49ers, Harbaugh mutually agree to part ways

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As expected, the Jim Harbaugh era has ended in San Francisco.

The team has announced that Harbaugh and the franchise have mutually agreed to part ways after four years together.

“Jim and I have come to the conclusion that it is in our mutual best interest to move in different directions,” CEO Jed York said.  “We thank Jim for bringing a tremendous competitive nature and a great passion for the game to the 49ers.  He and his staff restored a winning culture that has been the standard for our franchise throughout its history.  Their commitment and hard work resulted in a period of success that should be looked back on proudly by our organization and our fans.  We wish Jim and his family all the best.”

Per a league source, the mutual parting makes Harbaugh free and clear to take any other job, including another NFL job, with no compensation to the 49ers.  So despite multiple, persistent reports that Harbaugh would be traded, the two sides ultimately decided to walk away, with no strings attached and no further obligation.  Basically, they’ve wiped out the final year of his five-year contract.

173 responses to “49ers, Harbaugh mutually agree to part ways

  1. Horrible, horrible move! A lot of you can feel anyway about Harbaugh, but that man can coach. Yes, he took over a stacked Niners team but he’s the one who put them over the hump, took them to a super bowl, championship games and winning seasons. He deserves an NFL job, the Niners will regret this move badly.

  2. His grating style makes him a 3-4 years coach for the NFL, he will wear everybody down eventually here. I think he will be successful considering that they will manage to bring in the talent.
    Also, Baalke needs some good drafts/personnel moves now as McCloughan’s picks/moves have grown older.

  3. 2 years from now they’ll be firing the replacement coach and the GM they decided to keep instead of Harbaugh, and trying to find the next “harbaugh like” coach. Meanwhile he’ll have every team that fires their coach backing up the Brinks truck to his house in Ann Arbour.

    The 49ers just bet on the wrong horse.

  4. Foolish of my favorite team. Baalke should have been shown the door and Harbaugh been given GM powers. Oh well, he will get a fat raise and more power at his next stop. Good for him and his family! Good luck, JH!

  5. Wow. 3 years winning like I have not seen them do in a couple of centuries!! And the front office runs him off??? Say what you want about Dallas, but this is just stupid!!

  6. I hope the 49ers suck for many years after this dumb move. All they need to do is look around and see how difficult it is to find an elite coach. You make it work. I hope he finds a school or team that appreciates his talents.

  7. One of the worst moves that the Niners will make. Winning coach and one losing season and kicking him out the door. Seems like the same situation as the Chargers had with Marty and AJ. Such a shame to lose a good coach like that.

  8. Jed York better come up with a grand slam candidate, and they guy better be able to produce in the first year. Going to be really hard in that division. Arizona is a QB away, St. Louis is getting better, and Seattle is….Seattle.

    You wanted this York…..and you got it….hope you can take the heat.

  9. 49ers will regret it! 3 NFC champ games and 1 Super Bowl berth…is the 49ers management on drugs? Should have worked it out….

  10. I am grateful this is happening quickly so I don’t have to put up with a lot of meaningless speculation.

  11. Harbaugh will have success wherever he goes as he always has. The 49ers meanwhile will long regret letting it come to this point. You don’t let great QBs or great Coaches just walk away.

  12. Since no team has to give up draft picks to acquire his services the window of opportunity has significantly widened. I can’t see him going back to college level given multiple NFL teams will be making coaching changes. Black Monday just got more interesting.

  13. …and the Seahawks’ little brother goes to the back of the car. Next “rival” in the front passenger seat?

  14. I really hope this helps the Big10 get back to being respectable.

    As a Buckeye fan I can’t wait to hate the team up north with a true passion again.

  15. Harbaugh is a top competitor. It’s the same way he was as a player. All three of his head coaching jobs have been taking over a team that was on or near the bottom, and getting them to the top. I don’t think anything will change. I am a big Stanford fan, so I was upset when he left there. I am a 49er fan, so I’m a little anxious to see what’s ahead. I’m a huge Harbaugh fan, so here we go again. He’ll turn somebody into a winner.

  16. Well back to being worth nothing for us. I won’t have much else to say about Niners around here. It was a fun run just shows you have to take advantage whenever you have the opportunities.

  17. I wonder if we will ever find out what really happened here. The 49er’s are morons for letting him go. I highly doubt anyone they get is going to do any better.

  18. Hail! to the victors valiant
    Hail! to the conqu’ring heroes
    Hail! Hail! to Michigan
    The leaders and best!
    Hail! to the victors valiant
    Hail! to the conqu’ring heroes
    Hail! Hail! to Michigan,
    The champions of the West!

  19. I believe this also means 49er fans will now have to pay royalties if they want to “have it better” than anyone else.

