Two hours after the San Francisco 49ers ended their 5-11 season with a 19-16 win over the St. Louis Rams, CEO Jed York announced that head coach Jim Tomsula would not return as head coach next season.
“Jimmy has been a valuable member of the 49ers organization for the last nine years,” said York. “We all know he is a man of high character, and his contributions on the field and in our community have always been greatly appreciated. This entire organization is proud and grateful to have worked so closely alongside Jimmy. We all wish him and his family great success in the future.”
With the announcement of the firing, this much is clear: Round one goes to Jim Harbaugh.
Harbaugh was fired at the end of last season as his personality and style clashed with GM Trent Baalke. He was 44-19-1 in four seasons with the 49ers, including a Super Bowl appearance and two other trips to the NFC Championship game.
Tomsula wasn’t given much to work with, as the team lost Patrick Willis, Justin Smith and Chris Borland–among others–prior to the season. But quarterback Colin Kaepernick never looked the same after Harbaugh left, and Blaine Gabbert wasn’t the answer, although by then it didn’t matter.
Tomsula joins Cleveland Browns former head coach Mike Pettine on the unemployed list with Black Monday for NFL head coaches starting early.