Shanahan, Martz latest NFL firings

The Denver Broncos fired head coach Mike Shanahan while the San Francisco 49ers dismissed offensive co-ordinator Mike Martz on Tuesday.

Another two bite the dust.

After three NFL coaches were fired on Monday, Tuesday brought more high-profile dismissals.

The Denver Broncos fired head coach Mike Shanahan while the San Francisco 49ers dismissed offensive co-ordinator Mike Martz.

The Broncos collapsed at the end of this season, losing a three-game lead with three games to go in the AFC West.

"After giving this careful consideration, I have concluded that a change in our football operations is in the best interests of the Denver Broncos," owner Pat Bowlen said in a statement.

"This is certainly a difficult decision, but one that I feel must be made and which will ultimately be in the best interests of all concerned.

"I appreciate the 21 years that Mike Shanahan has given to the organization as an assistant and head coach, and the two Super Bowl wins in that time. His contributions hold a special place in Broncos history."

Shanahan began coaching the Broncos in 1995, giving him the second-longest tenure for an NFL coach, behind Tennessee's Jeff Fisher.

Under Shanahan, the Broncos won two consecutive Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999. He leaves the team with a 146-89 record.

The Broncos had an 8-5 record before dropping the final three games of the season.

Among the losses was a 52-21 defeat to San Diego on Sunday that handed the Chargers the division title.

Martz dismissed

Martz joined the 49ers at the beginning of the season, but often clashed with interim head coach Mike Singletary.

"After an evaluation period I felt it was best to go in a different direction," Singletary, a Hall of Fame linebacker as a player, said in a statement issued by the team.

"This was not an easy decision because I appreciate Mike Martz, and I enjoyed working with him.

"He is a true professional, and I wish him the best in the future. I do recognize the need for a long-term solution on the offensive side of the ball."

Martz took the St. Louis Rams to the 2002 Super Bowl as head coach.

With files from the Associated Press