The 49ers learned in 2015 that life without Jim Harbaugh wasn't so easy. They started 2016 by changing head coaches again.
Tomsula, a longtime defensive line coach, wasn't a conventional choice for the head coaching job after Harbaugh left last season. But he's essentially getting fired for the failures of 49ers management over the last few years. Owner Jed York did not mention the fate of general manager Trent Baalke in his statement.
"Jimmy has been a valuable member of the 49ers organization for the last nine years," said York. "We all know he is a man of high character, and his contributions on the field and in our community have always been greatly appreciated. This entire organization is proud and grateful to have worked so closely alongside Jimmy. We all wish him and his family great success in the future."
The news of Tomsula's firing did not go unnoticed by Harbaugh.
Do not be deceived. You will reap what you sow.â Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) January 4, 2016
Tomsula was well-liked by his players and alternately frank, awkward and funny with the media. But that didn't help improve a roster ravaged by defections, age and retirements in the past two years. The 49ers were outscored by 149 points this season, second worst in the NFL. They were ultimately lucky to get five wins.
The next head coach will be walking into a difficult situation. Colin Kaepernick's status as the team's franchise quarterback is in doubt to put it mildly. Baalke's golden touch acquiring players has turned rusty over the last few years. The Cardinals and Seahawks have loaded rosters in comparison and dominated the 49ers in four games this year.