Hornets fire coach Steve Clifford
The Charlotte Hornets have fired coach Steve Clifford, new president and GM Mitch Kupchak announced on Friday.
The Hornets were 36-46 in 2017-18 and Clifford becomes the third NBA coach to be fired since the regular season ended on Wednesday, joining the New York Knicks' Jeff Hornacek and the Orlando Magic's Frank Vogel.
"I want to thank coach Clifford for his contributions to the Hornets," Kupchak said in a statement.
"I know he has worked incredibly hard on behalf of the organisation and we wish him the best moving forward. The search for a new coach will begin immediately."
The Hornets named Clifford their coach in May 2013, and he recorded a regular-season record of 196-214 for a winning percentage of .478, qualifying for the playoffs twice during his tenure, in 2014 and 2016.
NEWS: The @hornets have relieved Head Coach Steve Clifford of his head coaching duties.— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) April 13, 2018
Kupchak and owner Michael Jordan's deep University of North Carolina roots immediately led to speculation that former Tar Heel and Raptors G League coach Jerry Stackhouse would be a leading candidate to take over in Charlotte.
Stackhouse, also mentioned in connection with the Knicks and Magic jobs, has coached the Raptors 905 to the G League Finals the past two seasons.