49ers are expected to keep Baalke, dump Tomsula

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A disastrous season in San Francisco, which feels even worse than the 4-11 record the team carries into the finale against the Rams, is expected to result in one major change. But not two.

Per a league source, G.M. Trent Baalke is expected to return. Coach Jim Tomsula is expected to be fired.

If Tomsula goes, the one-and-done will represent a significant embarrassment for the organization. Tomsula was the hand-picked replacement for Jim Harbaugh, an eight-year member of the staff whom they knew better than any team ever knows a head-coaching candidate.

But the 49ers need to do something in order to placate a fan base that has quickly become disgusted with the direction of the organization. More and more empty seats are seen at games, and more and more fans have taken owner Jed York up on his offer to be held accountable for a failure to win championships.

Firing Tomsula could actually cause those voices to become even louder, with the team’s reliance on a guy who was clearly in over his head from the get go giving fans plenty of ammunition for arguing that York, too, is in over his head.

York and Baalke will have a chance to reverse that perception, but they’ll need to make a big splash in order to regain confidence and trust. Chip Kelly becomes an intriguing possibility, in the event that the 49ers hope to try to resurrect the imploding career of quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren has continuously expressed interest in the job, and he has the kind of track record that could make the fan base believe that things will turn around. Holmgren has a proven track record when it comes to spotting and developing quarterbacks, with guys like Brett Favre, Matthew Hasselbeck, and Mark Brunell all in Green Bay during Holmgren’s time there. (Holmgren also had Kurt Warner in the building, but that was several years before he developed into the guy no one ever thought he would be.)

A solid relationship between York and Baalke is expected to give the five-year G.M. a sixth season — and a third head-coaching hire. Most General Managers get to hire two coaches at most; it’s hard not to think that Baalke’s long-term future hinges on getting this hire right.

73 responses to “49ers are expected to keep Baalke, dump Tomsula

  1. It’s a step in the right direction at least. Tomsula just isn’t a good coach no matter what the roster looks like. Baalke sucks and will probably trade the first round pick for a 5th round guy with a torn acl. Chip Kelly would be a horrible fit for the Niners. Kelly was good with Reid’s roster, and screwed it up from there. The only person that wants Holmgren to coach the Niners is Mike Holmgren. I know he’s had some success, but what he did in Cleveland, and essentially bailing out of town makes him not a good candidate at all. I can’t stand Josh McDaniels but maybe they should give him a look. Maybe even Sean Payton if he becomes available. If only Harbaugh were still around. Thanks, Jed Dork.

  2. So as predicted by nearly everyone, Tomsula is one and done but who does Baalke have on his radar to relace him? Pretty sure Adam Gase would tell them to pound sand after the way they did him last year. Pagano will do the same having just dealt with his own circus of a front office in Indy. Niners and Browns are definitely the least attractive openings out thete for multiple reasons.

  3. I think Baalke wanted Gase, not Tomsula. That makes one of those hires “forced” on him. While it’s not much more than lipstick on a pig, I don’t fault Baalke on that choice. There are many, many other decisions that are Baalke’s fault for which he should be held accountable. And probably needs to go. It will be interesting to see if York makes Baalke serve the last year of his contract in a lame duck status.

  4. Keeping Baalke will continue the disfunction. I figure they hire no one of note, and if they do a power struggle will ensue considering Baalke wants to “coach” his own players.

  5. I’d really like someone to do a comparison of Scot McGloughan’s drafts when he was the GM of the 49ers vs Trent Baalke. Our core from when we were successful was al McGloughan, plus he went and helped put a monster together in Seattle and watch him make Washington legit. Baalke has got to go, please analyze our drafts under his tenure. It’s incredible he’s not under fire.

  6. like the Colts, the 49ers are firing the wrong guy…how the Colts squeezed out 7 wins (probably 8) with their roster is a miracle, and the 49er’s lost a ton of talent when they made it impossible for Harbaugh (who is laughing somewhere in Michigan) to continue…yeah, Kaepernick and Gabbert are the QB’s you want to start a season with…at least the defense played hard for Tomsula…yeah, keep Grigson and Baalke…the Christmas you got, you deserved…

  7. The 49ers need:

    1. Classier fans(non-felons would be a start)
    2. Sell the team and get the Yorks out.
    3. Classier fans.
    4. Fire EVERYONE and start over.
    5. Classier fans(borrow from other teams if needed)

  8. If they keep Baalke that’s a cop out. The roster is entirely on him. HC Tomsula may have been a temporary choice but he had nothing to do with picking the players.

  9. This is the roster Baalke made and the coach Baalke picked couldn’t win with it. Is there any reason Baalke shouldn’t be fired?

