After 5 seasons as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, the organization has fired coach Monty Williams just weeks after he led the Pelicans to the playoffs.

Williams was given the head job of the Pelicans, then called the New Orleans Hornets on June 7th, 2010 and in five seasons, led the team to an overall record of 173-221.

Williams was informed of the decision earlier Tuesday morning. Team owner Tom Benson had this to say following the announcement:

I have the utmost respect for Monty Williams, not only as a coach but as a person. He represented our team, our organization and our city with tremendous class and dignity. Gayle and I grew very fond of Monty and his wife Ingrid and of course their five beautiful children. We wish him nothing but the best moving forward.

Pelicans Executive Vice President Mickey Loomis had this to say about the situation:

Making a decision like this is never easy and is never done hastily, especially when you are dealing with a person of Monty Williams’ character. We thanked Monty for the tremendous work and commitment he made to our organization and the development of our young players, specifically Anthony Davis. While we continue to work towards improving our roster, we decided that now was the time to make this decision. We wish nothing but the best for Monty in the future.

Finally, Senior Vice President of Basketball Operation/ General Manager Dell Demps added:

We thank Monty for his dedication and leadership to our team both on and off the court. He served as a great role model for our young team and worked tirelessly towards the development of all of our players. We endured a lot of change during the past season and Monty was a steady influence in our locker room. We wish him and his family nothing but the best.

This past season, Williams led the Pelicans to a regular season record of 45-37 and the eighth position in the Western Conference, earning New Orleans its first postseason berth in four seasons.

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