  20. For as much as I dislike Coach Harbaugh, he was a great coach for the 49ers. His successor will be hard pressed to be as successful as he was in his first 3 years. As a Seattle fan I hope we can continue to have a great rivalry, but I think that it’s going to be a rebuild for SF.

  21. And the 49ers allowed that mutual parting without restrictions because they know he is going to Michigan.

  22. As much as Jim Harbaugh can be annoying sometimes, I’m just completely confused as to why the 49ers would get rid of a coach that has brought them so much success?? I’m a Giants fan and have not seen many 9ers games but this just seems like the dumbest thing this team could do. I’ll tell you this, if he doesn’t take the Michigan job, there will be a line of teams waiting to snatch him up.

  23. Jim Harbaugh will be remembered by the Faithful as the man who resurrected the franchise into contenders. He achieved a historic run in his first tenure as a head coach in the NFL and it is with pride and gratitude that he did it in the Red & Gold. I wish him and his family the best.

    P.S Jed York you smarmy silver spooned fed mid-west transplant, I hope you enjoyed watching mommy and daddy own a last place team. Because it seems that history is about to repeat itself.

  24. It’s weird that Jason Garrett has outlasted Jim Harbaugh, Jed York’s ego going to be the death of the Niners. We are about to be like Cowboys back whenever Jerry Jones ran off Jimmie Johnson and that was all she wrote…..

  25. George McCaskey I hope you are doing the right thing right about now – on the phone, sending a plane, whatever!

  26. Has any NFL team “mutually agreed” to part ways with a head coach with that winning percentage in his first 4 years? Seahawks fan here, and I love the rivalry. Michigan is obviously a great opportunity for him but no doubt he’s a good NFL coach. Best of luck.

  27. Wow, for Jed and Jim not to talk about coach’s contract status all season as they insisted they had not, they must have figured it out quickly in the few minutes they spoke on the field before the game.

  28. Even as a Hawks fan, I’ll admit that I will miss Harbaugh sporting the red and gold. The rivalry between the Hawks and SF was the most fun to watch that I’ve have had as a fan. Each team despised each other but they also brought out the best of each other.

  29. Im no fan of the guy, but one has to wonder what York is thinking, letting go of a guy who took them to such levels …… ?

    I find it funny that today Kaepernick is being ridiculed, yet two years ago he was the next great thing. And if Kaepernick IS that bad, how good a coach was Harbaugh to get so much out of him?

  30. Now my gophers will never come close to sniffing a rose bowl or winning that jug atleast for harbaughs tenure there

  31. thepackerpoet says: Dec 28, 2014 8:18 PM

    Go PACK GO!

    We have the team to beat every other NFC West team. We will win the Super Bowl while you all go home!

    We are the best! You aren’t!
    The Packers won’t get the help from the refs throughout the playoffs that they got against the Lions at home.

  32. Yes, because it’s so easy to find a good coach.
    That’s why every team has one, right? Unreal.
    The 49ers will rue this day for years to come.

  33. Talk about killing the golden goose… remember what the niners were before Harbaugh? A team of incredibly talented players who collectively sucked. Now they have less talent than that time and are WITHOUT Harbaugh. Futility is a season away.

  34. If Harbaugh wants full control of a roster, which it seems he does, that’s a rare job in the NFL these days.

    Add to it that his style is certainly intense which a lot of pro NFL players may rub the wrong way at worst…at best it has a shelf life where it no longer has the impact it does early.

    He’ll be back; I am guessing if it is Michigan, he’ll have an out clause after 2 years or so to come back to the NFL and the sites such as this will be asking those questions year after year ala Gruden.

  35. The issue is Harbaugh was demanding Superbowl money and he hasn’t won one. Harbaugh was intractable in that that and other reasons led to a class separation on the parts of both parties.

  36. NOOOOOOOOOO!!! My eyes are literally puddling up right now. Stupid Jed. He created this in the first place and he should’ve been the one fired.

  37. Don’t see this working out well for the Niners. They fire a good coach and they are stuck with a huge contract for a joke of a quarterback named Colin Kaepernick.

  38. I applaud Harbaugh for realizing he wasn’t ever going to win anything with Alex Smith and taking a chance on Kaepernick. Winners take chances unlike Doug Marrone in Buffalo.

  39. As a Niner fan, I couldn’t be more disgusted with this move. My guess is that we’ll go through two mediocre head coaches before finally getting a good one again. Jed York didn’t learn from his dad’s Mariucci mistake. And now we’ll pay for it with 5-6 bad seasons.

