Jim Harbaugh To Be Next Head Coach Of The San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York has hired vice president of player personnel Trent Baalke to be the new general manager. York's primary target for replacement is Stanford Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh. For more on the story, check out Niners Nation

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Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers Head Coach: Watch The Press Conference

Newly-minted San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke were introduced to the media this afternoon. Although there was a lot of excitement about Harbaugh being introduced and the way he conducted himself during his repartee with the reporters in attendance, only some useful information was transmitted during the interview.

  • Harbaugh will return the Niners offense to the West Coast Offense, the style of play that Bill Walsh brought to the team and helped bring them five Super Bowl rings.
  • Baalke will have the final say on the 53 man roster, not Harbaugh.
  • Harbaugh, on what he looks for in a quarterback: "Athletic instincts, accuracy, timing, decision making, leadership, intelligence, and you could keep going on and on here, and they’re all important. They’re important like to a carpenter, the hammer, the saw, the nails, the ruler – you need ‘em all. So we’re trying to find those men and develop those characteristics and those abilities."
  • Matt Maiocco, the NFL Insider for Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area, later reported in secondary interviews with Harbaugh that the head coach would conduct meetings with the current staff to make decisions
  • Maiocco also reported that Harbaugh might call some of the plays, but not all of them. Expect an offensive coordinator to be hired.

You can see the entirety of the press conference below. Jed York introducing the new general manager and new head coach, and prepared statements by Baalke and Harbaugh.



First part of the Q&A with Baalke and Harbaugh.


Second part of the Q&A.


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Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers Head Coach: Watch Press Conference Live

Jim Harbaugh is about to be announced as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers over at the swanky Palace Hotel, and you can watch it here online!

All the bells and whistles have been pulled out to make Harbaugh feel like the next big thing by 49ers management, and they're clearly pulling out all the stops to make their new leader on the football gridiron as the big thing in the Bay Area. We've already shown you visual evidence of Harbaugh signing his contract, and they've really rolled out the red carpet for their new man. Mindi Bach of CSN sent this photo to us.

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via desmond.yfrog.com

There's more visual proof courtesy of Bach that Harbaugh is really the 49ers head coach. A nametag right next to general manager Trent Baalke!

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via desmond.yfrog.com

Finally, you can watch the press conference on CSN Bay Area, and also online. Check it out here!


 


(HT to Niners Nation for the video link)

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Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers Head Coach: Visual Evidence!

It's been a busy and hectic few weeks, where the furor surrounding Jim Harbaugh has reached the fever pitch of a Hollywood A-list celebrity breakup. So naturally, now that it's all but certain Harbaugh has committed himself to the San Francisco 49ers, it's safe to say there's a lot of skepticism floating around. Not everyone is ready to believe that this isn't the last twist and turn, and want something more concrete from the Twitterverse that has lied to them over and over.

Harbaugh was supposed to go to Michigan. Then Harbaugh was supposed to go the DolphinsThen Harbaugh was supposed to go back to the Stanford Cardinal. Now we're really supposed to believe this is the end?

Okay guys and gals. It's over. Jim Harbaugh is the next San Francisco 49ers head coach, and we can prove it.

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via desmond.yfrog.com

Here is Jim Harbaugh signing his contract at 49ers headquarters. (via the official San Francisco 49ers Twitter page)

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via desmond.yfrog.com

Here is Jim Harbaugh with new general manager Trent Baalke. (via the official San Francisco 49ers Twitter page)

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Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers Head Coach

Jim Harbaugh is leaving the Stanford Cardinal to take over the San Francisco 49ers. Harbaugh is at 49ers headquarters now according to Matt Maiocco of CSN, and a press conference has been scheduled around 3:30 PM Pacific Time according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Harbaugh will try to follow in the footsteps of Bill Walsh, who resurrected a moribund San Francisco franchise at the turn of the 1980s and led them to three Super Bowl titles.

