Brad Childress is jobless, fired by the Minnesota Vikings less than 24 hours after a one-sided loss to division rival Green Bay.
Childress, 54, was in his fifth season at the helm as head coach after coming to Minnesota following a successful turn as Philadelphia's offensive co-ordinator. He will be replaced by defensive co-ordinator Leslie Frazier on an interim basis.
The Vikings confirmed the move in a statement, with Frazier and owner Zygi Wilf scheduled to address the media later Monday afternoon.
Minnesota went 39-35 in the regular season under Childress.
Childress and the Vikings were on the brink of a Super Bowl appearance just nine months ago, losing in overtime in the NFC title game to eventual league champions New Orleans. The coach endured criticism after the loss, with questionable clock management and play calling late in the fourth quarter.
It was a season in which veteran Brett Favre enjoyed a renaissance, while a swarming defence harassed opposing quarterbacks.
But after being coaxed back to the field for another campaign, Favre has been battered this season by injuries and mistake-prone, throwing four touchdowns and 10 interceptions in the last four games.
The 41-year-old quarterback and the coach have not been on the same page, with Childress chiding Favre publicly for not “playing within the confines of the system.”
Childress has also been criticized for the Randy Moss fiasco. He helped engineer a trade for the New England receiver wide receiver, giving up a third round pick.
Childress released Moss just a month later, reportedly to the chagrin of many players.
It will be Frazier's first head coaching turn after being a candidate for NFL jobs elsewhere. With his hiring, there are now seven African-American head coachs.
The 51-year-old earned praise for his work last season, when Jared Allen, Pat Williams and Kevin Williams (no relation) led an imposing defensive line.
But the Vikings have struggled on defence on their way to a 3-7 mark, although not to the degree of the offence.
Minnesota suffered a 31-3 pounding on their own field on Sunday.
The Packers are earning a reputation as coach killers. One day after they drubbed Dallas 45-7, the Cowboys fired Wade Phillips and replaced him on an interim basis with offensive co-ordinator Jason Garrett.
It is the only other in-season coaching change so far in 2010.