  40. I just don’t understand how you can’t overcome these kinds of issues when you are knocking on the door of the Superbowl. I know they were 8-8 this year, but this season’s horrendous experience can be attributed to all of the negative attention they received. It seemed like this drama went on all season. The entire organization appears in disarray and I feel for the next person coming in to replace him. This could be a monumental task for the next coach and might not be fixed until the coach after Harbaugh’s replacement.

  41. The trade rumor was bogus. All he had to do was decline it and they would be forced to fire him and he didn’t screw over a new NFL job with missing draft picks. They simply saved the embarrassment of a public fued. Now he can call the Raiders with a take it or leave it deal or head to Ann Arbor

  42. The real reason Harblaaah left is he knew he was not going to beat Seattle,and the man hates to lose.Michigan is a much better fit for him.

  43. kamthechancellor says:

    Bwaaaahaaahaaahaaahaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You losers! Seahawks #1 seed! Rub that salt in the wound whiner faithless!

    – – – – – – – – –

    This right here is why Seattle’s fanbase is the worst in all of pro sports. But you have to give them a break since they’re all pretty new to football.

  44. 95′ was so long ago that the niner fans are acting like this guy is Vince Lombardi or Pete Carroll. All he is is a little worse than Andy Reid was for the eagles. A runner up but never a champion. Just joking about pete Carroll but at least he won a Super Bowl. Harbaugh can’t be that great if he thought he could win it all with Kaperchoke.

  45. Hawks fan here, and this is a really dumb move no matter how long we knew it was coming. He coaches his butt off every year and one year that didn’t meet expectations you give up on a guy? Imagine how excited J-ville would be to win 8 games, or Oakland, or TB. Gonna miss the Pac 12 rivalry, and all the bad blood with Sherm and Doug, it was fun while it lasted guys.

  46. Go PACK GO!

    We have the team to beat every other NFC West team. We will win the Super Bowl while you all go home!

    We are the best! You aren’t!

    You do realize that this is about Jim Harbaugh leaving , do you not?

  47. John York, Denise Debartolo-York, and Jed York have DESTROYED what Eddie Debartolo Sr. and Jr built. They built a new Stadium in the wrong city, and screwed up the only good move they made (Hiring Jim Harbaugh).

  48. Horrible move by front office let the run his team the way he wants he more then earned at least that bottom of the division from here out

  49. It’s going to take him 3 years, at least, before he will ever sniff Ohio State’s jock on the field. He should pick any other job.

    I hope the 49er’s bring Shanahan in, too. Says all the Seahawk fans…. hahhaha

  50. I’m still betting he’ll go to the Raiders – who in God’s name would want to live in Michigan?

  51. Arthur Blank left out the bait hiring a consulting firm. Why have a consulting firm when finding a new coach is a GM’s job? Maybe the new coach is going to buy his own groceries?

    Harbaugh and Suh coming to Atlanta in 2015. Would fix a lot of stuff!

  52. Why oh why do Viking fans come in to troll the comment sections of RELEVANT teams?

    It is like the conversations of mighty lions being interrupted by a squeaking little mouse.

  53. (Niners fan here.) This was the right decision by ownership. As much as I love JH, he was wrong to demand top money without winning the Super Bowl. Plain and simple. Also, he should have fired Coach Roman 2 years ago. Jim’s refusal to fire Coach Roman was untenable. The offense has not been good since 2012. How many years is the front office suppose to wait for Harbaugh and Roman to figure it out? The regression of Kaepernick and that lost at OAK was the last straws.

    As great as he is, Jim Harbaugh is not the only man who can successfully coach the 49ers. They will be fine.

  54. I’m just going to assume that Harbaugh stuck it to York’s wife? Short of that, I have no idea what that franchise is thinking. There about 20+ NFL teams that would take the headache if it also included a SB trip & 3 consecutive championship games.

  55. You guys all seem to be forgetting about the reports where the team has tuned him out. I believe that to be somewhat true. Look at Davis and buckwheats production this year compared to last. I think a lot of them just like their fans dislike roman and his schemes. It still is a bad move regardless

  56. What better way to get back at 49er ownership, than to take the job with the Oakland Raiders, and have success.

    Raider Nation

  57. Jim,Don’t run back to college football with your tail between your legs show the 49ers they made a big mistake!

  58. This reminds me of the Mark Jackson/Joe Lacob situation at Golden State. I hope the Niners find the Steve Kerr of football, unfortunately, that was already JH.

    I still believe they will be back in the playoffs next season as long as the defense is back on track. Sure injuries happen, but if they’re healthy for the most part, their defense will help them win some games.

  59. Says something that Seahawks fans have more respect for Harbaugh’s skills as a coach than Harbaugh’s own bosses.

    Says something about his bosses mostly: The Boy CEO and his sidekick Balky.