ESPN reports that Harbaugh accepted a five year deal for 25 million dollars, which is about in line with their original offer. This makes you wonder what exactly happened between last night and this night for Harbaugh to change his stance. He seemed to be very interested in returning to Stanford as late as this morning, and Stanford seemed very pleased with their position last night. Was Harbaugh leveraging the Cardinal to attract a stronger offer from the 49ers? Although the contract looks about the same, were there extra incentives put in place that made Harbaugh willing to leave? Or was the length of the contract extended to ensure Harbaugh felt secure in his position?

In any case, our long national nightmare appears to be over. The dream has begun for many Niners fans though.  Head on over to Niners Nation to discuss this momentous occasion.

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Jim Harbaugh Head Coach Watch: Crossing The Streams And Coaching Options

Here at SB Nation Bay Area we have what we call StoryStreams. In fact, if you’re reading this post you’re in our 49ers HC/GM search StoryStream. Given the nature of Bay Area sports we had a separate stream looking at Jim Harbaugh’s future. As Jim Harbaugh has come into the mix of the 49ers coaching situation, these two streams have merged, although they remain at separate links. At this point, if you’re looking for Jim Harbaugh information, both streams are worth a look.

At this point I’ve started to lean more in the direction that Harbaugh returns to Stanford, leaving the 49ers in need of another option at head coach. As what is now Harbaughgeddon continues onwards towards its eventual conclusion, names are beginning to surface as potential candidates for the 49ers. We’ve heard the likes of Brian Schottenheimer, Marty Mornhinweg, Brian Billick, Pat Shurmur, Mike Mularkey, and many others. At this point it appears the 49ers have placed all their eggs in the Harbasket and will reassess their head coach options after Harbaugh decides.

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Miami Dolphins Willing To Make Jim Harbaugh Highest Paid Head Coach In The NFL, Trumping San Francisco 49ers Offer

Chris Mortensen tweeted earlier that Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross was flying to the West Coast to talk to Stanford Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh and provide his counter-offer to the San Francisco 49ers. According to Matt Maiocco (CSN 49ers insider), the talks will be underway on Wednesday; Harbaugh met with the Yorks for over five hours on Tuesday.

And with the amount Harbaugh is being offered by Miami, he sure better be interested. Ross is reportedly offering SEVEN TO EIGHT milllion dollars a year according to Mortensen, which would make him the highest paid coach in the NFL, over proven winners like Bill Belichick and Andy Reid. Guess NFL owners still are ready to open out their checkbooks, huh?

Should 49ers fans despair? Well, former Super Bowl winning coach Jon Gruden was offered a similar amount by Ross, and he declined the job. But if Ross is willing to give Harbaugh that amount and he wants to make the professional leap, neither the Dolphins nor 49ers are that much different in terms of talent level. The Niners have supposedly offered them 4.5 million dollars, and Harbaugh wants six million. Any negotiator can tell you the Dolphins have the edge financially.

And it should be noted (again) that Tony Sparano is still Miami's head coach. The circus gets crazier in the Bay Area as South Beach enters the fray.

For more on the situation, check out Niners Nation (the 49ers SB Nation site) and The Phinsider (the Dolphins SB Nation site) for more information on this developing story.

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Josh McDaniels The Next Target For San Francisco 49ers Head Coaching Candidacy

With Jim Harbaugh now having to listen to the exorbitant offer by Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross to become the highest paid coach in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers have moved on with their head coaching search to explore their backup options. According to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, Niners owner Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke are targeting former Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels as their secondary candidate.

McDaniels started off hot at Denver, winning his first six games, but stumbled and bumbled through the rest of his abbreviated tenure, going 5-17 the rest of the way. McDaniels also showed the guts to draft the untested Tim Tebow, who now appears to be the quarterback the Broncos are calling "their guy". He might be able to evaluate the proper quarterback for the Niners to take in the 2011 NFL Draft to try and resurrect the team. McDaniels was also the playcaller for the New England Patriots during their famous 18-1 season, when they set all sorts of records offensively. The 49ers are definitely looking for a guy who will come in and improve their offense, the team's Achilles heel for the past half-decade.

(It'd be a little funny if San Francisco did go after McDaniels, considering what happened in London two months ago.)

Matt Maiocco, the Comcast Sports Net 49ers insider, reports that York and Baakle are not counting out Harbaugh, but with the incredible amounts of cash Ross is throwing at Harbaugh, it can no longer be considered a likely scenario.

