SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – The Denver Broncos have fired Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett, as announced on Monday, Dec. 26. The announcement comes after a brutal Christmas Day game that saw the Broncos lose 51-14 to the Los Angeles Rams.

In a statement, CEO and Owner of the Broncos Greg Penner said, “On behalf of our ownership and organization, I want to thank Nathaniel Hackett for his dedication as head coach of the Denver Broncos. We sincerely appreciate Nathaniel’s efforts and wish him and his family all the best in the future.”

The decision reportedly comes after “extensive conversations” with the ownership group and Broncos General Manager George Paton. The group reportedly determined that “a new direction would ultimately be in the best interest of the Broncos.”

Penner said the move allows the team to immediately begin the search for a new head coach. The search will reportedly be spearheaded by Penner, with support from Paton and the ownership group.

Hackett, 43, was in his rookie year as head coach in the NFL, having previously worked as an offensive coordinator and quarterback coach with the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Signed by the Broncos in January 2022, Hackett was described by Paton as a “dynamic leader and coach,” who aimed to bring a winning and competitive environment for the players, coaches, and staff.

Hackett’s first year as a head coach ended abruptly, with an unimpressive record of four wins and 11 losses.

The Denver Broncos have two games remaining in the 2021-22 season, playing away against the Kansas City Chiefs on New Year’s Day before ending the season at Empower Field against the Los Angeles Chargers.