Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - The Denver Nuggets have fired head coach Brian Shaw.

Denver enters play on Tuesday with a 20-39 record this season, Shaw's second at the helm. Overall, he was 56-85 as the team's head coach.

"I want to sincerely thank Brian for his time with our organization," said Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly. "You won't find a better guy than Brian and he is one of the brightest basketball minds I've ever been around. Unfortunately things didn't go as we hoped, but we know with his basketball acumen that he has a very bright future ahead of him."

Nuggets president Josh Kroenke added that Shaw just ran out of time to turn things around.

"This season our management staff has remained patient and supportive as decisions of this nature are never taken lightly," Kroenke said. "Patience is encouraged, as long as the organization continues to show progress toward a greater goal.

"However, competing for championships is our goal, and therefore we decided to make this decision now and look forward to conducting an extensive head coaching search upon the season's conclusion. This has been a trying season for all of us, and we appreciate Nuggets fans continued faith and patience as we build our proud organization back to the NBA's elite."

Melvin Hunt has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

Hunt was in his fifth season as an assistant coach with the Nuggets. He came to Denver after spending five years as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2005-2010). Prior to that he spent one season as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers and five seasons in various capacities with the Houston Rockets.