Interim no more: Singletary staying as 49ers' head coach

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jed York began the final day of the San Francisco 49ers' season with a new job title. The 27-year-old team president ended it with another big move, making sure Mike Singletary will be his coach well into the future.

York, the son of 49ers owner John York, made the announcement just a few minutes after the 49ers' 27-24 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday, praising Singletary's nine weeks of interim work for the long-struggling club.

"I don't think we could have written up a script any better than how it happened," York said after Joe Nedney's field goal as time expired. "We were up, we were down, and we came back and fought through adversity. That's what Coach Singletary has really done for us. I said to the players earlier today that this is the last time our season ends in December."

San Francisco improved to 5-4 since Singletary replaced Mike Nolan on Oct. 20, playing with renewed vigor and competitiveness late in its sixth consecutive losing season. General manager Scot McCloughan said the 49ers were sold on Singletary as their long-term solution even before their comeback win against the Redskins.

"Mike came in and was asked to do a very difficult task," McCloughan said. "I think people have seen in the past, with the winning percentages with an interim head coach, there's not a lot of success that has taken place. He did an excellent job of keeping the players together right from the get-go. He was able to adjust to the change, step right in and not really skip a beat."

Although McCloughan still runs the 49ers' football business, York has cemented his place in charge of the franchise taken over by his family several years ago from York's uncle, Eddie DeBartolo. While watching warmups on the field at Candlestick Park before the game, York also had praise for McCloughan, who was promoted past Nolan last January.

"He's our GM," York said. "He's doing a great job. We're really pleased."

Jed York's parents, John and Denise DeBartolo York, formally became co-chairmen of the 49ers on Sunday, a move that gives the day-to-day responsibilities of running the team to their eager son.

McCloughan, chief operating officer Andy Dolich and chief financial officer Larry MacNeil will report to Jed York in his new job.

"It's just more of a formalization," said Jed York, who has spent the past three years working in various parts of the 49ers organization. "It just formalizes my role."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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