Jim Harbaugh says his parting with the 49ers wasn’t really mutual

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Within minutes after the 2014 regular season ended, the 49ers announced a mutual parting with coach Jim Harbaugh.  Appearing on a podcast with Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, Harbaugh said it wasn’t really a mutual separation.

I was told I wouldn’t be the coach any more,” Harbaugh said.  “And then . . . you can call it ‘mutual,’ I mean, I wasn’t going to put the 49ers in the position to have a coach that they didn’t want any more.  But that’s the truth of it.  I didn’t leave the 49ers.  I felt like the 49er hierarchy left me.”

Harbaugh also confirmed that he was told he wouldn’t be returning on the Monday after a Week 15 loss to the Seahawks.  He opted not to leave at that point.

“I wanted to finish what I started — what we started,” Harbaugh said.  “And I have great fond memories of it.”

Some of the memories apparently aren’t so fond.  Someday, Harbaugh may have a lot more to say about it.

“I don’t think we were playing out of the same playbook,” Harbaugh said.  “But maybe there’ll be a book some day.  Maybe I’ll write a manuscript.”

I’d definitely buy the book and/or watch the movie.

110 responses to “Jim Harbaugh says his parting with the 49ers wasn’t really mutual

  1. I think SF made a huge mistake and I also want to sign up for the first edition of that book.

  2. Did the 49ers pay Harbaugh to buy out his contract?

    If so, then it wasn’t mutual. If not, then it was.

  3. great coach. class act. 49ers management big egos could not handle him. An epic fail. A great turnaround for a historically great franchise stopped cold in its tracks. Time to lose and lose and lose again.

  4. Unfortunately, this is the team I root for. None of us fans wanted or supported this decision from the start, and we are well aware of the idiotic tyrant parade Jed is putting on. All there is hope for is that the return of the two true leaders of this team (Willis/Bowman), can salvage any of the minimal optimism we have left.

  5. He is now the coach of my favorite team. Oh how times change. I’m pretty desperate for some college wins right now. Hungry hungry hungry.

  6. What about the guy that paid $40k for a PSL ? Then has to pony up another $15k each year just to buy his game tickets? What does Jed York have to say to that guy?

    You know what he said to the guy above? By he and his notoriously cheap family’s actions, the York’s said “We got your money sucka! Now go buy a tofu hot dog, sit down and watch the train wreck.”

  7. So basically the front office skids actually wanted a “mutual separation” weeks before the season was over.

    That would have been an even easier sell to their paying customers…yeah, much more believable…

  8. miamisaint3255 says:
    Feb 13, 2015 6:45 PM
    great coach. class act. 49ers management big egos could not handle him. An epic fail. A great turnaround for a historically great franchise stopped cold in its tracks. Time to lose and lose and lose again.

    ————————————

    They started their downward spiral last year. Don’t kid yourself, they weren’t a playoff team with him last year and they weren’t going to be one with him this year.

    You saw last year happens when they make Kaep the focal point of the offense. Unless they clone a younger version of Frank Gore and pound it 20+ times a game, they won’t be making the playoffs with Kaep at QB.

  9. This is why talent can’t get you far.

    However, just because teams don’t like who you are it doesn’t mean you’re untalented. They just take things too personally.

  10. 49ers management is gonna regret letting Harbaugh go. Did t they refuse Debartolo an advisory role a few years back as well? Jed York seems like an ego maniac?

  11. I used to enjoy watching Wolverine football, and may again. Harbaugh needs to recruit a quarterback there. It has been a long time since Michigan had a decent quarterback.

  12. An uninvolved owner, a great GM and a Great Coach build dynasties. SF, Welcome to being the Doormat again in the West.

  13. I’d definitely buy the book and/or watch the movie.

    —————–

    Are you kidding, Mike? You will be in that book. We just need to figure out who should play you in the movie version.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  14. Obviously this idiot owner is taking the 49ers down a very rocky road. It won’t be pleasant.

  15. As someone who is not a 49ers fan, but who has certainly watched this story unfold for the last year, it just seems like there is a lot of revisionist history going on here. When Harbaugh was coaching, everyone respected his record but knew he had horrible people skills–so bad that people seemed OK with the inevitability of him leaving.

    Now that he is gone, people seem to be saying, “Poor little Jimmy Harbaugh, he never did a thing wrong and those big, bad incompetent managers and owners are just terrible.”

    It doesn’t matter to me in the least, but there is quite a movement toward complete sympathy for Harbaugh that didn’t seem to exist before.

