Chicago Bears Fire General Manager Jerry Angelo

January 4, 2012

The Chicago Bears have fired general manager Jerry Angelo after the team missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.

Head Coach Lovie Smith spoke Tuesday of his relationship with Angelo.

“I have tremendous respect for him and am sorry to see him go,” Smith said in a statement. “But I also will embrace the opportunity that comes with change. As I said yesterday, we have an excellent core in place. I look forward to working with a new general manager to bring a championship to Chicago.”

Hired in 2001 after a 5-11 finish for Chicago, Angelo’s teams won four division titles and made the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance since 1985 in 2006. His contract was set to expire in 2014.

“I think Jerry achieved a lot as general manager,” Phillips said. “He’s a wonderful man, high character. I’ve enjoyed every day working with him. He’s put his life’s blood into the Bears.”

Angelo saw the Bears lose five out of the last six during the 2011 season after an injury to franchise QB Jay Cutler forced Caleb Hanie into action. The season saw premier RB Matt Forte suffer a season-ending knee injury and WR Sam Hurd arrested on drug charges.

In an 8-8 campaign, Chicago’s historically stout defense allowed the fifth-most passing yards in the NFL.