    Been a bad year for those two: Left the city of SF, built a $1.3 billion albatross of a stadium, abandoned core fans by chasing bubble money, and booted their successful head coach just to show everyone (probably their daddies) that they can.

    Some good names mentioned as coaching candidates, but I’m starting to think a smart coach won’t touch this job. I’m betting Yorkie and Balky are starting to get a reputation.

  60. Harbaugh realized he will never EVER beat Carroll in the pro’s and so he decided to go back to college until Carroll retires. You can hardly blame him. Must suck to realize you will always be #2 at BEST, as long as your most hated rival is coaching in your division.

    BTW, Whiner fans. Whatever happened to all the talk from last offseason about how the Seahawks just got lucky on a couple plays and you’d be back to claim the Lombardi this season? Time to go pop in a VHS and relive the 1980’s!


  61. as much as i hate to say it, the nfc west won’t be the same without him.

    as much as i love to say it, i can’t wait to watch the 49ers spiral into chaos.

    stay salty jimmy.

    rams fans.

  62. Well it was fun having a team that could compete again while it lasted. They will regret this , may take a couple years of sucking but they will regret it. Jed got his shiny new house and endless revenue now which has always mattered more then winning to the Yorks

  63. Years from now, Sherman’s tip in the end zone will be an THE iconic play of the generation, just like Dwight Clark’s catch in the back of the end zone. Just as the catch in ’82 marked the end of the Cowboys and the beginning of the Niners, the tip play, and the resultant sweep by the Seahawks this year, will be the indelible image of the Niners collapse and Seahawks ascendency.

  64. So Deion Sanders was right after all. Bet there won’t be any articles apologizing for shooting down his insider information. Bet no one even remembers..

  65. stay in the bay…keep living in the house in Atherton, and commute to the east bay……..

    In all reality for the sake of your wife and children Atherton has to be a whole lot better situation than Ann Arbor

  66. Check the declining stats on Offense if you want to find a place to start.
    Had Jim and OC Greg Roman found something beyond a power running attack, there could have been a better ending to this mess.

    Started with 3 failed fade routes in the SB vs Baltimore and went downhill form there.

  67. As a Seahawks fan I find this move to be completely stupid…the man took them to the NFC Championship game 3 years in a row, the Super Bowl and was one hell of a coach. Even though I despised him for being a cry baby he brought a certain winning tendency to the 49ers. They’re definitely going to regret this

  68. “Years from now, Sherman’s tip in the end zone will be an THE iconic play of the generation, just like Dwight Clark’s catch in the back of the end zone. Just as the catch in ’82 marked the end of the Cowboys and the beginning of the Niners, the tip play, and the resultant sweep by the Seahawks this year, will be the indelible image of the Niners collapse and Seahawks ascendency.”

    you realize that 10 years after that the cowboys won 3 of 4 superbowls?

  69. I have come to realize from reading the comments on this page that the only ones rooting for the 49ers are 49er fans, and by that I mean everyone else is constantly trying to find reasons why they will fail or going on and on why their players or coaches are garbage, only giving respect when they move on. Case in points: Alex Smith, Jim Harbaugh. Go back to the comments written here in 2011 about Alex Smith and what a bust he was. He leaves the 49ers and suddenly he is an elite QB. Jim Harbaugh has taken endless abuse on these pages, and now that he is gone, he was the greatest coach since Vince Lombardi. Point being that there is almost no value in these comments, just wishful or spiteful thinking by fans of other teams.

  70. the ninsrs organization letting Harbaugh go, reminds me of Art Modell, firing the great Paul Brown, and firing Bill Belichick. Really who will the 49ers get to replace Harbaugh who brought winning back to the 49ers?

  71. When Offensive Genius and QB Guru coach give us the #26 offense and one of the worst passing games in the NFL (for years now) why shouldn’t he be fired?

    When offensive genius coach has an offense that, for his four years, has ranked (on average) 20th and the defense was, for the three winning years, ranking 2nd (twice) or 3rd (once), how is it Offensive Genuis was the key?

    This team won on defense. When the defense collapsed due to injuries, the offense (and QB) were exposed as the crappy things they were.

    The bottom line is this team won on Fangio’s Defense, not Harbaugh’s offense. All those short-fields. All that defensive excellence.

    When it went away this year, the 49ers had nothing.

  72. It’s not Harbaugh that should have left it’s that idiot York. As long as we have that General Moron running our team into the mud the 49ers will never be contenders.

  73. Part of me says it was a bad idea to fire him after the way he has returned this team to elite status. Another part of me says it was reasonable to fire him after all the trouble his players got into this past offseason, then had a mediocre season.

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