Broncos fire McDaniels

Josh McDaniels has been relieved of his duties as head coach of Broncos after leading the team to a...

Josh McDaniels has been relieved of his duties as head coach of Broncos after leading the team to a 3-9 record this season. (JUSTIN EDMONDS/Getty Images)

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 11:20 PM ET

ENGLEWOOD, CO - Josh McDaniels is out as Denver Broncos head coach, and has been replaced on an interim basis by running backs coach Eric Studesville for the remainder of the season.

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen relieved McDaniels of his duties one day after a 10-6 loss at Kansas City that dropped the Broncos to 3-9.

"My decision to relieve Josh McDaniels as head coach was not taken lightly," Bowlen said. "I will always be appreciative of his passion, enthusiasm and hard work, and I thank him for his efforts. In the end, I was not satisfied with the results and the direction this team was headed. The decision to make a change was extremely difficult but one that needed to be made for this organization and our fans."

Hired prior to the 2009 season to replace long-time head coach Mike Shanahan after a successful stint as an assistant coach with the New England Patriots, the 34-year-old McDaniels began his Broncos tenure by going 6-0 -- including an overtime win over his former club in Week 5.

However, the club stumbled to an 8-8 finish and was left out of the postseason picture and began this season 2-2 before dropping seven of its last nine games and finds itself occupying the basement of the AFC West.

Only Buffalo and Cincinnati, both at 2-10, sport worse records in the conference.

Denver plays at Arizona and Oakland the next two weeks before closing out the year by hosting Houston and San Diego.

"I am very appreciative of the trust that Mr. Bowlen and the entire Denver Broncos organization have shown in me," Studesville said. "Although the circumstances that this opportunity resulted from are unfortunate, I am excited to lead this football team. We have a great group of players and coaches who are committed to finishing the season on a promising note and making our fans proud of this team."

The firing comes weeks after team video coordinator Steve Scarnecchia was caught videotaping a San Francisco 49ers practice in London. Reports later revealed that McDaniels knew of the misconduct but failed to report it, drawing a $50,000 fine for himself as well as a $50,000 penalty for the team on November 27. Scarnecchia was also dismissed due to his actions.

McDaniels' tenure ends with a 11-17 overall record, which is the worst for any Broncos coach who lasted at least one season since Lou Saban finished 20-42-3 from 1967-71.

He is the first Broncos head coach to be removed during the course of a season since Saban was sacked after going 2-6-1 to start off the 1971 campaign.


Videos

Photos