One of the first questions 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was asked in yesterday's press conference was how much of his previous Stanford staff he'll bring with him to the 49ers. He had this to say:
"There's guys off of our staff that I would love to bring to the 49ers, there's also excellent coaches on the 49ers. I look forward to talking to those men who've done, along with their families, who've done a great job for the organization and looking forward to sitting down with each of those men and talking football with them and letting them hear my vision and my plan, and hearing theirs, and together we will put together a great staff. The 49er organization will put together a great staff, and really can't mention anybody's name that's not on the staff already until somebody signs a contract. You know job one will be talking to our players this week and simultaneously trying to hire a great staff."
There does not appear to be a specific timeline in place for figuring out the coaching staff, but I'd have to imagine Coach Harbaugh will want to get a coaching staff together fairly quickly. Aside from just wanting to get that task out of the way is that I'd imagine he'd probably like to go to the Senior Bowl as is often the case with coaching staffs. Additionally, he knows all the current 49ers coaches are hanging around just waiting for news.
If you head over to the 49ers.com list of coaches, we've got a current list of the guys on staff (Harbaugh is already up!). Check them out after the jump.
Jim Tomsula, Defensive Line Coach
Greg Manusky, Defensive Coordinator
Mike Johnson, Offensive Coordinator
Kurt Schottenheimer, Special Teams Coordinator
Jason Michael, Quarterbacks Coach
Mike Solari, Offensive Line Coach
Tom Rathman, Running Backs Coach
Jerry Sullivan, Wide Receivers Coach
Wendell Davis, Assistant Wide Receivers Coach
Pete Hoener, Tight Ends
Vance Joseph, Secondary
Jason Tarver, Outside Linebackers
Ray Brown, Asst. Offensive Line Coach
Duane Carlisle, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach
Mark Uyeyama, Asst Strength & Conditioning Coach
Dave Fipp, Asst Special Teams Coach
Jeff Ferguson, Head Athletic Trainer
In looking over that list, there are some names that jump out because of news about them or potential worthiness to last into the Harbaugh era. DC Greg Manusky is scheduled to interview today with the Carolina Panthers head coach job. I know some folks have their problems with Manusky, but the rankings of the defense in recent years likely bought him some cache for such an interview. I don't know how he fits in amongst any other candidates, but getting an interview is a solid first step.
Wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan apparently might retire, but his contract is up and I think he's just looking to do something new. Sullivan has his moments, but I've never enjoyed the doghouse issues we've heard of with past receivers. It's a lot of speculation, but it doesn't come across too well.
The two guys who would seem most likely to return are Jim Tomsula and Tom Rathman. Tre9er made a good point to me about Rathman's west coast offense experience. If Jim Harbaugh will be instituting the west coast offense, why not retain one of the guys who was a key cog in the 80s and early 90s? Additionally, Rathman has indicated he loves the RB coach role and it's my understanding that he doesn't have designs on being a head coach anytime soon.
Jim Tomsula is a guy we've discussed already as someone who might be retained given his general passion for the game. Harbaugh mentioned how he wanted to sit down with each assistant and talk football and explain his vision. I have to say I'd love to be a fly on the wall when Harbaugh and Tomsula sit down and talk football. I think that could be quite the entertaining experience.
Beyond those two, it's hard to tell on the rest. Although Mike Johnson could be capable of instituting the west coast offense, it seems like such a change would require a new coordinator. Additionally, Harbaugh indicated he would call some of his own plays (not all of them) and that might require delicacy of a new coordinator. Given how high up the chain of command the OC is, I'd be surprised if Harbaugh didn't bring in his own guy.
As for the rest of the guys, Mike Solari is the only guy who really jumps out at me as someone Harbaugh might consider keeping. The 49ers offensive line has had some struggles, but I think he's done good work in helping to developing Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati, while keeping David Baas consistent in the center position. I'd imagine he'll at least get a decent look from Coach Harbaugh (I do enjoy calling him that).