Holmgren wanted to coach 49ers, 49ers wanted someone “younger”

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.

50 responses to “Holmgren wanted to coach 49ers, 49ers wanted someone “younger”

  1. The 49ers are such a dysfunctional franchise run by buffoons. Two of the best coaches in the NFL are the two oldest in Belichick and Coughlin. 49ers go 6-10 this year.

  2. The Cardinals hired Arians who was also above 60. Maybe his stint as Browns president didn’t do him any favors

  3. 3 nfc championship games, and a super bowl appearance they almost won and they ran the guy out of town because of his ego.

    who would want to work with these guys anyway??

    i feel bad for 9er fans, they were a doormat for almost a decade and then when they finally get back to being somewhat of a resemblance of dominating like they did in the 80s and 90s its back to becoming a cellar dweller in a brand new beautiful stadium. weird.

  4. The 49es had one goal and they’ve already reached it. Getting the new stadium built $$$$$$. I mean winning is fine, but it’s not a requirement $$$$$$. They actually planned on the stadium getting built years earlier, but the recession hit and it was tough getting any assistance, especially when the team was losing. They would have hired Holmgren a few years earlier if that was needed to get the stadium deal done. But they brought in Harbaugh to get the stadium built. They knew Harbaugh’s personality better than anybody, but they needed him. He was gone as soon as the last brick was installed on the new stadium. Now, the last thing Baalke is going to want is someone else coming into the building that knows a little bit about football. Baalke was looking for someone he could control, and that someone didn’t need to have a lot on the ball. Hello Tomsula! Not that Tomsula doesn’t have a lot on the ball, but he certainly isn’t in any position to negotiate for a lot of power. I mean, who else was offering him a head coaching job? Bottom line; Holmgren isn’t going to take orders from someone who knows less than he does, and Baalke isn’t going to allow Jed York to bring a smart guy into the building. Baalke nixed that one in a heartbeat.

  5. Frazier28/7

    it is not weird. the Yorks have a cash cow now and that is all they wanted.

    the owners do not care about producing winning teams. all they want is $$

  6. It sucks because as a 9er fan I really wanted Holmgren. If these guys can’t trust him to fix the QB then I have serious doubts about their motivation in their coaching search. Guess Mike wasn’t “yes man” enough for them… Hope I’m wrong.

  7. Boy, they sure do hate winners down there. Harbaugh pushed them too hard and Holmgren was too old.

    On a side note, if Holmgren could win with Hasselbeck, he probably would’ve done wonders with Carr and co.

  8. The 49ers would have been smart to bring him back in some capacity. Tomsula will go 7-9 or worse this year and they’ll be looking at making another change anyway.

  9. Niners did Holgren a favor by turning him down. Upper management is disfunctional. Lost too much talent this offseason. Holgren should be greatful to avoid that mess.

  10. Holmgren would’ve been a terrible fit for this current Niner roster. He’s finesse and San Francisco is built for power. Kaepernick is not a west coast quarterback and Holmgren either would’ve gotten rid of him or tinkered with his mechanics in an effort to change him to something he’s not. Either way it would’ve been back to the drawing board as he purged the roster in an attempt to fit players into his system starting with or ending with Kaep. Needless to say, that wouldn’t produce wins right now with the current roster. Tomsula might not be the sexy pick, but he’s your best chance to win with the players you have now.

  11. Mike is better off not getting the job anyways. This is not “your father’s 49ers”, the Ed DeBartolo/Carmen Policy led organization that won multiple titles. Ed DeBartolo wouldn’t have let Jim Harbaugh walk out the door so easily, or allow for an acrimonious relationship to develop the way it did in the first place…

  12. No good head coach would take the fade job.

    Retread failed head coaches or first timers is all they’ll ever get.

    The 9ers are headed back in that direction, and fast!

  13. I feel he would have made strides with kaep’s improvement. Tomisula won’t help the offense

  14. “Either way it would’ve been back to the drawing board as he purged the roster in an attempt to fit players into his system starting with or ending with Kaep.”
    =========

    The roster’s been purged regardless.

  15. The stadium isn’t all that to be honest. They had a chance to make something great (like Seattle’s major home field advantage) but they didn’t. It’s just a run of the mill stadium with major sun issues and the parking situation still sucks.

  16. By younger then mean cheaper and easier to control.

    Ballke wants to pick his players without a coach with a more impressive resume usurping him.

    Not age discrimination. Experience discrimination.

  17. So they had a chance at Holmgren (as a coach only?) and turned it down?

    Wow.

    Hire Tomsula instead?

    They should rename them

    The San Francisco Yes Men

  18. Holmgren is a niner after all, he was massively instrumental in 2 of our superbowl wins and got the most out of young and Montana. He knew exactly how to kick our rears in the 90s with Favre. You know he knows exactly how to get the most out of Kaepernick.

