KIRKLAND, Wash., Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Seattle Seahawks president Bob Whitsitt announced Tuesday that Coach Mike Holmgren will relinquish his role as general manager and continue as coach.
"We wanted to free up Mike to do more coaching," Whitsitt said. "I just think there's so much to do. There's only so many hours in a day."
Holmgren apparently did not fight to keep his GM job -- a position he insisted on having when he left the Green Bay Packers to join the Seahawks in 1999.
"I think the biggest title you can have is Super Bowl champion," said Holmgren, who coached Green Bay to a Super Bowl title in 1996. "It wasn't a particularly difficult thing for me. My No. 1 goal is winning. I don't have any problems with this at all."
Holmgren had a winning team with the Packers as well as Brett Favre as his quarterback, but left because Ron Wolf had no intention of stepping down as the team's general manager.
However, Holmgren finally may have realized how difficult it is to build a team and coach it. He has had particular problems assembling a defense and owns a disappointing 31-33 record with one playoff appearance in four years with Seattle.
After allowing 369 points this season, Holmgren fired defensive coordinator Steve Sidwell, line coach Larry Brooks, linebackers coach Johnny Holland, secondary coach Ken Flajole and offensive assistant Jerry Colquitt on Tuesday.
"They were my friends. It was not a fun thing to do," Holmgren said.
Randy Mueller, who was fired as general manager of the New Orleans Saints last May, is believed to be a candidate for the Seahawks' job. He worked in the front office when Dennis Erickson coached Seattle in 1998.
The Seahawks won their last three games this season to finish 7-9 and most of the players supported Holmgren. As GM, he acquired quarterback Matt Hasselbeck from Green Bay to run the offense and drafted talented skill position players such as Shaun Alexander, Koren Robinson and Darrell Jackson.
However, Holmgren has been criticized for failing to help the defense. His first pick as general manager was end Lamar King, a first-rounder in 1999 who has been a major disappointment. Holmgren spent a second-round pick on Ike Charlton in 2000, then traded him last season.
In training camp this season, Holmgren waived linebacker Levon Kirkland, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and became one of the team's defensive leaders.
Holmgren had a 75-37 record in seven years as Packers coach, winning the Super Bowl in 1996 and reaching the Super Bowl the following year.