David Unsworth has been placed in caretaker charge of Preston following the sacking of boss Darren Ferguson.
First-team coach Unsworth, 37, has been handed the reins as the club search for Ferguson's successor, with former Wigan boss Paul Jewell thought to be among the leading candidates.
Preston are bottom of the npower Championship after a disastrous first half of the season and former Everton defender Unsworth is seen as the man to steady the ship.
Chairman Maurice Lindsay said: "We are delighted David has agreed to take care of the club at a difficult time; it couldn't be in better hands.
"David is a Preston man. He loves the club and is one of most enthusiastic people in the game of football and he will have full support of the club and the players."
Preston have also confirmed assistant boss Kevin Russell was sacked along with Ferguson.