Before Mike Holmgren agreed to coach a couple of games in New Zealand, he had interest in coaching a couple of teams in the NFL. By the sound of it, he had one opportunity he didn’t want (probably the Raiders), and another opportunity that didn’t want him.
“[T]his last December, after the season, I had a couple of chances, and almost took one of them, and then realized that, ‘What am I doing?'” Holmgren told Rich Eisen on Friday. “You know, I’d be traveling across the country and my grandkids are all in Seattle, and my life is really good but I had the bug still, and then I told my agent, ‘You know, the one I’d really kind of like to do is San Francisco,’ and so they reached out to the 49ers and essentially, I got a call back saying, ‘Nah, we’re going with a younger guy.'”
State and federal laws regarding age discrimination technically apply to the NFL, but they rarely are enforced — especially by G.M. and coaching candidates who hear the same thing Holmgren allegedly heard from the 49ers. He’s 67, the 49ers allegedly rebuffed his interest because they wanted someone younger, and they hired someone 20 years younger.
Regardless, Holmgren sames no problem with what happened. In fact, he seems to appreciate the candor.
“I probably needed to hear that because you get your ego stroked and you’re flattered when people call you and you kind of get into a place where I’m not sure you’re making great decisions, but when I heard that I said, ‘Okay, I needed to hear that and now I’m going onto other things.’”
Holmgren’s other things have included plenty of media appearances in recent days, presumably in connection with a looming pair of exhibition games in New Zealand that will have a hard time generating much attention.