Earlier today, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reported that the 49ers don’t have any additional head coaching interviews on their schedule, and seem to be nearing the end of their search. Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com echoes that sentiment this afternoon, tweeting that San Francisco looks to be closing in on a decision.
[RELATED: PFR’s 2016 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker]
Russini provides another interesting tidbit within her tweet, noting that Mike Shanahan is “strongly back in the mix” for the 49ers’ head coaching job. A Niners source tells Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) that the team likes Shanahan because of the discipline and foundation he could bring to the organization, as well as his connection to the Bill Walsh era.
Of course, if the 49ers do decide to hire Shanahan, it would raise some eyebrows, since the club could’ve brought him aboard a year ago, but elected to go with Jim Tomsula instead. After Tomsula lasted just a year as the team’s head coach, reports surfaced last week that Shanahan would once again interview for the San Francisco job, though it’s not clear if he came in for a full-fledged interview, or if the club has simply discussed the position with him.
Shanahan has a lengthy coaching resume, having served as the head coach in Los Angeles (1988-89), Denver (1995-2008), and Washington (2010-2013). Although he has a 170-138 regular season record overall, and has won a pair of Super Bowls, Shanahan produced a mixed bag of results during his most recent head coaching stint. Washington was 24-40 during his four years with the franchise, with just one winning season.
Hue Jackson is no longer a candidate for the 49ers, having been hired by the Browns today, but there are still five available candidates with whom the club conducted interviews. Bills assistant Anthony Lynn and Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo aren’t believed to be favorites for the Niners’ job, but former Eagles coach Chip Kelly, ex-Giants HC Tom Coughlin, and Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter are in play.
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