At the conclusion of the 49ers’ regular-season finale vs. Arizona, the club announced it would be parting ways with head coach Jim Harbaugh by mutual agreement.
However, a published report Saturday indicates Harbaugh had been previously told he would not be returning.
Citing multiple unnamed sources, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reported the 49ers told Harbaugh after the December 14 loss at Seattle that he would not coach the team in 2015.
The 17-7 loss to the Seahawks dropped the 49ers to 7-7 and eliminated San Francisco from playoff contention.
The report of Harbaugh being told in-season that he would not be back is reminiscent of the 49ers dismissing Mike Singletary with one game left in 2010, right after the club was knocked out of postseason contention. However, in that case, the 49ers tabbed an interim coach, with Jim Tomsula replacing Singletary for Week 17.
Tomsula was hired as Harbaugh’s full-time replacement in January. By then, Harbaugh had become head coach at Michigan.