Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News, citing an NFL source, reports former Broncos OC Adam Gase and 49ers GM Trent Baalke were “very close” to an agreement that would have made him their next head coach.
In fact, the two parties discussed the details of prospective coaching staff, and Gase reportedly had the impression that his preferred coordinators were approved by the 49ers.
However, after Baalke returned to the Bay Area, things began to change.
Kawakami’s source mentions that Gase was later informed that in order for him to get the job, he would have to name Jim Tomsula as his defensive coordinator. According to Kawakami, it was “no Tomsula, no offer.”
Gase wound up turning down the suggestion from the 49ers, and San Francisco “immediately” hired Tomsula as their new head coach.
Despite the fact that the 49ers choose to go with Tomsula over him, they still tried to convince Gase to take their offensive coordinator position, but he obviously turned them down and made the decision to follow John Fox to Chicago.
The 49ers had publicly stated that the decision to move on from HC Jim Harbaugh was a “mutual” agreement after the season, even though reports had been saying that Harbaugh’s time in San Francisco was over for the better part of a year.
Harbaugh told Kawakami this past week that he wanted to remain with the team, but they informed him he wouldn’t be back after their loss to the Seahawks.
“I was told I wouldn’t be the coach any more,” Harbaugh said. “And then . . . you can call it ‘mutual,’ I mean, I wasn’t going to put the 49ers in the position to have a coach that they didn’t want any more. But that’s the truth of it. I didn’t leave the 49ers. I felt like the 49er hierarchy left me.”
In the end, the 49ers front office hired their guy while parting ways with a head coach that led them to a 44-19-1 (69 percent) record to go along with three playoff appearance in four years and had them one yard away from a Super Bowl victory.
It will be interesting to see what Tomsula’s look like in 2015.