49ers begin second week of search for Harbaugh successor
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Jed York is looking for a teacher in San Francisco’s next coach, and the search for Jim Harbaugh’s successor entered its second week Monday with little indication of how soon the 49ers CEO will find his new man.
The team is not confirming any interviews or acknowledging potential candidates, even internal faces such as defensive coordinator Vic Fangio or defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Fangio interviewed last week, a person with direct knowledge of the meeting said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the session wasn’t made public.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels spoke Monday of his interview with San Francisco, calling it an ”initial meeting” that hasn’t moved any further.
”Always obviously privileged that anybody wants to speak with you about anything like that,” McDaniels said Monday. ”At this point I’ve moved on and hopefully can help us put together a great plan for our guys heading into this week.”
The Niners interviewed Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase on Friday in Colorado and have had a busy initial stretch.
”They were able to interview. All focus right now is on the Broncos and, yeah, it’s kind of a dead issue at this point,” Broncos coach John Fox said Monday.
The pressure is certainly on York to find someone who can win right away given Harbaugh’s immediate success. The 49ers ended an eight-year stretch without a winning record or playoff berth in his rookie season of 2011.
”I think what made Bill Walsh so successful was that he was a great teacher, whether that was players or whether that was other coaches,” York said last week of the late Hall of Fame coach. ”And you look at his successful coaching tree. I think if you look in the 49ers Hall of Fame down the road, I want to say as of 2012 or 2013, 29 of the 32 coaches in the NFL had either a direct or indirect relationship with Bill. That’s what made this organization so successful.
”You’re able to transition from one three-time-winning Super Bowl head coach to another two-time Super-Bowl-winning head coach and there were many other tentacles beyond that. What I want to make sure that we have is somebody that understands that level of teaching,” he added. ”Understands how to get more out of less and continue to build an organization that wins both on and off the field.”
San Francisco also had been expected to meet with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn last week during the defending Super Bowl champions’ playoff bye. Former Broncos, Raiders and Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was reportedly interviewed and has ties to the team as its offensive coordinator from 1992-94. Shanahan also met with the Bills about their opening and reportedly with the Raiders as well.
The 49ers still had plans to meet with Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. Bowles can be interviewed this week given the Cardinals’ season ended Saturday at Carolina.
Fired Jets coach Rex Ryan also could be in the mix to replace Harbaugh, who was formally introduced as Michigan’s new coach last Tuesday. York called it a mutual parting of ways, though Harbaugh noted on multiple occasions, ”I work at the pleasure of the organization.”
San Francisco (8-8) missed the playoffs for the first time in Harbaugh’s four years following three straight trips to the NFC championship game and a three-point Super Bowl loss to Baltimore after the 2012 season.
AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton in Denver and AP Sports Writers John Wawrow in Buffalo, New York, and Howard Ulman in Boston contributed to this report.
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