New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - The New Orleans Pelicans have fired head coach Monty Williams.

Williams spent the past five seasons with the franchise and guided the club to a record of 173-221 with a pair of playoff appearances.

The Pelicans were 45-37 this past season and qualified for the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference on the final day of the season before being swept by top-seeded Golden State in the first round.

"Making a decision like this is never easy and is never done hastily, especially when you are dealing with a person of Monty Williams' character," said Pelicans executive vice president Mickey Loomis in a statement Tuesday. "We thanked Monty for the tremendous work and commitment he made to our organization and the development of our young players, specifically Anthony Davis. While we continue to work towards improving our roster, we decided that now was the time to make this decision. We wish nothing but the best for Monty in the future."

Williams took over as the New Orleans coach in June 2010 and guided a team with point guard Chris Paul to the playoffs in his first season with a record of 46-36. The then-Hornets lost to the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs and Paul demanded a trade that sent the franchise into a rebuilding mode.

After three losing seasons, the Pelicans returned to the playoffs this spring with Davis starting to blossom into a superstar.

"We thank Monty for his dedication and leadership to our team both on and off the court," said general manager Dell Demps. "He served as a great role model for our young team and worked tirelessly towards the development of all of our players. We endured a lot of change during the past season and Monty was a steady influence in our locker room. We wish him and his family nothing but the best."

Williams spent five seasons as an assistant with the Portland Trail Blazers prior to joining New Orleans.