New Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie confirmed the news Tuesday at a press conference, at which he was introduced in his role.
"Early this morning, I informed coach Hue Jackson that he was relieved of his head-coaching duties," McKenzie said. "I wished him well as he moved forward into his future."
Jackson's one season with the Raiders produced an 8-8 record. The team nearly won the AFC West, needing a victory over San Diego and a loss by Denver on the final day of the season. The Broncos cooperated with a 7-3 setback to Kansas City, but the Raiders dropped a 38-26 decision at home to San Diego.
McKenzie, a former Raiders linebacker, was named GM last Friday after spending 18 years in the front office of the Green Bay Packers. He had been the club's director of football operations since 2008.
He said that he had made his decision prior to Tuesday morning, after studying Jackson. When pressed as to why he fired Jackson, McKenzie gave several reasons. He said he wanted "my guy" and followed that up by saying "everything was based on performance."
McKenzie did not get into the specifics of Jackson's performance, and even made the strange proclamation that, "I go with my gut a lot, but when it's time to make the final call, my gut's going to tell me one thing."
While the team's 1-4 finish may have played a factor in the decision, it appears that the primary reason for the coaching change is because McKenzie wanted to select his own head coach. At various points during the press conference, he said:
- "We're moving into a new era. No disrespect to coach Jackson, but this is something I want to do, start anew."
- "This decision centered around my wanting to bring my own guy in. That's the main point."
Various reports have indicated that McKenzie may already have a new head coach in waiting, as speculation has swirled that Packers assistant Winston Moss could be in line to take the job.
However, McKenzie did not mention any specific names during Tuesday's press conference, saying only that he has a short list of candidates.
"We just want a winner, a guy we feel can lead this team and move it forward as we embark on a new era," McKenzie said.
Jackson was named head coach last January after Tom Cable was fired in the wake of an 8-8 season. It was Oakland's first non-losing season since 2002.
The Raiders were 7-4 this year and in prime position for a playoff berth after a 25-20 win over Chicago on November 27, but lost three straight games before saving their season with a 16-13 overtime win against Kansas City to set up the final Sunday scenario.
Jackson had also taken over some of the personnel decisions this season after the death of Al Davis in October. He helped engineer the trade for quarterback Carson Palmer, sending the Bengals a pair of high draft picks in return.
Prior to being named head coach, Jackson was the Raiders' offensive coordinator in 2010. He joined the club after two years as quarterbacks coach for Baltimore and numerous other stops as an assistant.