  10. Bring in Kelly , keep Kap, get healthy at running back and draft linemen…. I think Kelly and Kap both would be beneficial to that offense. Can’t be worse than this year??

  11. I suppose this is bound to happen, but as long as York and Baalke are running things their likelihood of stumbling on to another excellent coach is extremely unlikely, which means the club will continue in its current mode of dysfunction & confusion. I wouldn’t be surprised if they make a push for Kelly though. It would make a big splash and improve the team in the short-term, however it too would ultimately fail (i.e. no championships) and…Baalke might ultimately find himself in a power struggle (regardless of what Kelly says publicly, he essentially destroyed Philly’s front office in a power grab).

  12. not a 49ers fan, but i just shake my head. how does this baalke guy keep getting all these chances when what he does is disastrous to their organization. It is just like the browns.

  13. Even though Mike Holgrom would be a good choice, I would still like to see Tomsula get another year or two. How is it fair that he loses his job after one year as the head coach? He wasn’t working with the Joe Montana 49ers, or the Steve Young 49ers, or even the recent 49ers who made the playoffs and went to a super bowl. Tomsula was given a terrible team to coach, and Blaine Gabbertt was his QB for most of the year, and Kapernick is by no means a franchise QB in his own right.

  14. As long as Baalke stays, any success the 49ers have has a short expiration date. Would any well-established coach want to deal with Baalke? Chip Kelly is intriguing, but why would he sign up to work with another weasle at GM (who rode the best coach the 49ers have had in 20 years out of town) when the last one stabbed him in the back? Hard to see Holmgren willing to work under Baalke either. Chances are, they’ll have to dump Baalke or roll the dice with another guy who has no HC experience.

  15. “A solid relationship between York and Baalke is expected to give the five-year G.M. a sixth season — and a third head-coaching hire.”

    On behalf of the other teams in the NFC West, we can only say, “Thank you!”.

  16. Mike Holmgren career was made off the work of Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson. Once he did’t have them putting together his teams he failed. He got a big head and thought he could be a GM. He’s not a GM, a coach yes GM not.

  17. We’ll see. The York’s have not shown any creativity other than the hiring of Harbaugh who practically fell into their lap.
    The ghosts of Donahue, Erickson, Nolan, Singletary and the living apparitions of Baalke & Tomsula have ensured the niner fans remain skeptical.

  18. I don’t know if they should fire him or not. I just know that the majority of fans out there didn’t expect the 49ers to be a lot better than 4-11 at this point.

  19. I’ll have to disagree with some of you. Holmgren has something few young coaches have (and something Tomsula desperately lacked when he got hired): NFL coaching CONNECTIONS. Holmgren will not have half the trouble Tomsula did in getting quality assistants, unless the specter of York has grown beyond repair. But put Holgren as our coach last season and we aren’t relying on NFL Europe castoffs.

    So Holmgren brings two things: 1. Connections and 2. Quarterback expertise. I’d probably still prefer Shanahan or McDaniels, but Holmgren has NEVER been a bad coach anywhere he has gone.

  20. Baalke has been a complete failure too. He built up a huge bounty of draft picks but squandered it. He has gotten very little value out of recent drafts. He should have packaged some of those picks to move up and select some impact players.

    If Baalke is safe because he’s tight with York, then that is just more proof that York needs to go too.

  21. I feel bad for Tomsula. He was in a no-win position. His roster was decimated by defections and retirements, he was the guy the brass wanted to succeed an extremely successful coach who was run out of town for no good reason, and he was probably in over his head. It’s almost impossible to say “no” to that kind of opportunity, though.

    By all accounts he’s a good guy who shouldn’t have been put in this position in the first place, and who’s just taking the fall for a disastrous owner. Kind of a shame.

    At least he’s been well compensated.

  22. The success continues for the 49ers. They’re making tons of money from the new stadium, and now they’re guaranteed to even save more money on the stadium clean up crew, since the empty seats will become the norm.

  23. While I am not a big Baalke guy at least he has some ties to Parcells. And he tried to hire Adam Gase last year before York did the “you have to take Tomsula” package thing along with it. Gase and Fangio walked. They need to hire someone that can rehab Kaepernick. Someone that has done work with maybe Cam Newton. Because if Kap leaves and I have to watch another Alex Smith playoff run with Kap somewhere my head will explode.

  24. I remember the local media here in the Bay Area hyping up Tomsula when he was named head coach. 49er fans bought in to all the hype on radio and tv. The rest of us with a brain knew the poor guy was in way over his head. New Years resolution for you 49er fans, stop believing everything KNBR, and local media brainwash you with your teams, and think things out for yourself.

  25. Its always tough when you’re the coach coming in after a guy a lot of people including your core players think should have been kept around. See also Marc Trestman. It’s even worse when as in both of those cases, the players you inherit either don’t buy in or just aren’t very good.

