Bill Belichick's coaching tree has taken another hit. Eric Mangini, the one time New England Patriots defensive coordinator, has been fired as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
The team made the announcement Monday morning, with the official word being that team president Mike Holmgren "relieved Mangini of his head coaching duties."
"This decision was not easy for me, and it was one into which I put a great deal of thought," said Browns President Mike Holmgren. "Although we have made improvements this season, my responsibility is to ensure that we establish a program that will allow this team to compete at a championship level. That will continue to be our goal in everything we do. I want to thank Eric for all of his contributions to the Cleveland Browns, and wish him and his family the best of luck in the future."
Mangini was just 10-22 in two seasons with the Browns -- he took over for Romeo Crennel after the 2008 season, another Belichick disciple, oddly enough. Before Cleveland, Mangini was the head coach of the Jets for three years (2006-08), during which New York went just 23-25, with one playoff appearance -- a loss to the Patriots in the Wild Card round. In five seasons as an NFL head coach, Mangini was 33-47.
Mangini won three Super Bowls with the Patriots. But New England fans will likely only remember him for one thing: complaining to the NFL that Belichick's Patriots illegally filmed the Jets' defensive signals, exposing the "Spygate" scandal. Since then, Mangini 23-40 and has now been fired twice.