San Francisco 49ers president and CEO Jed York told reporters Monday that the search for a general manager is under way, and that the eventual GM will hire the team's next head coach.
"It's important to me to get a general manager and have the general manager get the head coach," York said on the heels of firing Mike Singletary on Sunday night. "It's important to get someone who is the right fit for the 49ers."
Asked who would be involved in hiring the next GM, York said, "it will probably be just me."
The GM search will focus exclusively on experienced candidates, a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora. Despite a recent, growing trend in the league to take chances on rising, young executives, the 49ers are exclusively focused on men who have served in the role before, the source said.
According to the source, candidates include former NFL GMs Floyd Reese, Ted Sundquist and Randy Mueller, as well as the team's current vice president of personnel Trent Baalke.
"I think there are a lot of good people out there," York said of GM candidate pool. "We want to make sure the GM is grinding behind the scenes, putting together the draft, putting together the structure of the organization."
York made it clear that it will be the GM's decision as to what style of head coach is hired, but "if it's a defensive-minded head coach, it needs to be someone who knows how to put an offensive staff together."
York was asked if he'd sought permission to speak with Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren about a role with the team.
"I'm not going to get into names of people we've talked to," York said.
Singletary was fired after two disappointing seasons, including a 5-10 showing this year for a franchise expected to win the NFC West.
The team made the announcement late Sunday upon returning to the Bay Area, several hours after San Francisco was eliminated from playoff contention with a 25-17 loss against the St. Louis Rams.
Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was promoted to interim coach and will run the 49ers in next Sunday's season finale at home against the Arizona Cardinals. Tomsula was formally introduced in a news conference Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.