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Chiefs fire head coach Romeo Crennel; GM Scott Pioli is safe (for now)

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Romeo Crennel (Getty Images)

The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Monday that Romeo Crennel has been fired after just one season as the team's full-time head coach.

Crennel was the Chiefs' defensive coordinator when he was tabbed to replace Todd Haley as the interim head coach last December. The Chiefs finished the 2011 regular season with a 2-1 record and Crennel was hired on a full-time basis on Jan. 9, 2012.

After opening the 2012 regular season with back-to-back losses by a combined score of 75-41, the Chiefs went on the road and upset the New Orleans Saints, 27-24 in overtime. Kansas City would go on to lose their next eight games and tragedy would strike the organization on Dec. 1 when linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his 22-year-old girlfriend and mother of his three-month old daughter Kasandra Perkins before taking his own life in front of Crennel, general manager Scott Pioli and linebackers coach Gary Gibbs outside of the team's headquarters near Arrowhead Stadium. Somehow, the Chiefs would defeat the Carolina Panthers the following day. The Chiefs finished the 2012 season with four straight losses by a combined score of 103-23 to finish with a 2-14 record.

The Chiefs will have the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, but who makes that pick has yet to be determined as the team has not made a final determination on whether or not to retain general manager Scott Pioli. In four seasons as GM, the Chiefs are 23-41 and made just one appearance (2010) in the playoffs.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Romeo, both personally and professionally,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement released by the club. “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, and I believe we have no choice but to move the franchise in a different direction. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Chiefs. The entire football operation will remain under review, and there may be additional changes to come. No final determination has been made at this point on the future of General Manager Scott Pioli.

“Finally, I want to personally apologize to our fans for our performance this season. We are blessed to play for some of the best and most passionate fans in the National Football League and they deserve better than what we gave them this season. I want our fans to know that I will do everything I can to provide them with a dramatically better team – both next season and in the seasons to come – and our entire organization appreciates their support.”

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