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Jim Harbaugh: San Francisco 49ers Head Coaching Candidate

With San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke installed, is the organization on track to hire Stanford Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh? Harbaugh has been the primary candidate since the beginning according to inside sources, and now it's looking like things are rolling toward their inexorable conclusion.

At the beginning, Baalke was apparently the guy because he was guaranteed to bring in Harbaugh. Then other sources indicated Baalke and Harbaugh weren't as close as originally reported, but Michael Lombardi would be able to bring Harbaugh in.

But now? Tim Kawakami is reporting from HIS source that Harbaugh would be ok with either Baalke or Lombardi, so 49ers owner Jed York went ahead and got his man. Sources are spazzy.

Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen report that Jed York and Harbaugh are meeting as we speak, and if Kawakami's source is reliable and things go well, Jim Harbaugh will be the 49ers coach tonight. The fun times never end in San Francisco.

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49ers Make It Official, Trent Baalke Is Hired As General Manager

In line with an earlier report, the San Francisco 49ers have announced that Trent Baalke has been promoted from within to general manager. His previous title was vice president of player personnel, and throughout the 2010 season he was viewed as the interim general manager by most.

Officially, the general manager search went on for eight days and suffered through all manner of scrutiny. At times it was nonexistent, a sham to lead-on the fan base and this was considered a very bad thing for the head coaching search. At times it was diligent, with several candidates around the league. Now it's hard to tell just how in-depth or legitimate the search was, but in the hours leading up to the announcement, it did seem as though former GM and current NFL Network announcer Michael Lombardi did become a more serious candidate, though conflicting reports say he might not even be a candidate. It's hard to tell at this point.

Either way, Trent Baalke is the guy as he enters his fourteenth year in the league and now the 49ers will concentrate on the head coach search. Their eyes are on Stanford Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh, and he's viewed as the favorite to take the job by many, many sources. San Francisco reached out to the Raiders and the Giants to interview coordinators Hue Jackson and Perry Fewell, respectively and received permission from both clubs. Jackson was just promoted in Oakland, so if the 49ers were just looking for a Rooney Rule fulfillment, they'll need to go with someone else, or Fewell before they can make the Harbaugh hire.

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Report: Trent Baalke Named 49ers' GM; Jim Harbaugh To Follow?

Numerous reports (Maiocco, David White among others) are now reporting that Trent Baalke has been named GM of the San Francisco 49ers. Reports over the last six days had him pegged as the favorite but Mike Lombardi reportedly gained some ground over the last few days. However, as expected, Baalke has been promoted from VP of Player Personnel to General Manager.

The question now is whether he can actually deliver Jim Harbaugh to the 49ers. While the team has stated they wanted to hire a GM and then have that GM work with Jed York to hire a coach, they’ve sort of put the cart before the horse as reports came out indicating Jim Harbaugh was the clear front-runner for the job.

The Stanford coach returned to Palo Alto from Miami tonight with his team after their domination of Virginia Tech last night. The 49ers are reportedly going to spend tomorrow interviewing candidates and apparently have a choice in the next 24-48 hours. Of course, if Harbaugh decides he doesn’t want the job, that coaching search could extend even further. For now, the common belief is that the 49ers will be conducting a single press conference in the next couple days to introduce their new coach and new GM. We’ll see if that ends being Jim Harbaugh alongside Trent Baalke.

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Report: Jed York, 49ers GM Search Down To Trent Baalke And Mike Lombardi

After a week long search for a new general manager, the Jed York and the 49ers have reportedly narrowed down the choices for a new general manager to current VP of Player Personnel Trent Baalke and current NFL Network analyst and longtime NFL personnel man Mike Lombardi.

The continuing thought is that Baalke is the guy who will get the job, but Lombardi has gained quite a bit of momentum in the last 48 hours. The primary question has appeared to be who could deliver Jim Harbaugh into the waiting arms of the 49ers. Both Lombardi and Baalke have links to Jim Harbaugh and would seem to have some pull in getting him to Santa Clara. Lombardi worked with him in Oakland while Baalke has had some contacts with him in the Bay Area in scouting visits, among other things. Tim Kawakami tweeted that an NFL source indicated Harbaugh would be fine with either in the GM role, so take that for what it’s worth.

