At his combined press conference/dumpster fire, Jed York asserted that Trent Baalke would lead the search for the San Francisco 49ers new head coach. Since the only reasonable conclusion that we can draw from Jim Harbaugh's firing is that Baalke did not make the decision to fire Harbaugh in the first place, the only conclusion I will draw is that York is not telling the truth. He will absolutely play a role in the search, and all evidence thus far suggests as much.
The question then becomes how much York will meddle. He wouldn't have lied in the conference, for example, if he plays a supporting role, assisting Baalke in identifying candidates and choosing the best coach for the role. While I think this is, frankly, terrifying (I have so much more trust in Baalke, though that has absolutely eroded), it is better than what I fear will happen: York could act with as much authority as Baalke, essentially taking over the interview process by nature of the fact that he is Baalke' boss and has literally just shown the world that he will fire anybody who disagrees with him.
So, yes, the official arrangement is that Baalke will lead the search for Harbaugh's replacement. This would be best, particularly since Baalke has a much more sophisticated understanding of the game, he needs to develop a relationship with the new coach, and he needs to know that his job as GM is secure within the hierarchy of the franchise. This last point, I think, has not received as much attention as it should. Baalke must be proverbially looking over his shoulder. While it seems as if York has decided to side with him over Harbaugh, Baalke has got to be wondering if he might be the next guy to go when York decides to fire excellent employees. I want a situation in which Baalke feels free to make gutsy decisions when he needs to because he knows the game of football much better than York ever will. I want him to be able to say to York, "it doesn't look like it, but this is the guy," without being afraid that he will lose his job.
This is all contingent upon York staying out of the search to as great a degree as possible. But, is that going to happen? I know this has been a time of controversy with people supporting York and others disparaging him. But, this issue might be interesting to discuss, because people from both camps might share opinions. How much do you think York will meddle in this search? How hands on will he be?