    That said I’m thrilled. I could not possibly be happier than I am right now, the idea that an entirely home grown team, home grown coaching staff, with the potential of this group, under Jim Tomsula, reaching the playoffs shutting up every single critic (and that’s everyone who writes for sports except 9ers media staff) would be the sweetest possibility. Imagine the next 4 years wiping out all memory of the last. Imagine another superbowl ring. That’s going to happen!

  19. Age is just a cover up for the fact that Holmgren wouldn’t be a “yes” man. That’s what Tomsula was hired for. Someone who will tell the Little Boy York what he wants to hear.

  20. Tomsula will be coach of the year. Book it!

    ——————————————-

    I just spit my drink out all over my monitor. The next George Carlin with material like that.

  21. Age wasn’t the deciding factor for the Niners, it was the money that Holmgren wanted compared to what Tomsula got. At 3.5M Tomsula is near the bottom of the NFL.

  22. The problem with hiring someone that’s 70 years old to coach your team is that you never know when they’ll just up and retire. Not too many owners/GM’s want to invest resources into changing schemes and personnel to fit a guy that could quit 1-3 years into a rebuild.

  23. Fluff story. More likely he’s waiting for Tomsula to fail in a couple of years, then he’ll look like a savior when they bring him in.

  24. Man you people are idiots. You wanted them to hire a head coach who hadn’t been a head coach since 2008 and was terrible as Browns president. Great idea! How’d that work out for Joe Gibbs?

  25. seanpscott says:
    Jul 25, 2015 5:41 PM

    Man you people are idiots. You wanted them to hire a head coach who hadn’t been a head coach since 2008 and was terrible as Browns president. Great idea! How’d that work out for Joe Gibbs?

    —-

    Ever heard of Dick Vermeil?

  26. Fact: The NFL never wants another hometown team to compete in the Superbowl

    Reason: The hometown team will already have a built-in fan base for the game, but they can all travel to it and then home afterwards. In order to generate more outrageous revenues and hospitality tax income from out-of-towners, there needs to be two teams from other markets with rabid fans traveling to the area and booking up every hotel room at 10x the normal rate, willing to pay astronomical prices for premium priced tickets, flood all the area restaurants and attractions during the week leading up to it, etc.

    Fact: The 49ers were granted the 2016 Superbowl in May of 2013

    Fact: The efforts to undermine the success of the team by management began in the 2013-2014 season, and were escalated substantially in the following season with the ultimate firing of Harbaugh and replacement with a baffoon.

    Theory: In order to secure the 2016 Superbowl in their new stadium, the Yorks had to guarantee there’d be no way the 49ers could viably compete for the Lombardi.

    This is the only logical explanation for York and Baalke to have made the substantial number of head-scratching decisions they have made over the past couple of years. There is a reason that the term “collusion” has been bandied about so frequently to explain the sheer volume of mis-steps made by the league, particular teams, and officials in recent years.

    Delete this post and I’ll know it’s true, and then will simply repost elsewhere. Thumbs down, and I’ll know you have no critical thinking skills or are an employee of the nfl.

  27. kamthechancellor says:
    Jul 25, 2015 11:18 AM
    Holmgren would’ve been a terrible fit for this current Niner roster. He’s finesse and San Francisco is built for power. Kaepernick is not a west coast quarterback and Holmgren either would’ve gotten rid of him or tinkered with his mechanics in an effort to change him to something he’s not. Either way it would’ve been back to the drawing board as he purged the roster in an attempt to fit players into his system starting with or ending with Kaep. Needless to say, that wouldn’t produce wins right now with the current roster. Tomsula might not be the sexy pick, but he’s your best chance to win with the players you have now.

    —–

    Damn you kamthechancellor you made me like your comment.

  28. ayyyjayyy: I’m well aware that the niners had a “home game” superbowl in 1985. My comment was “another” home team superbowl in the current NFL climate.

    That was 30 years ago, when the NFL was quite a bit different than it is today.

    If so many people believe that Harbaugh was brought on to build a winning team that would secure the stadium deal, then why is it such a stretch to believe that landing the Superbowl next year came with *contingencies”?

  29. Holmgren has forgotten more about NFL football than younger coaches will ever know because he is old enough to have learned everything in his coaching career,SF made a huge mistake by not hiring him and after every game they lose their fans can ask each other,would Holmgren have done things differently to have won that game,and the answer will be yes,certainly. no playoffs again for the Niners,they had their day in the sun.

  30. Holmgren was my first choice. Anyone who thinks he does not have the talent for taking the Niners to the next level are down right clueless. Just let him coach and leave the front office how it is…. A Mike Shanahan reunite would have been an excellent reunion.

    Nothing against Tomsula but to be a leader,not a manager, takes a skill set he has shown he has to date .. He isn’t that young either SK that theory goes out the door…

    Glad we are stacked with talent. Harbaugh was just a head case and put himself above the team and any corporation would say goodbye…. Before the down side kept falling down after last season….

    This is reality!!!’n

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