Mike Holmgren had interest in 49ers' coaching job

Mike Holmgren will be in New Zealand next March as a coach of the Southern Bowl, which will rightfully plant its flag as the first American football event to be played in the Southern Hemisphere.

Former Super Bowl-winning coaches wouldn't typically take part in an exhibition like this if they didn't still have the bug. Sure enough, Holmgren acknowledges he's thought about an NFL return.

Holmgren said Friday on The Rich Eisen Show that he checked in on the job market at the close of the NFL's regular season.

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"This 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 Eisen. "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 the call back saying, 'Nah, we're going with a younger guy.'"

The 49ers promoted Jim Tomsula to head coach in January to replace Jim Harbaugh. Tomsula is 47, 20 years younger than Holmgren.

"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," Holmgren said. "But when I heard that, I said, 'OK, I needed to hear that and now I'm going onto other things.'"

Holmgren went 161-111 in 17 seasons as an NFL head coach, including a Super Bowl title with Brett Favre and the Packers in the 1996 season. The NFL world saw him last during an unsuccessful three-year tenure as president of the Browns.

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