Lions Reportedly Hire Mornhinweg

Marty Mornhinweg, offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, was hired today to replace Gary Moeller as coach of the Detroit Lions, The Associated Press has learned.

The team also fired Moeller today, said a source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Lions President Matt Millen had planned to interview Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis next week after the Super Bowl. He already had interviewed Moeller.

Mornhinweg interviewed with the Lions throughout the day Tuesday and had been expected to interview with the Cleveland Browns today.

ESPN.com reported that Mornhinweg agreed in principle to a five-year deal worth about $5 million and the Lions are expected to introduce him Thursday. (ESPN.com, like ABCNEWS.com, is owned by Disney.)

No Head Coaching Experience

The 38-year-old has spent the last four seasons as the 49ers' offensive coordinator after two years as an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers.

Mornhinweg was Brett Favre's position coach during Green Bay's 1996 Super Bowl season.

Mornhinweg has never been a head coach at any level, nor does he have any coaching experience on defense.

This season, despite the retirement of Steve Young, Mornhinweg's offensive scheme helped the 49ers set several team passing records and send quarterback Jeff Garcia, receiver Terrell Owens and running back Charlie Garner to their first Pro Bowls.

The former quarterback had a record-setting career at the University of Montana. He played briefly in the Arena Football League before suffering a career-ending knee injury.

He then spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach in the college ranks before joining Green Bay.

"He has tremendous pedigree offensively going all the way back to his high school days when his coach was Mike Holmgren," Lions Vice President Bill Keenist has said. "He's been around successful offensive philosophies throughout his career."

Millen at the Controls

Earlier this month, Millen, a former NFL standout and broadcast analyst was given a five-year, $15 million contract to be the president and CEO, which gives him complete control over all football operations.

The Lions fired their offensive and defensive coordinators along with their receivers coach after being eliminated from the playoffs with a loss to Chicago at home in the regular-season finale.

Moeller took over in midseason for Bobby Ross, who resigned as Detroit's coach in the middle of last season. Moeller was given a three-year contract at that time.

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