  16. I love it. A coach that wears out his welcome every 4 years or so at every stop is supposed to be a sympathetic character? Last I checked – I don’t see any super bowl victories or national titles on his resume. Over rated coach with an out of control ego. Not as big a loss as you would think

  17. Thanks to the clown show run by Jed York, the 49ers are now the new Redskins. Welcome to the wilderness, folks. Like us Redskins fans, you’ll always have the memories of the glory days.

  18. This isn’t news, unless you’re one of the ignorant “pro Jed” 49ers fans. I’m a lifelong 49ers fan. Always have been, always will be. Doesn’t mean I have to root for the front office. I root for that Logo. For the name. For the Franchise. Anyone who is lucky enough to be selected to represent that history better do a good job in my eyes. Jed and Baalke are Jokes. They think they are running a car club or something. Whatever the case may be, I will support the team, cheer them on, and hope they win every game. I will not support Jed York, Baalke, or their wallets. By that, I mean I will not purchase merchandise from the team, or buy tickets to games from the team. In fact, I was one of those chumps they tricked into buying PSLs. In fact, I had club seats, which I sold (for a tiny profit) a few days after Harbaugh was fired. Feel so lucky to get out while I could. Now, If I want Niner gear, I will buy it on eBay, used or old dead stock. Everyone has their opinions and can be pro Jed or Anti Harbaugh, or whatever they want. That’s their choice as fans. But, if you’re truly informed, and care about winning as much as personalities and egos, then there is no way you can be happy with they way things have turned out. We were all tricked into financing a stadium to allow Jed to fill his pockets, while he skims on Coaching and invests the new money in Tech and tries to buy soccer teams. The 49ers, right now and for as long as Jed is at the helm, are a tragic disappointment.

  19. Did it ever occur to Harbaugh that maybe if he weren’t such a whack job, he’d still be there????

    The guy is an outstanding coach, but he has such an abrasive personality I can easily see why the 49’ers wanted him to go.

  20. seatownballers says:
    Feb 13, 2015 6:55 PM
    Every one else has it better.
    Heading for the basement
    Go Kaep and tomisula!

    ————1

    How are things in the Region of Gloom? Oops, is it still to soon to ask?

  21. joeconnorjr says:
    Feb 13, 2015 6:59 PM
    I’d definitely buy the book and/or watch the movie.

    —————–

    Are you kidding, Mike? You will be in that book. We just need to figure out who should play you in the movie version.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    ———–

    Willem Dafoe

  22. Ask A. J. Smith if the decision to fire Marty after a 14-2 season worked out well.

    Who knows what the state of the Raiders would have been during the past 12 years, had Al Davis not traded away Jon Gruden after he brought them back to prominence.

    Three teams in the NFC West are pleased with Harbaugh gone.

  23. I suspect that Jim’s stubbornness at not wanting to please, but rather tweak, his BOSS, and his wish to retain Greg Roman were the culprits of his demise.
    How many out there can spit in their boss’ face and keep their job? Hmmmm.

  24. Say what you want about harbaugh but he could have thrown a fit or shown his ego by walking out after the Seattle game. Yet he hung in there to finish the season. I’ve seen coaches who are still in the league that would whine over way less petty stuff

  25. Jim Fraudbaugh is a petulant overrated loser who hasn’t won anything at any level of football ever. He inherited 97% of the underachieving talent on the team that were already good but repressed by historically incompetent Mike Singletary.

  26. This year without Harbaugh some 49ers will be exposed. The three that come to mind are…..

    Trent Baalke: as an overrated GM who can not evaluate skill position players.

    Jed York: as a dim witted buffoon who shouldn’t be the CEO of Any business entity.

    Judas Tomsula: as a complete joke of a head coach. He and his rag tag coaching staff are going to make Roman, Harbaugh, and Fangio look like football gods.

  27. thereisfootballwestofjersey says:
    Feb 13, 2015 6:50 PM
    What about the guy that paid $40k for a PSL ? Then has to pony up another $15k each year just to buy his game tickets? What does Jed York have to say to that guy?

    You know what he said to the guy above? By he and his notoriously cheap family’s actions, the York’s said “We got your money sucka! Now go buy a tofu hot dog, sit down and watch the train wreck.”
    ———————————
    Please, Jed York doesn’t have the same stature to even be mentioned in the same paragraph as a tofu hot dog. Tofu Pups are awesome!

  28. Jim’s record speaks for itself. This team had talent with Singletary and what was our record? Jed looked us right in the face over and over and said it was mutual. Well Jed your one classes liar! And all you non faithful’s go back and root your teams on and don’t worry about our team.

