(Reuters) - The struggling Los Angeles Rams have fired head coach Jeff Fisher after losing eight of their last nine games in what has become a disappointing homecoming season, the National Football League team said on Monday.
Fisher was under contract through 2018 after signing an extension prior to the current season but with the franchise headed to a fifth straight losing season under his leadership the team decided a change was needed.
"Making a decision such as this - especially during the season - is one of the most difficult in sports," Rams owner Stan Kroenke said in a statement. "However, this is the right time to make a change as our performance has not lived up to my or our fans' expectations."
The Rams did not name a replacement but will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. PST (2300 GMT)
The spiraling Rams, who returned to Los Angeles this year after spending the previous 21 campaigns in St. Louis, are coming off Sunday's 41-14 home loss to an Atlanta Falcons team that were missing their top two receivers.
The loss was the fourth consecutive defeat for a Rams team that dropped to 4-9 on the season with three games remaining.
Fisher was hired as head coach of the Rams in 2012 and has amassed a record of 31-45-1 in nearly five seasons and has guaranteed the franchise their 10th consecutive losing season.
"We all are focused on improving as an organization and building a team that makes Los Angeles proud," said Kroenke.
"Our mission is to celebrate a Super Bowl title with our fans in Los Angeles. Today is the first step to bringing us closer to that goal."
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Steve Keating)