One and done for Tomsula


Photo by Aric Crabb/Bay Area news Group

Louis LaVenture,
News and Sports Editor

The San Francisco 49ers fired their first year Head Coach Jim Tomsula on Sunday after the team finished the season 5-11. Was this a surprise? No.

The 49ers had their worst season since 2007 when they went 5-11, and the lack of talent was obvious. Tomsula seemed to be a placeholder for something better, which the team will pursue in the off season.

Owner Jed York said, in a press conference on Monday, that the team would “eat” the $14 million left on the former coach’s contract. Tomsula was hired last January after the team let go former Head Coach Jim Harbaugh who is now at the helm of the University of Michigan football program.

The move was met with criticism from fans and the media because of Harbaugh’s success and Tomsula’s lack of experience. This team and management is a far cry from the glory days of the franchise in the 1980s and 1990s that saw five championships.

Tomsula was the 49ers defensive line coach since 2007 but had only been a head coach once for the Rhein Fire of the NFL Europe league. Harbaugh took the team to three consecutive NFC championships from 2011-2013 and one Super Bowl appearance that they lost to the Baltimore Ravens in 2012.[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#898989″ txt_color=”#dd9933″]“Do not be deceived. You will reap what you sow.”                                          -Harbaugh[/mks_pullquote]

Reports from several NFL insiders at ESPN said that the 49ers will interview former NFL head coach and two-time Super Bowl Champion with the Denver Broncos, Mike Shanahan. The team is apparently also interested in Sean Payton who is currently under contract with the New Orleans Saints and former Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson who is the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals.

York also announced on Monday that General Manager Trent Baalke would be retained in his same role. It was a bit of a surprise since Baalke is responsible for assembling the roster that won just five games this season. However, York expressed his confidence in Baalke saying that his track record for putting together championship caliber teams is what helped him keep his job.

Harbaugh took to Twitter to send a jab San Francisco’s way on Sunday when he said, “Do not be deceived. You will reap what you sow.”

The 49ers lost several key players to free agency and retirement during the off season and Baalke was unable to replace the talent leaving more than $30 million in salary cap room that went unused. The 49ers also have 12 picks in this year’s draft where they will be picking seventh overall. Critics said that the money left on the table was a clear indication that the team had no intention on being competitive this season, instead tanking for higher draft picks.

The new coach will have to rebuild the roster through the draft, trades and free agency including making a decision on maligned quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick was benched this season and if the team decides to keep him he will make over $12 million next year. It was former first round draft pick Blaine Gabbert who took over for Kaepernick a month into the season. It was later revealed by the team that Kaepernick had a shoulder injury which he had surgery on last month.

Chip Kelly, who was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles last week, has also expressed interest in the 49ers coaching vacancy. Kelly is known for his innovative offense and strategies that led to a disconnect between him and his players during in his three years at the helm of the Eagles.