  29. Harbaugh opens his mouth and all I hear at this point is “waaaa waaaaaa, waaaaaaaaaa wa wa wa waaaaaaaa”

  30. I just want to say to 49er fans your front office has truly messed up. Jim was a great coach and now 49ers enjoy the bottom third of the league. KARMA!!!!

  31. 3 straight NFL title games and a questionable non call away from a world championship and his team didn’t want him. Doug Marrone goes 15-17 and walks away from his job cause he thinks everybody wants him ? Lol

    Only in the league that fines players as much for uni violations as for head shots, run by a guy who approved Buffalos stadium renovations last year now stands up saying they NEED a new stadium? I’m all for a new stadium but “the Rog” has to make up that 9 million dollar loss some how

  32. ayyyjayyy says:Feb 13, 2015 7:30 PM

    seatownballers says:
    Feb 13, 2015 6:55 PM
    Every one else has it better.
    Heading for the basement
    Go Kaep and tomisula!

    ————1

    How are things in the Region of Gloom? Oops, is it still to soon to ask

    Lmao. Let’s just see how things go next year and who wins division. 8-8 will be the highlight of the decade. Fangio is gone too. No worries, heard you got York and Balke running things. Here comes another blown draft. Have fun in your new stadium sipping wine with WiFi. We don’t need pamphlets of when to cheer.

    See ya on the battle field next year. I’m just bitter York ended the rivalry.

  33. What we already knew. But, at least now its on record. Cant wait to hear how Jed tries to “not answer” this one.

  34. Well 9er fans, you talked crap about the Raider head office and owner for a long time. Now it’s your turn. York is a lot younger than Al Davis was in his last years. Your going to have him for a LONG LONG time. Raider fell on hard times after our Super Bowl, now your on the same track. It was so telling when Raiders beat 9ers good in Oakland. Our stadium may be old but I don’t pay thousands of $ for a psl and can take BART if I want. You know it, everybody knows it..the Santa Clara team is crumbling before our eyes. Raiders doing it right and will once again be the dom. team in the S.F.(not S.C.) Bay Area.

  35. As the years go by and more players retire or leave SF, they’ll share their feelings. Players who are under contract dare not speak out, they’ve seen how Baalke will stab someone in the back to get ahead. I’m sure we’ll hear plenty of truth on this situation in 3-5 years.

  36. One day historians are going to write about the Dark Ages of American football and they’re going to use this incident as another example of how misguided the owners were.

  37. Harbaugh had the 2nd best team in football 3 straight yrs. They only started to fall apart after management started trying to trade him to Cleveland.

  38. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    ———–

    Willem Dafoe

    Rick Moranis.

    Hell, they might already be the same guy.

  39. This here’s a Story ’bout a man named Jed, a poor mountaineer who barely kept his family fed….then one day he was outted as a fool, and all around the NFL he was known to be a prude…

  40. He inherited a team that was 8-8 then 6-10 and left them at 8-8, we were headed downhill anyways. He lost the lockerroom and respect of the players.

  41. York should learn from this. Just have the balls to come out and say Jim is a nutjob and you can’t work with him and so you are firing him, if that is really what you believe. Trying to massage the whole thing with the “mutual” just makes him look lame. Man up and say what you are doing and take the heat if it doesn’t work out.

  42. As adept, allegedly, as the 49ers were at leaking bits and pieces to the press all year…perhaps they should leak their side of the story….the mutual parting was laughable, at best, and the management has come off looking like utter fools. Somewhere in the middle is the truth.

  43. The 49ers FO, in their arrogance, expects fans to swallow that swill. Shows you what they think of their fan base.

  44. Jed,

    I love the Niners but you are a straight up tool! Hopefully, we can overcome your total lameness. If the Niners raise the SuperBowl trophy next year it will have nothing to do with you! Nice job letting the SeaGags eat turkey on our field you clown!

  45. You’d be naive to think he will stay at Michigan for a long time. Every single offseason as head coaching vacancies come up, everyone is going to try to get Harbaugh, and eventually he’s going to get tired of saying no, especially if it’s a team that’s ready to win the Super Bowl.

  46. LETTING HARBAUGH GO, HAS GOT TO BE THE MOST STUPID MOVE A OWNER HAS EVER MADE! THE 49ERS BETTER GET USED TO LOSING , BECAUSE THE LOSSES ARE COMING.

  47. 12thman84 says:
    Feb 13, 2015 11:39 PM
    This makes me sick
    —————————

    Iron sharpens Iron?

