The Chicago Bulls have fired head coach Fred Hoiberg, the team announced Monday.
"Chicago Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson announced today that Fred Hoiberg has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the team," the team tweeted at 9 a.m.
"Decisions like this one are never easy to make, however I felt this was the right choice for our organization at this time," Paxson said in a statement.
"After a thorough evaluation, I elected to make this move with the overall development of our team in mind. As a team, I believe it is imperative that we make unfaltering strides in the right direction and build the right habits to help put our players in the best position to evolve not only now, but into the future. I want to thank Fred for his dedication and efforts, as well as for his enduring commitment to our team," he continued.
Hoiberg was let go amid his fourth season as the Bulls' head coach, with an overall record of 115-155. The Bulls missed the playoffs in his first and third seasons, and lost to the Boston Celtics in the first round of his second in 2017.
The Bulls currently have the second-worst record in the NBA's Eastern Conference, and third-worst in the entire league, with five wins and 19 losses.
"This was not based on how many games we were winning and it wouldn’t have been based on if we got guys back and went on a winning streak," Paxson said during a press conference Monday afternoon, noting instead that the team's "spirit and energy hasn't been there."
Associate head coach Jim Boylen was promoted to head coach, effective immediately, the Bulls' statement said. Boylen has 20 years of coaching experience in the NBA and has been with the team since 2015, according to the Bulls.
"We believe Jim will be able to effect change, hopefully quickly, but this is not a... we’re not putting a Band-Aid on anything. Jim is our head coach," Paxson said.
Boylen said fans might see some subtle differences in his coaching style. For example, he said, he's "a little more passionate in-game coach."
"You have to put your handprint on it and make it yours," he said.
Team officials noted that changing the coaching staff during the season can be challenging for both the coach and players, but they hope Boylen will be their coach next season and beyond.
"I think it sends a message to the team that they have faith and me and we’re going to try to build this thing from where Fred had it and continue even more," Boylen said.