49ers Hire Coach

Jim Tomsula Greg Trott AP
Greg Trott/Associatd Press

The San Francisco 49ers will formally announce Jim Tomsula as the nineteenth head coach in team history on Tuesday.

The franchise’s longtime defensive line coach takes over the team he led on an interim basis for a single game after Mike Singletary’s firing in 2010. Now he steps into the job on a more longterm basis to succeed the man who succeeded him as 49ers head coach.

Tomsula’s “long, strange trip” to the San Francisco’s sidelines involves a string of assistant jobs at high schools, obscure colleges, and in Europe, which gave him his only head coaching experience before the 49ers. Tomsula led NFL Europe’s Rhein Fire in 2006. T0msula worked as a salesman, janitor, and delivered newspapers as a means of support when his pay as a coach thinned.

“Our organization is excited to have Jim Tomsula leading this football team,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, the man whose feuds with John Harbaugh led to his departure, remarked in a statement. “We have had the privilege of working alongside Jim for the past eight seasons. He is a proven leader, teacher and mentor, and we look forward to seeing him apply his craft and vision to our team.”

The team interviewed more than a half dozen candidates, with Tomsula’s hiring coming as a bit of a surprise to outsiders. Inheriting a talent-rich team that underachieved in 2014, and coming off three NFC Championship Game appearances in four seasons, the 49ers have big expectations entering next season. They also have big questions, such as the trajectory of quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s career and whether several players finding themselves in the police blotter can again make headlines on the sports page.