The Chicago Bulls have fired Tom Thibodeau as head coach.
Thibodeau was hired as head coach in 2010.
Thibodeau and the Bulls' front office have had a deteriorating relationship for several seasons. The Bulls' front office entered the offseason hoping to be able to receive compensation from a rival team interested in hiring Thibodeau, but no such market emerged when it was clear the franchise would eventually fire him.
Thibodeau's contract has offset language that will allow the Bulls to recoup some of his salary.
Fred Hoiberg is widely considered the frontrunner to become the next head coach of the Bulls.
Jerry Reinsdorf said, “The Chicago Bulls have a history of achieving great success on and off the court. These accomplishments have been possible because of an organizational culture where input from all parts of the organization has been welcomed and valued, there has been a willingness to participate in a free flow of information, and there have been clear and consistent goals. While the head of each department of the organization must be free to make final decisions regarding his department, there must be free and open interdepartmental discussion and consideration of everyone's ideas and opinions. These internal discussions must not be considered an invasion of turf, and must remain private. Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization-staff, players, coaches, management and ownership. When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture. To ensure that the Chicago Bulls can continue to grow and succeed, we have decided that a change in the head coaching position is required. Days like today are difficult, but necessary for us to achieve our goals and fulfill our commitments to our fans. I appreciate the contributions that Tom Thibodeau made to the Bulls organization. I have always respected his love of the game and wish him well in the future.”
"When Tom was hired in 2010, he was right for our team and system at that time, and over the last five years we have had some success with Tom as our head coach,” said Gar Forman. “But as we looked ahead and evaluated how we as a team and an organization could continue to grow and improve, we believed a change in approach was needed."