After looking both externally and internally, the San Francisco 49ers hired Jim Tomsula to be the team’s next head coach. Former head coach Jim Harbaugh and the organization agreed to mutually part ways this off-season as Harbaugh decided to become the next head coach of the Michigan Wolverines.
Tomsula has some familiarity with the 49ers, which made the decision for the organization much easier to ensure a smooth transition into next season.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Tomsula Was the 49ers Defensive Line Coach
Tomsula was hired as the team’s defensive line coach in 2007. In December, Pro Football Talk reported that Tomsula was the early favorite to replace Harbaugh as the team’s next head coach.
If the 49ers had traded coach Jim Harbaugh to the Browns in February, it’s widely believed that defensive line coach Jim Tomsula would have become Harbaugh’s replacement.
Along with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Tomsula’s defenses experienced great success in his eight seasons as coach.
2. The 49ers Are the Only NFL Organization That Tomsula Has Worked For
From the time Tomsula was hired in 2007 until his promotion in 2015, a total of eight years, the 49ers have been the only organization that he has worked for. According to that same Pro Football Talk report, in January 2014, Tomsula interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings about their head coaching vacancy, but the Vikings eventually hired Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer instead.
3. Tomsula Edged Out Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase for the Job
Gase was in serious contention for the job, but in the end, the 49ers decided to hire a well-liked replacement within the organization already — somebody they didn’t even have to interview. Gase has also been a strong candidate to replace John Fox as the Denver Broncos head coach after Fox and the organization parted ways earlier this week.
4. Tomsula Coached the 49ers’ Last Game of the 2010 Season
Tomsula has only one game of NFL head coaching experience, but he made it count. After the 49ers fired Mike Singletary in 2010, Tomsula took over as the interim head coach in the team’s final game of the season — a game where they defeated the Arizona Cardinals 38-7.
5. Tomsula Was the Head Coach of the Rhein Fire in 2006
Tomsula coached in the now defunct NFL Europe from 1998-2006. He was an assistant coach for the Berlin Thunder from 2004-05 and in the league’s final year, was the head coach of the Rhein Fire.