The firing comes a day after Houston fell to Jacksonville, 27-20, in front of a national TV audience.
"To have this string of losses we've sustained is just totally unacceptable," said Texans owner Bob McNair during a press conference this morning. "It's not what this organization is about. We're about winning and accountability and even though we'd normally wait until the end of the year to evaluate our coaches and our players, under our extreme circumstances, we decided it was in the best interest of the organization to go ahead and start that evaluation process now and as a result of that, we felt a change was needed in the head coach position and so Gary Kubiak is no longer the head coach."
Kubiak, a Houston native, replaced the Texans first head coach, Dom Capers, after the 2005 season. In 8 seasons since, Kubiak has a 61-64 regular season record and has led the Texans to the playoffs twice, where he's 2-2.
"What's taken place with this organization is unacceptable," general manager Rick Smith said. "We've got three weeks of an evaluation process left and we've got to right the ship."
The Texans started the season 2-0, beating both San Diego and Tennessee in come-from-behind wins. The Titans would be the last team Houston would beat this season, though, as the Texans suffered through a franchise-record 11 consecutive losses.
Quarterback Matt Schaub was injured in the fourth game of the11-game losing streak and was replaced by former UH star Case Keenum. When Schaub was healthy again, Keenum remained the starter, but Schaub did come in during the second half of the game against Oakland and then Thursday night against Jacksonville.
Asked about the quarterback situation, McNair said that Keenum will be the starter for the rest of the year.
McNair said the firing of Kubiak doesn't signal the start of a rebuilding process. With the talent on the roster, he thinks they're close to getting back to contention.
"We've got core players who are outstanding players and we still need to fill a few holes," he said. "We had some injuries that hurt us in key positions, in terms of leadership on the field. We have some things that we need to do but we've still got a good core group of players that can make for an outstanding team."
As for Phillips, he has an 82-61 regular season record as a head coach and will be the coach of record for the sixth franchise of his career next Sunday at Indianapolis.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak released the following statement late this afternoon.
- "I want to thank Bob McNair and his family for giving me my first head coaching opportunity in the National Football League. Bob has treated me with the utmost class and respect throughout my career with the Texans. I am appreciative of him for bringing me back to Houston to coach my hometown team.
I want thank the players and coaches for all the work they have put in during my years with the Texans. Though we came up short this season, the work, effort and sacrifice they gave me and this organization over the last eight seasons is not to be taken for granted. I want to wish them all the best.
I want to thank the people in the organization for their support over all the years. We could not have achieved our goals without their tireless work and commitment to our team.
Lastly, my family and I want to thank the city of Houston for their support of the football team and our family. We had a great run here and we will never forget our back-to-back AFC South Championships. Coming back home was a dream come true for all of us. This will always be our home. Thank you."