    Go Hawks
    ____________________________

    you neglected to include the dash in your screenname,
    1-2thman84!

  48. Jim is as overrated as a coach as Pete Carroll is. Carroll was garbage with a bad team but good with a great team. How do you not win with that 49ers team? That team was stacked with talent but Harbaugh lost them. Huge ego for a marginal coach and a terrible player. I for one wont miss him whining for calls on the sidelines on Sundays.

  49. What people keep forgetting in all this drama is that only part of the team that was failing was Harbaugh’s baby.

    The Defense under Fangio was Rock Solid. The Power Running Attack, which was Roman’s primary responsibility, was Rock Solid. Just like at Stanford.

    BUT, the passing offense, which was Harbaugh ‘the QB Whisperer’s’ baby, sucked.

    Three areas of coaching influence, one unit failure and one man responsible — Harbaugh.

    Now, if we had Air Coryell with a Top-5 defense and a great rushing attack, I ‘d say the firing was not justified.

    But what we had was one of the most pathetic and inept passing attacks in the NFL. And that was all Harbaugh. Harbaugh’s coaching. Harbaugh’s plays. Harbaugh’s QB.

    So, he can whine he wants. Fans can kid themselves Harbaugh was a great coach even though the only successful areas were in the primary areas of his two coordinators.

    In the end, the fourth-rate passing attack and crappy QB, coupled with the offensive regression under under Harbaugh’s direction, tells us that Harbaugh was no offensive genius coach. And that the credit for earlier successes should be going to Fangio and Roman.

  50. Fire Jim Harbaugh so you can hire Jim Tomsula. I still can’t get over it. Even the coordinators they hired are complete jokes. After the next football season is over Jed York and Trent Baalke won’t even be able to show their face in the great city of San Francisco… Errr I mean Santa Clara. OMG!! When will this nightmare end?

  51. People are trying to say Harbaugh was only successful because of the talented 49ers roster, and that anybody could have won with them.

    How many coaches could beat Sean Payton 2 out of 3 times and his loss came because of a bogus call on Ahmad Brooks?

    How man coaches can beat Belichick in New England on prime time in December?

    How many coaches can go 4-0 against Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers? Two of which were playoff games(one in Lambeau).

    How many coaches can go toe to toe with Pete Carroll… .500 record against him.

    Harbaugh is the epitome of an elite coach…AND HE WAS JUST GETTING STARTED!!!! Any viable CEO would have just cut the checks and stay out their elite coach’s way and sit back and count the money and victories as he watches his legacy grows..

    York may count his money with the PSLs being sold due to the bait and switch he pulled off on his fanbase, but his squad is going to be complete joke and his legacy will be that of a clown’s. A lying clown at that. Let’s me go back and listen to that KNBR interview to hear an owner look a man In his eye and lie through his teeth talking about a mutual parting. 49ers are simply a rat franchise…full of front office leaks, snitches, and Backstabbers.

  52. seatownballers says:
    Feb 13, 2015 6:55 PM
    Every one else has it better.
    Heading for the basement
    Go Kaep and tomisula!

    ————1

    How are things in the Region of Gloom? Oops, is it still to soon to ask

    Lmao. Let’s just see how things go next year and who wins division. 8-8 will be the highlight of the decade. Fangio is gone too. No worries, heard you got York and Balke running things. Here comes another blown draft. Have fun in your new stadium sipping wine with WiFi. We don’t need pamphlets of when to cheer.

    See ya on the battle field next year. I’m just bitter York ended the rivalry.

    ———————

    It’s all about expectations. We expected to see the Seachokes raise the Lombardi trophy again, but as we all saw, the Region of Gloom is also capable of choking. Which must suck for you and the new fan base. As a Niners fan since the 1980-81 season, I still remember those heart breaking losses, even with those SBs. I’m sure you will remember yours forever.

    Anyway, I don’t expect anything from the Niners next season, which is ok with me. And I agree about our fellow fans – I hate to admit it but a lot of them are casual, then again the Bay Area is really a laid back place.

    Next season:
    1. AZ
    2. Region of Gloom
    3. StL
    4. Santa Clara

  53. raiderlyfe510 says:
    Feb 14, 2015 9:54 AM
    People are trying to say Harbaugh was only successful because of the talented 49ers roster, and that anybody could have won with them……

    ———-

    Too bad there’s no option to like your comment a thousand times!

    Anyway, Brian Murphy’s interview of Napolean says it all. He was stuttering, nervous, you name it. I’m halfway pulling for an 0-16 season so both Napolean and Baalke can just look bad…again.

