach.

Both moves were announced by the Commanders on Monday. Myers and Spielman will be working with the team on an advisory basis and will join an advisory committee setup by Harris, which also includes Mitch Rales, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and David Blitzer.

Myers was the architect of the Warriors’ recent golden era, with Golden State winning four NBA championships (2015, 2017, 2018 and 2022) during his run with the organization. He stepped down from his role as president of basketball operations and general manager in 2023 after 11 seasons with the team.

“This is the type of opportunity that really inspires me, and I look forward to contributing to the next chapter of this storied franchise,” Myers said in a statement on Monday.

New chapter

Rivera was Washington’s head coach for four years, going 4-13 this season. This is the second time Rivera has been fired as head coach with a team under new ownership.

He previously was head coach of the Carolina Panthers from 2011 until he was let go during the 2019 season by owner David Tepper.

“I’m going to miss the players and coaches more than I can express. Your professionalism, toughness, work ethic and dedication to the game is a credit not just to this franchise or the game itself but to each of you,” Rivera said in a statement Monday.

“You all showed up, every day, wiling to play hard for the team and that commitment will serve you well as better days are ahead. You will always have a place in my heart and my door will always be open to you.”

Harris thanked Rivera in a statement Monday but said results were not good enough this season.

“Ron [Rivera] helped navigate this organization through some challenging times. He is a good man and thoughtful leader who has positively contributed to this organization and the NFL.”

Former Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera looks on during a game this year. - Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
Former Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera looks on during a game this year. - Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

He added: “As we look ahead, we recognize the results this season were not good enough and a strategic shift in leadership and approach is necessary.”

“This is a crucial offseason for the Commanders, and we continue to be motivated and inspired by the way the fans have responded since we took ownership last summer.

“Stewarding this franchise is a responsibility we don’t take lightly, and we’re eager to lay the foundation for the next chapter of Commanders football.”

Rivera joins Arthur Smith – formerly of the Atlanta Falcons – as fired head coaches on what is colloquially known as ‘Black Monday’ in the NFL, the day after the regular season ends, when personnel changes are regularly made around the league.

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