  26. Baalke is a failure. His 2012 draft has zero players left in the league. It was he that conned Kap into signing a contract that was team -friendly with the promise to sign returning players. What did he do? Pears and Devey. Baalke is incompetent.

  27. I dont’ get what these two idiots were expecting going into the season.

    What record did they expect to get from this team with a first year HC?

    4-12 is about right.

    If they were expecting more, then they really need help, because anyone who looked at that team in August and thought ‘8-8 or better’ does not understand talent.

  28. 94niners says:
    Jan 3, 2016 10:30 AM
    I’ll have to disagree with some of you. Holmgren has something few young coaches have (and something Tomsula desperately lacked when he got hired): NFL coaching CONNECTIONS. Holmgren will not have half the trouble Tomsula did in getting quality assistants, unless the specter of York has grown beyond repair. But put Holgren as our coach last season and we aren’t relying on NFL Europe castoffs.

    So Holmgren brings two things: 1. Connections and 2. Quarterback expertise. I’d probably still prefer Shanahan or McDaniels, but Holmgren has NEVER been a bad coach anywhere he has gone.


    You missed the memo when York called Holmgren/Shanahan old and essentially didn’t want them. McDaniels smells the stench of the horrible FO, and would still decline the job, to which he’d be doing you a favor.

    The issue will remain Baalke regardless of who comes in.

  29. “Chip Kelly becomes an intriguing possibility, in the event that the 49ers hope to try to resurrect the imploding career of quarterback Colin Kaepernick”

    Why? What has Chip Kelly done to prove he can develop a QB? He only coached Marcus Mariota, whom everybody points to, for ONE season, and Mariota had his two best years after Kelly left.

    The QB he inherited in Philly regressed badly from his first to second year under Kelly and Kelly gave up on him. The Philly QB depth chart does not include a single young player who has shown any potential whatsoever.

    How long does a guy get to survive living on undeserved reputation alone?

  30. I don’t know why Jeb doesn’t get that it’s Baalke that is his problem. Why would all those players retire or leave the team? This doesn’t happen in Seattle or Arizona…because they have competent GMs

  31. niners816

    Refreshing to read your post! You my friend sound like a 49er fan that thinks for himself. Props to you, I totally agree with you. Also add Adam Gase to the top of your list. But will he still be interested since last year he was told to get the job he had to keep certain coaches and couldn’t keep Vic Fangio.

  32. Well it’s official … BOYCOTT!!!

    Faithful do not buy tickets, merchandise or anything related to this organization. Not one penny. The Yorks and their silver spoon fed ilk only care about one thing and that’s money. So hit ’em where it hurts and force them to sell.

    In order to right the ship we have to get rid of this cancerous family or we will continue to see tragedy unfold.

  33. See, I’m wondering if Jed is mature enough to understand that he needs to put aside his personal relationship with Baalke and look at his performance. I’m worried that he’s too comfortable with Baalke.

  34. I’d like to be excited about this being a step in the right direction, however I have this sinking feeling that as long as the York family owns the team the 49ers will continue to be awful. This franchise has been stuck in the Dark Ages since the day the Yorks stumbled into control of the team (save for 3 brief years under Jim Harbaugh) and I don’t see any of that changing

  35. God almighty….shat can Baalke please! He has single handidly took a wrecking ball to the 49’ers. Any blind begger could draft better then this stiff. If I was Jed I’d throw Baalke into the wood chipper and never look back. If Baalke is retained,more of the same…disastrous drafts,bad coaching and the doormatt of every NFC west team. Off with his head!

  36. This story is exactly how to destroy a successful NFL team and flush millions down the toilet at the same time. The former coach was hired to win games and championships.
    This was not a beauty pageant, nor a vote for Mr. Congeniality.
    I think he’s getting the last laugh, with his 1st year success at Michigan. The bottom line is; a bunch for money does not equal intelligence. Dumber than dirt.

  37. Yeah. Whoever’s decision it was to hire Tomsula as head coach is waaaay I mean waaaaay over his head. I mean there was no way that was going to work. His coaching experience was Catawba College, Charleston Southern, and the WAFL/NFL Europe developmental league…I mean where did the 49ers’ front office think he learned his winning formulas from, and what brand of football did they think he could implement with the 49ers??

    His NFL Head coaching career has mirrored his introductory press conference…overwhelmed, unprepared, buffoonish, and out of place.
    49er fans should not go to the games to boycott. They shouldn’t go to the games because it’s not professional grade football. It’s developmental league football at best.

  38. I will not spend one penny on anything 49er, I will not watch any 49er games until no one named York remains at 4949 Centennial Drive.

