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Flip Saunders fired as Washington Wizards head coach

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The Washington Wizards have fired head coach Flip Saunders after the team started the 2011-12 season with a 2-15 record.

Saunders only spent a little more than two seasons at the helm of the Wizards. (Photo: Associated Press)

Saunders joined the Wizards organization as head coach in 2009. He has posted a 51-130 record as the team's head coach. Assistant Coach Randy Wittman will take over on an interim basis.

"We felt the team had become unresponsive and we will look to Randy to provide a different voice and a change in philosophy moving forward," Wizards General Manager Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement.

The Wizards came out of this summer's NBA lockout by losing the first eight games of the regular season. After Monday night's loss in Philadelphia, the Wizards are a league-worst 2-15.

Saunders was also fired from his last two NBA head coaching jobs - he was let go by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2005 and again by the Detroit Pistons in 2008 after three consecutive losses in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The firing was first reported by Yahoo! Sports' NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wittman is beginning his third stint as an NBA head coach after relatively unsuccessful stints as the coach of the Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers. He has a career head coaching record of 100-207 in parts of five seasons. He was originally drafted by the Washington Bullets in 1983 but never played a game for the franchise.

"We have struggled as a team at times this season, but we have also seen a great deal of potential from our young players and glimpses of what we can accomplish together as a team," Wittman said.

Wittman is the 23rd head coach in Bullets/Wizards history.

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