The 49ers have fired head coach Jim Tomsula after one year on the job, according to team CEO Jed York, who issued a statement Sunday night (link via the club’s website):
“Jimmy has been a valuable member of the 49ers organization for the last nine years. We all know he is a man of high character, and his contributions on the field and in our community have always been greatly appreciated. This entire organization is proud and grateful to have worked so closely alongside Jimmy. We all wish him and his family great success in the future.”
Last offseason, after interviewing a slew of candidates to replace the departed Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco elected to promote Tomsula – its defensive line coach from 2007-14 – signing him to a four-year, $14MM contract ($10.5MM of which still has to be paid out). However, the Tomsula era didn’t go nearly as well as Harbaugh’s reign, which included a 44-19-1 regular-season record and three playoff appearances in four years. The Tomsula-led Niners finished the 2015-16 campaign 5-11 (the franchise’s worst mark since 2007) and suffered nine losses by double-digit deficits. They defeated the NFC West rival Rams, 19-16, to snap a three-game losing streak on Sunday, but it obviously wasn’t enough to save Tomsula.
As the 49ers begin searching for the 20th head coach in their history, one possibility general manager Trent Baalke could look to is Chip Kelly, according to both CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (Twitter link) and Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). Another is the Saints’ Sean Payton, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Both Kelly and Payton are offensive minds, which the 49ers are seeking, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports. In addition to Kelly and Payton, Maiocco names Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson as someone who could be on the 49ers’ radar. Whether the team’s next head coach is Kelly, Payton, Jackson or someone else, he’ll have the freedom to keep or fire any of its current assistant coaches, per Maiocco (Twitter link).
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