In news that will surprise nobody, Jim Tomsula is going to interview for the San Francisco 49ers head coaching job, according to Jason LaCanfora. Tomsula has been the team's defensive line coach for the last eight years, and has been among the more popular people in the 49ers organization. He previously was a head coach and defensive coordinator in NFL Europe. And of course, he is the only undefeated coach in 49ers history, thanks to his one game as interim coach at the end of the 2010 season.
Tomsula has been on the radar for this position for much of this year as the Jim Harbaugh speculation has swirled. There have been reports he has angled for the job for some time. There has never been full confirmation of that, but it has been mentioned. On Monday, Jed York repeatedly used the word "teacher" in describing the kind of coach he was looking for. He cited Bill Walsh as an example of a coach who was great because he could teach both players and coaches.
In describing this, it is not that difficult to potentially see him describing Tomsula to a T (pun partially intended). Tomsula has done great work with the defensive line, and part of that is because he teaches and motivates them. That comes in part because of his time in Europe trying to develop foreign born football players. NFL Europe featured mostly American players, but Tomsula worked extensively with foreign players.
I am a big Jim Tomsula fan, but I have this feeling promoting him into the role could turn into a train wreck. I could very easily be proven wrong, but I'm just not overly confident in him as a potential head coach. My biggest concern is that this internal hire reeks of him being a yes-man to Trent Baalke and Jed York. It is possible he just has the better personality for them, and this all works fine, but I have a nagging doubt.
Tomsula does have some head coaching experience, but it's just hard for me to get excited about him as the option. It could be as much my concern about Jed York just looking for a good guy and hoping they catch lightning in a bottle. During York's press conference, he said there were discussions with Jim Harbaugh over "a decent amount of time", and this had something to do with philosophical issues. York said he should be held accountable, but nothing about the press conference struck me as him showing accountability for what went down with Jim Harbaugh.
I mention all that to point out that essentially it feels like Jim Tomsula is sort of stuck in the middle of this raging battle between 49ers fans and Jed York. He would essentially be in a nearly impossible situation as head coach of the 49ers. Any coach would be in such a position, but with Tomsula it feels a little bit more so because of the impression his hiring gives off. This is not meant as disrespect to Tomsula, but rather York's fault for potentially putting him in this position.