49ers name Trent Baalke Vice President of Player Personnel

Earlier today the 49ers officially named Trent Baalke Vice President of Player Personnel. In this role, Baalke will oversee all aspects of player personnel, including the draft, free agency, trades and re-signings. He will continue to manage the college scouting and pro personnel departments. There were also some additional position changes. Director of Pro Personnel Tom Gamble has been assigned additional college scouting responsibilities. Joel Patten has been named Director of College Scouting, while Matt Malaspina has been promoted to National Scout. Justin Chabot will now scout the Southeast Region after previously handling the South Region, which will now be covered by newly hired scout Bob Morris.

Up till this point, people were wondering when the 49ers would officially name a GM to replace Scot McCloughan. Although Baalke does not hold the General Manager title specifically, he is basically now the GM. The NFL's Rooney Rule, requiring minority interviews for coaching positions, was extended to the front office. Due to that, if the 49ers were going to name Baalke GM, they would have had to go through the process of interviewing candidates, including minority candidates, before naming Baalke GM. By giving him a different title, they avoid going through what would basically be a sham interview process.

Fooch's Note: I've added a transcript from Jed York and Trent Baalke's respective conference calls

Team President and CEO Jed York

Conference Call - May 20, 2010

San Francisco 49ers

Opening Statements:

"Thanks everybody for joining our call. I'm in New York so I apologize I couldn't be there in person. I wanted everyone to know that Trent Baalke has been promoted VP of Player Personnel. We have a few other additions to the staff. Joel Patten has been named director of college scouting. We have also bumped up Matt Malaspina to an area scout and that's about it for the additions to the staff. We are very excited to have Trent on board. We are very excited to have Joel. We are excited for Tom Gamble to take on more responsibilities, a little bit more on the college side, and we'll open it up for questions."

On who will have the final say in the current set up:

"It's the same as what it's been in the past several weeks with Trent and Sing [Head Coach Mike Singletary] working together. Sing will have control of the 53-man roster."

On whether Baalke's role will change at all with this change in title:

"Yes, he obviously has a lot more responsibility. He's in charge of the draft. He's in charge of trades, he's working closely with Coach Singletary, so there's a lot more responsibility on Trent's plate"

On whether this specifically means he is not going to hire a general manager:

"Specifically, yes, that's correct."

On whether he would call this the de facto general manager position:

"I'd call it the Vice President of Player Personnel."

On whether he is pleased with what he saw with how everything went in April with Baalke:

"Yes, not just in April with the draft, but obviously leading up to that. I thought there was great communication between the coaching staff and scouting staff, great internal communication with the scouting staff, and I think it's going to continue."

On whether Singletary has had control over the 53-man roster since McCloughan left:

"He's always had control of the 53-man roster."

On the point that he's had the control from:

"From when he was hired."

On who would make the decision if the 49ers were to sign a free agent between Singletary and Baalke:

"They'd be working together."

On whether he adhered to the Rooney Rule for this hiring:

"We did. We opened it up. We looked at several candidates. I was very upfront in talking to candidates that I thought Trent had done a great job, but I thought it was a good opportunity to see some other folks that are in the league and my assumptions are correct that Trent was the right guy for the job, but it was great meet with those folks along the way as well."

On whom he interviewed for the job:

"Out of respect to those folks, we are not going to release those names, but if you have any question confirming whether we complied with the Rooney Rule, you can get in touch with the NFL, they have the names specifically."

On whether he interviewed anybody in-house for the job:

"Again, we're not going to talk about who we interviewed. If you need to confirm anything, you can talk to the NFL."

On whether David McCloughan is still with the organization:

"He is not with the organization. Joel Patten is now the director of college scouting."

On whether he can define what Tom Gamble will be doing on the college side in addition to pro personnel:

"I think it's very important, especially early on in player's careers where the pro side will have a feel with what's going on the college side. To the guys that have been cut early on in the draft, after the draft in training camps, guys that are getting cut one, two years in. I want to make sure our pro-personnel had some opinion of those players. So, they'll be working with our college department more closely than they have in the past, so Tom will be evaluating some of the top prospects that we have and getting a much better feel for the entire draft class because they'll be scouting those folks once they get into the league. As Trent and I discussed, it's a much better situation where your pro department has an initial gut feel for players from their own evaluation as opposed to just relying on somebody else's own report and having to go back and redo work. So, they at least have an opinion on guys when they come into the league."

On whether Singletary will have the final say on draft choices if he has the final say on the 53-man roster:

"No, Trent will be making the draft choices."

On whether Trent made the draft choices this past draft:

"Yes."

On what he likes about setting up the structure this way without a general manager position:

"We have a lot of talented people in-house. Like I said in the past, I don't think there are 32 people that fit the traditional general manager role, where they are a talent evaluator, they understand the market for players, they understand how to negotiate contracts and all of that. I think it's very important when you look at Trent, he's a great talent evaluator, he's meticulous, he's very organized, he's great at putting a staff together and he's still learning some of the other pieces of that business that will ultimately put him as a general manager. I want to make sure that we don't put too much on Trent's plate and he continues to grow in his role and hopefully it does evolve somewhat, but that's not something that we are going to do today."

