Mike Singletary has been appointed head coach of the San Francisco 49ers for the rest of the season in place of the sacked Mike Nolan.
| Mike Singletary takes the top job in San Franciso [GALLO/GETTY]
Singletary was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator under Nolan, whose firing came just two days after a 29-17 loss to Super Bowl champions New York Giants - a fourth consecutive defeat that dropped the 49ers' record to 2-5.
"This decision was difficult because Mike has been both a friend and valued coach of our team," the team's general manager Scot McCloughan said.
"But my first obligation is always to do what is in the best interest of our fans and the entire 49ers organisation," he said on the team's website.
"It is for this reason that we've made the decision to give the head coaching role to Mike Singletary.
"I am confident that Mike Singletary's leadership ability along with his experience as both a Hall of Fame player and coach gives him the ability to turn our season around."
San Franciso via Baltimore and Chicago
Singletary joined the 49ers in 2005 after two seasons as linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998 following an 11-year career with the Chicago Bears.
Nolan, hired in January of 2005 on a five-year contract reported to be worth $8 million, posted a record of 18-37 and never appeared in the post-season.
The once-powerful 49ers, winners of five Super Bowl titles, have not recorded a winning season in the last five years.
Nolan becomes the third NFL head coach to be sacked this season after Oakland Raiders' Lane Kiffin and St. Louis Rams' Scott Linehan.