The Bobcats finished the 2007-08 season with a lackluster 32-50 record, good for fourth place in the Southeast Division, just ahead of last-place Miami.
"The decision to remove Sam as head coach after just one season was difficult," Michael Jordan, the Bobcats' head of basketball operations, said in a statement on the team's Web site. "But it was a decision that had to be made because my first obligation is to do what is in the best interest of our team. The fans and the city of Charlotte deserve our best effort at building the Charlotte Bobcats into a winning franchise."
The 44-year old Vincent, who was an assistant with the Dallas Mavericks, succeeded Bernie Bickerstaff in 2007 but had never been a head coach.
He played seven NBA seasons after being selected by Boston in the first round (20th overall) in the 1985 NBA draft.