The team announced Monday, via a statement, that Crennel has been fired after producing an NFL-worst 2-14 record in 2012. No final determination has been made at this point on general manager Scott Pioli's future, according to the release.
NFL.com's Steve Wyche reported Sunday that the Chiefs are expected to retain Pioli despite a disastrous season. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt has strong feelings for Pioli and wants to give him another shot to get things right, a source briefed on the situation told Wyche.
Crennel was 4-15 over two seasons as Kansas City's interim and full-time coach. The Chiefs -- a team with five Pro Bowl players -- ranked dead last in scoring in 2012 and went 1-7 against AFC West rivals during Crennel's brief run. He owns a 28-55 career record with only one winning season as coach of the Chiefs and Cleveland Browns.
Pioli, provided he remains in power, now begins the search for his third head coach since 2009 after firing Todd Haley just a season ago. NFL.com's Albert Breer and Ian Rapoport reported that Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, Pioli's longtime friend, looms as a candidate for the Kansas City job.
The Chiefs are 23-40 during Pioli's four-year tenure, and Kansas City's AFC West title in 2010 is obscured by just nine wins in the two seasons since.
Kansas City -- without a playoff win since 1993 -- houses young talent on defense and owns the No. 1 draft pick in 2013, potentially attractive factors in luring the next coach to town.
UPDATE: Crennel later texted Rapoport: "Going home to watch it snow. Happy New Year."
Crennel later released a statement:
"Obviously I'm very disappointed in the way our season went. At the end of the day, the NFL is a performance-based league, and we weren't able to win. I want to thank the Hunt family for the opportunity as well as our players, coaches and fans for their support during my time in Kansas City. As for my future, I'm planning to take some time to reflect on this season, evaluate everything, and make a decision based on what's right for myself and my family."
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.