49ers to keep Trent Baalke as GM after firing coach Tomsula

By on January 4, 2016


Monday, January 4, 2016, 4:05 PM

49ers general manager Trent Baalke will stay on and try to find a new coach.Jeff Chiu/AP

After a disastrous 5-11 campaign that resulted in the firing of first-year coach Jim Tomsula on Sunday night, 49ers CEO Jed York said Monday he will not be making a change at general manager.

Trent Baalke will remain the team’s GM — a position he’s held since 2011 — while leading the search for a new coach. York said the team has a “short list” of candidates but wouldn’t comment further as to potential interviews or whether any prospective coach has reached out to the organization.

Both Chip Kelly and Mike Shanahan have reportedly contacted the 49ers about their head-coaching vacancy.

“Trent understands that I’m not satisfied with the current state of this team. Trent’s role is to find the next head coach and continue to build this roster and get us back to championship form,” York said. “Trent has the skills to do this and get this done. He’s built championship rosters in the past. He’s got the respect of folks around the league and his peers. And Trent knows that he and his staff are going to have all the resources available at their disposal to make sure we get this job right.”

York said the 49ers have a “clear understanding” of what they want in their next coach.

“We want a leader. We want somebody that has a clear strategic vision. We definitely have a short list,” he said. “This is going to be a very, very competitive offseason, so I hope you understand I’m not going to get into the details of that list. But we have a clear understanding of what we’re looking for.”

The 49ers’ decision to hire Tomsula came after an ugly parting of ways with Jim Harbaugh in 2014. Harbaugh led San Francisco to three consecutive NFC Championship Games from 2011-2013 before taking the head job at Michigan this past offseason.

When the news leaked of Tomsula’s firing, Harbaugh tweeted “Do not be deceived. You will reap what you sow.” York said he was “definitely aware” of Harbaugh’s tweet, but said he was too focused on the coaching search to worry about it.

“I think it’s well understood what effort that we made to keep him here. I’m not going to dive into that. I’m not going to get into things that happened behind the scenes, and I can’t look backward,” York said, when asked if he regretted not working harder to keep Harbaugh. “We can’t win games that we’ve already played. We can’t undo decisions that have been made. We need to make sure that all of our effort is focused on the next head coach of the team.

“We’re in need of somebody that can win Super Bowls. Period.”

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