    The problem is and has always been the Yorks, jr., Senior, and Denise. They are responsible for Nolan, Singletary, the firing of Harbaugh, the loss of McCloughan, the hiring of Tomsula, Parage’s venemous insider slander of Harbaugh.

    The York’s are responsible. I will not be placated with another “affordable” coach, who is reflection of the kind of piss poor leadership this family provides the 49er organization.

    York has got to go.

  39. The next coach, no matter who the GM is, will be a no namer.

    No experienced NFL coach is going to work for the Yorks, not after what they allowed Parage Marathe to do to Harbaugh; slandering Harbaugh for the whole season from the Parage Marathe’s office, before being fired for being too much of a Man, and too expensive. York is a cheap bugger.

    I’m not ready to fire Baalke. He does what he can with what he’s been given. York controls the purse. If York tells him, “you can only hire a coach for X amount, and that coach has to accept Tomsula and all these other clowns.” The end result is not Baalke’s, it’s York’s. Baalke may be a garbage GM, but how can Baalke do his job with a micromanaging owner, dictating his decisions for him, by limiting his options from A, B, or C, to A alone?

    Firing Baalke and Tomsula, allows York to place the blame on those he micormanaged, and still leaves the cancer in the 49er organization.

    The blame, the accountability, the fault, lies with two men, Jed York and Parage Marathe.

  40. I’d like to feel bad for Coach Tomsula, but it was fairly well known that he was awarded his job based upon the fact that he was a snitch for Ballke and York while Harbaugh was the coach. In other words, every time Harbaugh did or said something that reflected poorly upon York or Baalke, Tomsula ran to management and blabbed. Now that he’s being mistreated he shouldn’t be surprised at all. You reap what you sow.

  41. Harbaugh is laying his butt off right now. SF got what they wanted, until it wasn’t what they wanted.

  42. i never expected Tomsula to do amazing things, but I wonder if any coach could have done better than .500 with this squad. They lost so much talent, it was like they had a negative draft or two during the 2014-15 offseason .

  43. depending on who replaces tomsula as head coach, the 49ers may get their fan base back that they lost when tomsula was hired. as a life-long 49er fan, i’m dancing in the streets with joy hearing this news but, I still strongly feel baalke should be fired for his horrible job performance as well.

  44. Getting a new 49er coach is just putting lipstick on the pig. The solution the Bay Area wants is to remove Jed York as CEO and managing partner of the 49ers, which could certainly include selling the team.

    Anyone think there might be some inspired leaders with the money, interest, and football savvy to buy the 49ers and build them back into a championship franchise? Maybe they played in a team that won the Superbowl a few times,. Or perhaps they’ve already demonstrated they know how to build a world-class company.

  45. Putting Tomsula where he excels back as a line coach is not egg in their face. It was a position change that did not create a successful season. There are worse things like keeping him around for a second poor season…. No offense… If it were a regular job, his GM, VP or manager would most likely realign him as well. He brings a lot to the table but HC was over is head unfortunately. Nice experiment if it worked. Harbaugh was in decline too his last season. Maybe he just left a mess that showed up this season more than last… I thought we looked good on paper but we all know the slresults to that one… Happy New Year all and long live Niner nation.

  46. Mike Holmgren is over-rated. He did nothing for Cleveland. The 49ers problems run far deeper than a QB, and given Holmgren failed in rebuilding at Cleveland, I wouldn’t be giving him another shot at the 49ers.

  47. What does it take to fire Baalke? Look at the 49ers roster and name one player he’s drafted in the past few years who has actually made a notable impact.

    Over six drafts, he’s made 58 picks. How many of those have made an impact?


    Navorro Bowman


    Aldon Smith (until his legal stuff caused his career to go down the toilet)
    Colin Kaepernick (until he lost his running game, O-line, and they tried to turn him into something he isn’t)
    Bruce Miller (at least he’s still a starter)


    all complete busts


    Eric Reid (slightly above average starting FS)


    Maybe Carlos Hyde
    Maybe Aaron Lynch


    Arik Armstead in time perhaps??


    And the Yorks need to sell the team. Their ownership is simply unacceptable.

  48. The 49ers I think got Tomsula on default because the other coaches didn’t want to be the HC. Now you have 2 proven HC, Holmgren and Payton that expressed interest. Holmgren is said didn’t do anything for Cleveland, he wasn’t a HC with the Browns, he was in the FO. He is a proven leader, he will coach up this team, he’s also offensive minded. He’d be an instant leader, same with Sean Payton. both proven and both want to coach. Holmgren you get 2 maybe 3 years. Payton 4 maybe 4 years. I prefer Holmgren because he would know how to compete with teams like Seattle who is winning at the right time and the Cardinals. I like Holmgren, he’s always wanted to be their HC. Is he too old to coach, I really don’t know but you can’t lose with these 2. Hopefully the right thing will be done

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