Green Bay's Mike Sherman was relieved of his head coaching duties Jan. 2, a day after the Packers finished their worst season in 15 years.
"At the end of the day I felt like we needed to go in a different direction," Packers general manager Ted Thompson said at a news conference.
The Packers closed their season with a win over Seattle Jan. 1 as Brett Favre threw his first touchdown pass in five games, but finished with a 4-12 record.
Sherman's first five years brought success but not another title in Green Bay. His record was 53-27 in the regular season, which was good enough to tie Steelers coach Bill Cowher for fifth among NFL coaches in their first 80 games. Sherman finished 57-39 in six seasons.
Things began unraveling early in 2005 with injuries to top wide receiver Javon Walker and running backs Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport as the Packers started 1-7.
Sherman, who signed a two-year contract extension in August, said throughout the year he wasn't concerned about his position and didn't feel he was coaching for his job.
But Thompson sidestepped questions about Sherman's future in recent weeks and never gave him a public vote of confidence even after the Packers ended the season with a 23-17 win against the Seahawks.
Thompson said he would start interviewing head coaching candidates this week.
Sherman was just 2-4 in the playoffs despite winning three consecutive division titles for only the fourth time in team history -- joining Vince Lombardi, who did it twice (1960-62, 1965-67) and Mike Holmgren (1995-97). The other two coaches won Super Bowl titles, but a Sherman-led team never made it to the NFC championship game.