Now that the insanity surrounding the hiring of Jim Harbaugh has somewhat abated, it is officially time for Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers to go to work. This starts with Jim Harbaugh figuring out his 2011 coaching staff. When the 49ers fired Mike Singletary two weeks ago they left most of his staff intact. They promoted Jim Tomsula to interim head coach and retained Mike Johnson as offensive coordinator and Greg Manusky as defensive coordinator. They let go of assistants Vantz Singletary and Al Harris, but otherwise let the rest of the coaching staff finish out the season.
In his introductory press conference, Jim Harbaugh made a few comments about his potential coaching staff:
On how much of the staff will he be taking with him from Stanford to the 49ers:
[Jim Harbaugh] "There's guys off of our staff that I would love to bring to the 49ers, there's also excellent coaches on the 49ers. I look forward to talking to those men who've done, along with their families, who've done a great job for the organization and looking forward to sitting down with each of those men and talking football with them and letting them hear my vision and my plan, and hearing theirs, and together we will put together a great staff. The 49er organization will put together a great staff, and really can't mention anybody's name that's not on the staff already until somebody signs a contract. You know job one will be talking to our players this week and simultaneously trying to hire a great staff."
While no specific timeline has been discussed, one has to imagine he'll be speaking with the current 49ers assistants sooner, if he has not already begun that process. Over at Niners Nation I took a brief look at the current staff and we had some discussion as to which assistants had a good chance of sticking around in 2011. The list is short but some candidates with a strong case for sticking around include Jim Tomsula and Tom Rathman. Tomsula is as popular as any coach on the team and Rathman was a key cog in the west coast offense 49ers of the late 80s and early 90s.
Beyond that it remains to be seen who will get a shot, particularly given the fact that Harbaugh's Stanford staff had a lot of NFL experience on it. He is expected to bring several guys in from Palo Alto, likely including Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator. Whatever Coach Harbaugh ends up deciding, we'll have plenty of coverage here at SB Nation Bay Area.