Vic Fangio orchestrated some dominant units while serving as the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator under former head coach Jim Harbaugh from 2011-2014. The Niners posted a top-five defense in terms of yards allowed in each of Fangio’s four seasons with the team.
So, when San Francisco parted ways with Harbaugh after the 2014 season, it was somewhat surprising to see the team pass over Fangio and hire one of his assistants — former defensive line coach Jim Tomsula — to be the new head coach. Tomsula has been with the team since 2007 and served as interim head coach when Mike Singletary was fired in 2010, but Fangio seemed to be the more qualified candidate for the job.
Fangio has since taken over as the Chicago Bears defensive coordinator. His former squad is scheduled to visit Soldier Field this Sunday, so naturally he was asked about San Francisco passing on him for the head-coaching gig.
The 49ers rode their defense to great success during Fangio’s tenure with the team. They reached the NFC Championship three years in a row (2011-2013), and they made it all the way to the Super Bowl following the 2012 season. Even though they went 8-8 and missed the playoffs in 2014, the defense still allowed an average of less than 325 yards against per game.
With so much success in San Francisco, it’s tough not to look back and smile. Fangio said he still remembers his time spent there fondly, according to the Bears’ official Twitter account.
#Bears DC Vic Fangio looks back at his four years with 49ers "with a lot of fond memories."