Charlotte Hornets Fire Steve Clifford

The Hornets parted ways with head coach Steve Clifford, it was announced Friday.

Clifford, 56, went 196-214 during a five-year run in Charlotte.

This is new Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak‘s first move, who says the search for a new coach will begin immediately.

Per the Charlotte Observer:

Clifford said in a season wrap-up news conference Wednesday that he understood the team’s disappointing season put his job in jeopardy, with one season left on his contract.

“I don’t have my head in the sand (as far as) what this head coaching is all about,” Clifford said of expectations to win. “I don’t care how many years you have left on your contract. You can get fired in one week in this league.”

Clifford’s job performance was complicated this season by a health crisis: He missed 5 ½ weeks of the season treating severe headaches related to sleep deprivation. Working with a neurologist, Clifford has retrained himself to sleep at least 6 ½ hours a night; previously he wasn’t getting more than five hours of sleep.