Whatever the case, it seems like this drama is entering the final act and we’ll soon have a better idea of what’s going. Kawakami added that Jim Harbaugh is expected back in the Bay Area today and will likely meet with Jed York and a new GM tomorrow or shortly after. As they say in horse racing, “And DOWN the stretch they come!”

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49ers Request To Interview Hue Jackson, Perry Fewell

Last night, the Orange Bowl took place, and after Jim Harbaugh's Stanford Cardinal dispatched Virginia Tech, he pulled off a highlight reel stiff-arm on the media. At that point, Mr. Harbaugh was fair game. Now, signs may be pointing to the San Francisco setting him in their sights officially.

Harbaugh is available and suddenly no longer linked to Michigan, and now the 49ers have requested interviews with two minority candidates, which sounds an awful lot like Rooney Rule fulfillment to me. It helps that these two are legitimate candidates, but these are better for the rule, because hey - they may surprise you. The thought is that the 49ers know who they want and they probably want to get these interviews out of the way quickly.

All signs point to that man being Harbaugh, unless they have some information regarding Jeff Fisher, the team's reported number two option for their head coaching position. The question remains though: why are the 49ers interviewing head coaching candidates without a general manager? Is it Trent Baalke, or is it Michael Lombardi? Is one of the two in place, or is it Jed York stretching the truth again? 

It's probably possible both pieces of the puzzle will fall into place at the same time. 

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Could The San Francisco 49ers Lure Jim Harbaugh With GM Michael Lombardi?

Just when it looked like Stanford Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh was headed to the MIchigan Wolverines, Jed York and the San Francisco 49ers might have a deal that could trump that. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reports that hauling in Michael Lombardi (a Bill Simmons favorite) for general manager would be enticing enough to bring Harbaugh over.

"Lombardi and Harbaugh have a close relationship," the source said, pointing out that they worked together in Oakland.  "I think Lombardi is ending up there.

Now  Trent Baalke was always supposed to be the favorite for the 49ers general manager spot, but that was probably contingent on Baalke being able to deliver Harbaugh. David White of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the reason Harbaugh and Baalke got together in the first place was that they shared the same agent.

Baalke and Harbaugh are represented by the same agent, and have more than an in-passing relationship, The Chronicle has "learned," as we say. This isn't to say Baalke is going to deliver Harbaugh to Jed York's doorstep, but the idea of the two being able to work together isn't going to be as problematic as first thought when they appeared to have no ties.
 

Apparently, Florio is disputing that version of the truth.

So there are two general manager candidates--Baalke and Lombardi--and it's likely that if either of them are hired, both will be judged on their ability to get Harbaugh. Failure to do so and they'll already have a black mark on their record before the season has even started.

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Brian Billick Emerges As Strong San Francisco 49ers Head Coaching Candidate

With Stanford Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh potentially on his way to the Michigan Wolverines, and Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg the only other head coach being mentioned for the San Francisco 49ers vacant coaching slot, a lot of Niners fans are restless for other notable names.

The newest name is Brian Billick, the former leader of the Baltimore Ravens. The report is courtesy of Jason La Cafora of NFL.com, who probably got the information from the same sources who told him Harbaugh is likely headed to Ann Arbor.

Several general managers, agents and people close to Jim Harbaugh and other potential "top" candidates for the open head-coaching job don't believe those people will end up with the 49ers.

But the 49ers' hierarchy has discussed Billick, who guided the Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl title following the 2000 season, and several personnel executives I've spoken to say they believe he has a legitimate shot in San Francisco and perhaps with at least one other team.

Billick's resume is impressive, but a little deceiving. He won a Super Bowl championship in 2000-01, but never won another playoff game after that during his tenure. Baltimore went to the playoffs only four times from 1999 to 2007, despite having the best defense of the era headed by Ray Lewis. Most notably, the offense always struggled, particularly at the quarterback position; after trading Trent Dilfer, the Ravens went through Elvis Grbac, Kyle Boller a couple of times, Anthony Wright, and the aging Steve McNair. For a Niners fanbase that's had to endure years of inept quarterback play, this sort of issue wouldn't be acceptable.