On whether Singletary hires the coaching staff:

"Yes, and he always has."

On whether Baalke's role is different than Scot McCloughan's role:

"It's similar, but Trent won't have as much authority. He won't have a lot of the other duties that a general manager has, such as some of the budget things and some of the other pieces in the organization that support football operations."

On whether Baalke will be able to hire and fire coaches:

"No."

On whether some of it will at least go on to his plate:

"In what sense, Tim?"

On hiring and firing coaches:

"Obviously, I will have final say on what our team looks like in terms of who's on the staff and who's not, but that's Coach Singletary's department. Coach Singletary will hire and fire coaches and we'll be working together on that."

On who has the ability to hire and fire the head coach:

"The head coach because he is going to keep winning."

On who Baalke reports to:

"He reports to me."

On what he's doing in New York:

"NFL meetings."

On whether he's hoping that New York gets a Super Bowl:

"I haven't seen the bid process yet, but I'm anxious to see that next week in Dallas."

On whether a New York Super Bowl will help out a San Francisco/Santa Clara Super Bowl:

"I don't think they necessarily correlate. I think San Francisco Bay Area will host a Super Bowl when we have a new stadium, regardless of any of the other venues out there."

On how the power structure is laid out:

"They all report to me."

On whether there will be another add right now:

"There isn't another add right now."

Vice President of Player Personnel Trent Baalke

Conference Call - May 20, 2010

San Francisco 49ers

On what changes he will have in his new role:

"I think [President and CEO] Jed [York] outlined everything that's going to take place. I don't know about a whole lot changes. Nothing changes in the context of what's taken place the last five or six weeks."

On whether he thinks he could be a general manager:

"That's going to take care of itself in due time. I think people get way too caught up in what the term general manager and what that states, and it's different around the league. I'm very happy with the promotion I got and I'm looking forward to the job."

On the reports that head coach Mike Singletary is in charge of the roster and he's in charge of personnel:

"Here again, who's in charge of the 53, who's in charge of the draft. The 49ers organization is not unique to the National Football League. When [former general manager] Scot [McCloughan] was here, coach Singletary had final say over the 53 as well. That's not uncommon in the National Football League. I think from the draft, free agency, the final 53, the cuts and all that stuff. Really when you look at the broad scope, it's a team effort. Someone ultimately has to make the final decision, but it's not like there's not a lot of thought put into it and not a lot of other people involved in the decisions that are made."

On whether coach Singletary has more say in the final roster than when a free agent is brought in: 

"I think the best way to say this guys is, we're going to work together to get this done. As far as the 53 goes, at the end of the day coach is going to make the final decision. Once again there's going to be a lot of input. As far as free agency goes, there's going to be input both ways. We're not going to bring in from a personnel prospective, a bunch of players that the coaching staff doesn't want. So, we're going to look for guys that fit the identity of the 49ers just like we did in the draft. And we're going to get those kind of guys."

On whether the added responsibility has been overwhelming the last few months:

"No, because there's a lot of good people in this building. That's what people fail to recognize sometimes. There are a lot of good people on the personnel side, on the coaching side, on the administrative side. So, from that standpoint, I've been able to concentrate on the personnel side. That's my passion, that's my love, that's what I want to do. Because of all the talented people in the building, it gives us a chance to set up [inaudible]."

On the new Director of College Scouting Joel Patten:

"Joel Patten, you guys read the bio. Joel's been in the league as a player, he's been in the league as a scout. He's an incredible evaluator and even a better person. Those are the kind of qualities we're looking for. He brings a level of maturity to the organization to the personnel side of it that's going to help us immensely. I'm looking forward to working with him again."

On their being a lack of veteran experienced football people with the 49ers:

"[Director of Pro Personnel] Tom Gamble's got 20-plus years. I've been in the league for over 12 years, a little over 12 years in the league. Joel Patten's been in the league a long time. Some of our evaluators are young, but they're also very talented. I don't think age ever determines the talent that an individual has for the position or the role that they're in. I don't look at age. I don't look at the number of years they've spent. I look at the quality of their work. We've got very talented people."

On how intense the interview for the promotion was:

"I think it was a five and a half to six week interview. So, yes, it was a lot longer than most people endure. In terms of sitting down and talking through the things that we did after the draft and leading up to this promotion. I think most of it was done over that five to six week period where they got a chance to see the quality of the work."

On him possibly moving to the Bay Area:

"Yes."

On when he plans to move:

"Right now, my daughter's graduating from high school right now. In fact, she graduates and walks down the aisle on Saturday. So, at some point prior to training camp, that's when the move will take place. But I'll be back out in the Bay Area right after the national meetings in Florida the next week."

On the length of his contract:

"Four years."  

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