    But the Niner fan in me wants Tomsula to succeed and go 19-0 next season and hoist THE SIXTH trophy.

  54. ayyyjayyy says:
    Feb 13, 2015 7:34 PM
    joeconnorjr says:
    Feb 13, 2015 6:59 PM
    I’d definitely buy the book and/or watch the movie.

    —————–

    Are you kidding, Mike? You will be in that book. We just need to figure out who should play you in the movie version.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    =========================================

    Fred Willard would make an appropriate Mike Florio.

  55. Harbaugh is a liar. He APPROVED of the trade talks with Cleveland BEFORE the season even started and his agent had been talking to Michigan back in September. Nice try, Jim — you’re not a victim.

    No argument that the Niners started the ball rolling in a negative manner by trying to trade him. Harbaugh’s pride must have taken a real blow with that one. During the meeting it is obvious that they must have read him the riot act about his offense, and/or Roman. The fact they entertained a trade was egregious, but the Michigan rumors had started back in September.

    (“It is possible this article was based entirely on his own boredom, but it is also possible JIm Harbaugh’s agent, David Dunn, has begun, or will soon begin planting the seeds for Jim Harbaugh’s eventual departure. This was followed on Friday with a discussion about Jim Harbaugh and Michigan over at Grantland.”).

    That was from an article by David Fucillo so I believe it would be naive to assume that Harbaugh, knowing full well he wasn’t wanted before the season even started, made no preparations for his next job. That’s not like him to be unprepared so I feel confident that his agent’s actions were not without his knowledge.

    Another article on Sept. 26 is very revealing: “A perfect storm of factors is pointing him in that direction. Before we put on our tinfoil hat, it’s worth remembering something that cannot be disputed: Harbaugh nearly became the Browns coach in January. As Mike Florio first reported, a trade sending Harbaugh to Cleveland for several draft picks “was in place,” likely due to the mounting tension between the coach and 49ers GM Trent Baalke. Even stranger, it was Harbaugh who reportedly initiated the talks. He was seemingly willing to leave an outwardly attractive situation for an ostensible Dumpster fire. The deal never came to fruition, but the mere fact that it reached a “serious stage” suggests the clock is ticking on Harbaugh’s time in San Francisco, especially considering his contract expires after next season.”

    So, Mike Florio indicates that Harbaugh had given his approval to the trade talks with Cleveland and that it did not come as a surprise to him. Very interesting and it removes much of the shock value. We now learn that he was willing to part with the 49ers and approved of a possible trade before the season even started.

  56. Give a young Kid { Jed }, the keys to the Car and the First thing he Does is take it out and Blow Up the Transmission ! { Harbaugh }

  57. So he waits 2 weeks to take a job he knew he’d take and then hurt his recruiting.

    Makes sense.

    This guy is an egomaniac. Just thinks he’ll win because he is who he is.

  58. The 49ers front office is nothing but a bunch of ego driven morons… This is going to set the franchise back to their mid-2000s days. But hey, they got that shiny new billion dollar palace in Santa Clara with a bunch of fans that are probably regretting paying all that dough for the PSLs.

  59. Because there is no such thing as a mutual separation. Maybe like 1 out of 100 times. The vast majority of firings this year were labelled as “mutual”. LOL yeah right.

    49ers would’ve been wise to look to their neighbors to the south. Shottenheimer had that team rockin’ ‘n’ rollin’ and the idiot GM fired him after a 14-2 season because they lost an epic battle to the Pats in the playoffs. They’ve been a mediocre team since.

    9ers are on the down swing fo sho. Fo Sho!

  60. now that i think of it “the 49ers letting jim go and hiring tomsula is kinda like the hawks throwing instead of giving it to marshawn”. Got to be 2 of the worst decisions in sports.

  61. 12thman84 says:
    Feb 13, 2015 11:39 PM
    This makes me sick
    —————————

    Iron sharpens Iron?

    Go Hawks
    ____________________________

    you neglected to include the dash in your screenname,
    1-2thman84!
    —————————-
    So you must be a Pats’ fan huh?

  62. I am not much of a fan of his. Didn’t really care for the handling of the Alex Smith situation. Not at all a Niners fan but I am still not convinced that he made the right decision I don’t see Kaepernick as appreciably better than Alex Smith. I still think Smith was good enough to lose a SB just like Kaepernick.

  63. Harbaugh will be back in the NFL within three years. He’s too good to waste his trade chasing high school kids on the recruiting trail. I’d love to see him back in the NFCW where he can stick it to SF twice a year.

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