That being said, Billick is a proven coach, and he'd provide some sort of initial credibility to a franchise that has been lacking it lately.

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If Jim Harbaugh Isn't Interested In The San Francisco 49ers Head Coaching Job, Is Marty Mornhinweg Next?

As we’ve noted earlier, the San Francisco 49ers ownership, led by Jed York, has taken a keen interest in Stanford Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh, but at the moment it’s looking like it’ll be difficult to sway him from taking the Michigan Wolverines job. Perhaps Harbaugh was trying to be crafty and let that news leak to leverage his contract with the Yorks, but as of today it doesn’t look good.

So what’s the current backup plan for the Niners? Jon Gruden doesn’t seem to be a candidate the 49ers are interested in. Bill Cowher has barely been mentioned. The only name that seems to have been popping up as of late is Marty Mornhinweg, the former Detroit Lions head coach, 49ers offensive coordinator, and current Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator. John Clayton mentioned him as a distinct possibility.

Mornhinweg was awful in Detroit. He went 5-27 with the Lions in two seasons, and is probably best remembered for deciding to kick the ball rather than receive it in an overtime game against the Chicago Bears (Chicago marched down the field and won the game; Detroit never saw the ball). However, in the past four years as Eagles offensive coordinator, he’s helped cultivate one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFC, transitioning between Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick rather seamlessly. Right now his Eagles offense is averaging nearly 400 yards and 28 points a game, and offense has been the trouble spot in San Francisco for years.

David discussed the comparisons between Mornhinweg and (don’t laugh) Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots over at Niners Nation. It’s well-worth the read. Who knows if Mornhinweg is well-worth being the head coach, but it would be quite the intriguing hire.

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Michael Lombardi Interviews For 49ers GM Position

The interviews are coming fast and furious at this point as the 49ers search for a new general manager enters its second full day. 49ers president and CEO Jed York reportedly interviewed Michael Lombardi last night for two hours.

Lombardi has extensive experience around the NFL, but has spent his most recent years in the media. After a brief stint writing for Sports Illustrated, he was a prominent writer for National Football Post until recently leaving them for the NFL Network. His work in NFL front offices includes time with the Broncos, Raiders, Browns, and even our 49ers. He actually began his NFL career as a scout with the 49ers under Bill Walsh.

The 49ers are currently in the process of interviewing candidates that do not have NFL front office jobs at the moment, or are in-house candidates like Trent Baalke. If the team decides they don’t have the right guy by Sunday, they can then begin interviewing individuals from teams not participating in the playoffs, as well as teams with first round byes.

For now reports indicate Trent Baalke is the leader early on. One rumor is that he would be able to deliver Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, which would certainly give him some credibility in the interview process.

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Jim Harbaugh Top Head Coaching Candidate For San Francisco 49ers? Trent Baalke Lock For General Manager?

The reliable Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the San Francisco 49ers search for a general manager is really a smoke screen to hire Jed York's man within San Francisco's front office, the current Vice President of Player Personnel. Interviewing Tony Softli was the first step, since it allowed the Niners to comply with the Rooney Rule. Then they'll interview a bunch of candidates that aren't as qualified or hardly impressive enough to displace Baalke. For a franchise that seems to be trying to upgrade their image of not being a merry band of cronies, this seems like a step in the wrong direction.

However, it does lead to another interesting piece of news, since it seems to confirm one half of the juicy piece of news tweeted by Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated. Trotter said that knowledgeable people in the league told him that Baalke would definitely be the next general manager ... but also that Stanford Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh would be York's main candidate, not Jon Gruden. That should excite 49ers fans plenty, since it is an unorthodox move. But on the other hand, Mike Singletary and Mike Nolan were unorthodox moves too...

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Getting To Know Jim Tomsula, San Francisco 49ers Interim Head Coach

The San Francisco 49ers are in the process of trying to hire a new general manager and head coach, but in the meantime they do actually have a coach in place for this final week of the regular season. Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was named interim head coach after Mike Singletary was relieved of his head coaching duties. While Tomsula likely won’t end up the long term head coach, Jed York indicated he hoped to keep Tomsula around in some role after this season ends.

