SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The San Francisco 49ers, winners of only two games in 2004, fired Coach Dennis Erickson and General Manager Terry Donahue Wednesday.
"The first two steps in the rebuilding are big ones," said co-owner John York. "We have decided that a fresh start is in everyone's best interests."
Erickson spent two years with the 49ers, going 9-23. The 49ers, one of the most powerful teams in the NFL during the last two decades of the 20th Century, hit bottom this season with the lowest payroll in the league.
Donahue came to the team in 1999 in an advisory capacity and took over as general manager in 2001. He previously coached UCLA.
"We are going to use the extreme disappointment that we all have felt as our turning point," York said. "We know how much passion 49ers fans have and we understand that what has occurred has been unacceptable to our fans. We need our fans to know that it is equally unacceptable to us."
Erickson also coached the Seattle Seahawks for four seasons after collegiate stints at Miami and Oregon State.