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Was Bill Parcells first choice to coach Niners in 2011?

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History has a funny way of talking to the present.

With San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh at the epicenter of a vortex of reports and rumors that his tenure will end at the season's close, we come to find out that, apparently, the khaki-insistent coach wasn't Trent Baalke's first choice to take over the job back in 2011.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Eric Branch points out that the general manager's first choice for a new coach when he took the gig four years ago was Bill Parcells, according to the legendary coach's new biography, "Parcells: A Football Life."

Baalke started his NFL career with the New York Jets as a scout in 1998, when Parcells was the coach. Upon getting the job in San Francisco, the general manager had designs on a reunion.  

The pertinent excerpt from the book:

"After Baalke secured the job, he quietly tried to lure his first choice for head coach: Bill Parcells. York and Baalke emphasized that although the club had missed the playoffs for eight straight seasons, it contained a talented roster. The 49ers saw Parcells, even at sixty-nine and having been away from the sideline since the 2006 season, as someone who would lead the franchise to the playoffs for at least a couple seasons while sharing Baalke's vision. But citing his age and the team's distance from his home base (Jupiter, Fla.), Parcells put an end to any serious discussions. The 49ers turned their attention to the Stanford head coach on so many wish lists."

Four years later there is a reportedly irreconcilable rift between Baalke and his second choice. In a month from now, Harbaugh could be off to a new destination -- and Baalke could be working on snagging his first choice this time.

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