While Mike Singletary brought a certain charisma to the 49ers, Tomsula is arguably the most energetic of the coaches. Whenever a big play happens Tomsula is the one often seen jumping around getting pumped up with his players. Whenever a defensive lineman makes a big play, you can just about guarantee yourself that you’ll see Tomsula bumping chests with the player or giving him a big high-five. Whether that matters as head coach is irrelevant for this final week. He’s a guy who seems to love football and his players.

49ers.com provides a very thorough rundown of his career to date, but I’ll pull out some of the notable information:

Since Tomsula’s arrival, the 49ers run defense and pass rush has steadily improved. During his three seasons with the team, the defensive line has been stout against the run, allowing a mere 3.7 yards per carry, to rank 4th in the NFL during that span …

Tomsula joined the 49ers after enjoying one of the most successful stints in NFL Europa history. Prior to being named the head coach of the Rhein Fire in 2006, which made him the youngest coach in NFLE history at age 38, Tomsula served as the Berlin Thunder’s defensive coordinator for two seasons, winning World Bowl XII in 2004. During that season, Tomsula’s defense ranked first in the NFLE against the run.

Tomsula will be meeting with the media at certain points this week in the traditional head coach press conferences. We’ll keep an eye on his comments to see what his plans are for this final week of the regular season. The team is out of playoff contention, but plenty can be gained from Sunday’s season finale.

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Jed York, Jim Tomsula Speak To The Media

On Monday, Jed York introduced interim head coach Jim Tomsula to the media and fielded several questions from the media regarding where the organization was heading throughout the last week of the season, the offseason and the future. York was adamant that every decision being made was not just for 2011, but to build a successful franchise for years to come.

After taking the podium to introduce him, it was all Tomsula, who was very reigned in. He expressed his respect for Mike Singletary, and noted that every player in the locker room had something to thank him for. It was also made clear that he was on a one-week timetable, and nothing further. Everything he will be doing is preparation to beat the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, the final game of the 49ers season after missing the playoffs once again. 

Tomsula is a likable guy, and many consider him to be a fine defensive line coach. He quickly apologized to Jed for not having a suit and tie for the press conference, after being informed of his interim role while watching film, he didn't leave the team headquarters and stayed overnight. He's also a guy that Jed vouched for when talking about returning staff.

It's the plan, according to York, that the 49ers will hire a new general manager to run things. This GM would be making the head coaching hire, and Jed will stay out of the way when that hire is being made. When the question of Jim Tomsula's job security going forward came up, Jed showed a lot of professionalism by saying, right in front of him, that it would be up to the new general manager and that no job was necessarily safe. He did, however, go on to note that Jim was great at what he did, and he thought he was a guy who could stick at any organization he happened to be at, so one can expect he'll recommend that Tomsula remain with the organization if the new general manager and head coach do not have a guy they expressly desire.

Jed appears to be maturing as a president, as an owner. He instantly was a little defensive when asked a question by Lowell Cohn, and the buzz around 49ers fans is that this was admirable. He admitted that he probably needed some help, and will ask around the other owners and GMs around the league. Ties with the Kraft family and his uncle, Eddie DeBartolo would be the chief sources of advice. In fact, "My uncle," was a prominent topic of reference and discussion, which can only mean good things for 49ers fans.

See Niners Nation for more on the press conference, with a transcript to arrive shortly.

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San Francisco 49ers Head Coaching Candidates Include Jon Gruden, Jim Harbaugh, Bill Cowher, Brian Billick

Following the firing of Mike Singletary, a preliminary list of legitimate head coaches who’ve had great success at either the collegiate or professional level have popped up for the now vacant San Francisco 49ers coaching job. Yes, Jim Tomsula is now the new man-in-charge, but it’s almost certainly a one game deal to wrap up a playoff-less season.

Here’s a list of the usual suspects.

Jon Gruden. Gruden has coached for the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leading them to a 100-85 overall record and a Super Bowl title. Gruden already has the pattern of getting a solid team to a Super Bowl championship, although the Bucs were a lot closer to the top than this Niners team has ever been.

