The Detroit Lions have fired coach Monte Clark. Owner William Clay Ford said yesterday he felt "a change is necessary in order to pursue our goal of a championship."
"It is with great regret and personal sadness that I have asked that Monte Clark be relieved of his duties as director of football operations and head coach of the Detroit Lions," Ford said in a statement.
After winning the NFC Central Division last year, the Lions tumbled to 4-11-1 this season. Ford said the team has made no decision on who will replace Clark, 43-61-1 in seven years coaching the Lions.
Clark had requested a meeting yesterday with the owner "to clarify his standing," team spokesman Brian Muir said. "Mr. Ford said his decision was to relieve him," and all his assistant coaches.
The Lions' five-person scouting group will be retained "to assure continuity in preparation for the 1985 draft," Muir said . . .
Gary Hogeboom, saying he wants the Dallas Cowboys to trade either him or their other quarterback, Danny White, if another year like this one is in store, will be talking with Coach Tom Landry about it early in the new year. Landry says he wants to discuss it with both of them before making a decision, says White appears more marketable, and, "If I thought I could get to the playoffs by trading a quarterback, I would do that" . . .
UPI has picked Rams running back Eric Dickerson as NFC player of the year and Eagles kicker Paul McFadden as NFC rookie of the year . . . The AP voted Seahawks safety Ken Easley NFL defensive player of the year and Steelers receiver-returner Louis Lipps top offensive rookie . . .
Cincinnati Bengals Coach Sam Wyche says an Orleans Parish, La., deputy sheriff was "rude and insolent" at the Superdome Dec. 9, but denies Deputy Charles Kertz's claim that Wyche slammed the dressing room door on his hand. Kertz, refused entrance by Wyche to serve a subpoena on a player before the Bengals-Saints game, eventually served the papers in a hall -- and complained to Sheriff Paul Valteau Jr. Now Valteau has written NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, saying he plans to press charges against Wyche.