John Fox out as Denver Broncos head coach

Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos coach John Fox watches a replay during his team’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. (Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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DENVER — The Denver Broncos and head coach John Fox agreed to part ways Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after Denver was bounced out of the playoffs.

The Indianapolis Colts beat the Broncos 24-13 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Sunday.

Statement from John Elway:

“John Fox and I met for more than an hour on Monday afternoon to discuss the 2014 season and our goals for the future. During our open and candid conversation, it became clear that it was best for both the Denver Broncos and Coach Fox to move on and make this change.

“On behalf of the Broncos, I sincerely thank John for his many contributions during his four seasons as head coach. He helped establish a positive, winning culture for this team and deserves a lot of credit for the Broncos’ turnaround.

“While we have made significant progress under Coach Fox, there is still work to be done. I believe this change at the head coaching position will be in the best interest of our long-term goal, which from day one has been to win World Championships.

“Our organization is fully dedicated to reaching Pat Bowlen’s high standards for his team as we begin the process of finding the next head coach to lead the Denver Broncos.”

Statement from John Fox:

“I had a productive visit with John Elway this afternoon in which we were both very honest about our time together and how to best move forward. After this discussion, John and I mutually agreed that the timing was right for this decision.

“Although we came up short of our ultimate goal, I am proud of our team’s many accomplishments during these last four years. I truly appreciate all of the hard work put in by every player, coach and staff member within this organization.

“It was an honor to coach the Denver Broncos, a first-class franchise with great fans and a winning tradition. I am thankful to John, Mr. Bowlen and Joe Ellis for allowing me and my family to be part of this team and community.

“I am eager to continue my coaching career and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Fox becomes the 9th head coach not to return to his team following a 12-win season. He is now the 6th head coach to be looking for a new job in the NFL.

Fox, 59, has coached the Broncos for the past four seasons. His record was 49-22 overall with four consecutive AFC Western Division titles. Fox failed to lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl victory, which has been the team’s expectation since Peyton Manning became quarterback three seasons ago.

Omar Bolden summed up players’ immediate reaction Monday afternoon:

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