He’s still very young at 47, and could provide some reassurance to Niners fans looking for a coach with solid experience and long-term stability. Would Gruden be willing to return to the Bay Area and leave his cushy Monday Night Football gig?

Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh has resurrected a moribund Stanford Cardinal football team that was 1-11 in 2006 and taken them to a BCS bowl in 2010. Not much is known about Harbaugh’s intentions (he could be going anywhere next year), but he wouldn’t have to leave the Bay Area, and he does have experience with a pro-style offense. Would the Yorks be willing to take a chance on a college coach with little pro coaching experience? The most successful coach in 49ers history did come from the Farm.

For more on Harbaugh, check the official SB Nation Bay Area storystream.

Bill Cowher. This is probably a long shot. Cowher is always very. He is undoubtedly the most accomplished of the coaches out there, with an incredible 149-90 record and a Super Bowl title with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But would he be able to succeed outside the Steel Curtain? And would he want to deal with the eccentric ownership of the Yorks after enjoying the stability of the Rooneys?

Cowher’s name has come up before though, and he never seems to have seriously considered throwing himself back into the fray. We’ll believe it when we see it.

Brian Billick. Billick has long been interested in returning to football. He’s 80-64 with the Baltimore Ravens and also has a Super Bowl ring, like the other three coaches on this list. Unfortunately, his M.O. is solid defense with a struggling offense and inconsistent quarterback play. I’m pretty sure the Niners have seen plenty of that, although Billick is far more experienced than either Singletary or Nolan were.

There are plenty of other candidates for this job though, and we’ll explore them on future posts.

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Mike Singletary Speaks On Being Fired

The 49ers have released a statement from Mike Singletary regarding being relieved from his head coaching duties:

"One of the greatest experiences of my life was having the opportunity to coach the San Francisco 49ers. What made it so special were the players. They were some of the most outstanding men I have ever been around in my life. The coaches were truly professionals. I wish the 49ers nothing but the best. I am thankful to the York family for having given me the opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL. I am indebted to them for that. I am also thankful for the Faithful fans, I am just sorry I couldn't give them more."

What he says is coach speak, through and through, but it's all still very real. He did bond well with the players, they looked up to him and played hard for him and him only, at least in the beginning. It wasn't enough though, and while 49ers Faithful may be happy at this point, as they are now in the hunt for a top-flight head coach, it certainly is bittersweet with how enamored the fanbase became over him and how fast it happened on top of that. But sixteen weeks of poor play and empty promises coupled with what appeared to be a truly clueless coach in postgame press conferences is more than enough to send him on his way.

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Mike Singletary Fired: Jim Tomsula Named Interim Head Coach

Twitter is in a frenzy and everything is saying the same thing. Matt Maiocco and David White have both been quoted on their respective Twitters (here and here, and now there's an official press release going out) that Singletary is done as the head coach of the 49ers. Jed York informed him of the decision when the 49ers arrived to the team practice facility and when he refused to resign. He's too proud for that, apparently, and now with one week to go, he's been canned.

Singletary has been on watch since the 49ers began the season at an abysmal 0-5 after such high expectations in the offseason. The team was the favorite to win the division before the season began, and they fell short of that on Sunday with a loss to the St. Louis Rams, a game that would have set the 49ers up to take the division against a very beatable Arizona Cardinals team in week seventeen, and allow them to march into the playoffs at 7-9.

But Jed York was upset, and it was a foregone conclusion immediately following the game that Singletary would be let go, it was just a matter of when: before the final game, or after the season? Looks like Jed was upset enough to make the switch. Citing a number of reasons, York was most upset with the lack of preparation and feels the team is better than its record indicates, and that of course goes back to coaching. Following the Rams game, Jed stated that the team was in the market for a new general manager, one that would hire on his own coaching staff.

Jim Tomsula has been named the interim head coach for the week seventeen game against the Cardinals. He's the 49ers defensive line coach, and one of the more respected coaches on the team. He's also the only one in the organization with head coaching experience - in NFL Europe. He and Jed York are scheduled to meet with the media noon on Monday.

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