SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -The San Francisco 49ers fired coach Mike Nolan on Monday, seven games into his fourth consecutive dismal season with the club, according to
Assistant head coach Mike Singletary is expected to take over the 49ers (2-5), who got off to a 2-1 start this season before four consecutive losses culminating in Sunday's 29-17 loss to the New York Giants.
Instead of waiting until after Sunday's home game against Seattle and the ensuing bye week, owner John York apparently didn't wait to get rid of his choice to revive the five-time Super Bowl champions, who have endured five consecutive losing seasons and haven't made the playoffs since 2002.
Nolan hadn't been fired when he conducted his usual Monday news conference. He didn't immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press, and several team executives and coaches didn't return phone messages and e-mails on Monday night.
the 49ers, who hired the veteran defensive coordinator to run every aspect of the club in January 2005. Though Nolan brought back a measure of respectability to the franchise, which had the NFL's worst record in 2004 before his arrival, the 49ers haven't managed a winning season or made a significant impact on the league in his tenure.
Nolan was the third NFL coach to be dismissed during the season, joining Oakland's Lane Kiffin and St. Louis' Scott Linehan. The Rams have won two straight games under interim coach Jim Haslett, while the Raiders are 1-1 under Tom Cable.
The 49ers' fortunes have declined considerably under York, who inexplicably gave power over every aspect of his football operations to a career assistant who had never been a personnel executive. The unorthodox arrangement hasn't thrived on the field or the front office, and Nolan ceded some power to general manager Scot McCloughan last January after the 49ers finished 5-11.
Earlier Monday, Nolan deflected questions about his job security.
``It's talked about,'' Nolan said. ``It's a reality, just on the outside. I can't let it affect what my job is. It's just speculation until something is acted upon. ... You always want to have support, but I know what my job is, by having a job. My job is to work with our players and coaches and try to put together the best game plan to win games.''
$8 million contract.
The 49ers fielded the NFL's worst offense during two of Nolan's first three seasons, including last year. Nolan's first two offensive coordinators - Mike McCarthy and Norv Turner - both left the club after one season for head coaching jobs, and Mike Martz became his fourth offensive coordinator last winter.
Nolan's future also was heavily tied to quarterback Alex Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in 2005. Smith never became a consistent starter, and he had an embarrassing public spat with Nolan last year over the severity of the quarterback's shoulder injuries, which forced him onto injured reserve last year.
Smith's shoulder gave him more problems this year, and the quarterback went on injured reserve before the season began.

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