Following a season of on-field failures and off-field tragedy, the Kansas City Chiefs have parted ways with head coach Romeo Crennel.
The team announced that Crennel was fired Monday after a 2-14 season that will have the Chiefs picking first in April’s NFL draft.
In a team-released statement, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said “no final determination” has been made on the status of general manager Scott Pioli. Pioli has come under heavy criticism for Kansas City failing to reach the playoffs for the past two seasons.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Romeo both personally and professionally,” Hunt said. “He is an accomplished coach, a man of great character, and he helped guide our football team through some extremely challenging circumstances this season.
“However, I am embarrassed by the poor product we gave our fans this season. I believe we have no choice but to move the franchise in a different direction.”
Crennel had only one full year on the job. He was named to the position last January after leading Kansas City to a 2-1 record as interim head coach at the end of the 2011 campaign. Crennel replaced Todd Haley, who was fired by Pioli after two-plus seasons with the franchise.
Despite landing five players on the Pro Bowl squad, the Chiefs didn’t even lead in regulation until their ninth game. Kansas City was especially poor on offense, ranking among the league leaders in turnovers as two quarterbacks (Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn) failed to spark the passing game.
Crennel also was overmatched trying to handle the defensive coordinator role as well as head-coaching responsibilities. He ceded the coordinator duties to Gary Gibbs at midseason.
The Chiefs were then impacted by the death of middle linebacker Jovan Belcher, who committed suicide earlier this month after murdering the mother of their infant daughter. Crennel had tried to talk Belcher out of shooting himself in the parking lot of team headquarters.
Crennel, 65, joined the Chiefs as defensive coordinator in 2010. He was 24-40 in four seasons as Cleveland’s head coach (2005 to 2008).
The Chiefs finished with four or fewer wins for the fourth time in six seasons.