The San Francisco 49ers have been raked over the coals for the decision to replace Jim Harbaugh with Jim Tomsula. Harbaugh was a very unique personality, which made for a lot of interesting stories. While I would not expect many people to have a personality quite like Harbaugh, Tomsula has his own unique personality.
While we seemingly know a fair amount about Jim Tomsula, his elevation to head coach has brought more and more interesting and amusing stories to the forefront. On Wednesday, Emily Kaplan posted a detailed feature that included interesting anecdotes, and fun comments from his family. Wednesday afternoon brought another interesting story.
The 49ers hosted a large group of Bay Area high school athletes as part of the USA Football/MaxPreps High School Football Media Day. The group got a tour of Levi's Stadium, took part in a safety program and equipment fitting, and chatted with the media. They also got to hear from the 49ers head coach on a variety of topics.
During his chat, Tomsula told them how great it is to be playing high school football. He talked about it being the time of their lives and something they should be thinking about when they go to sleep and when they wake up. He then said that high school football is the only game he pays to watch. He said that on Friday nights, he and his family will get in the car and just look for games.
"We get in the car at 6:30 or 7 in the fall and just look for lights," he said. "We get out, pay and go to the snack bar and that's our dinner. I can usually figure out one of the teams because it says so on the scoreboard. But it really doesn't matter."
It remains to be seen just what Jim Tomsula and the 49ers will accomplish on the football field. The team has talent, but question marks. Tomsula has extensive coaching experience, but his most significant high level experience came in NFL Europe. That is not to say he won't find success in the NFL, but I don't think anybody there is any certainty on either side of the equation. It is easier to assume it won't work out, but even that is no certainty.
On the other hand, there is no doubt that Tomsula is a fun guy with an entertaining personality. He's said the reason he sometimes fumbles in speaking to the media is because he is either trying not to swear, or trying to avoid lying or misleading them. People have expressed concern that he might freeze up or something like that on game day like he did in that first press conference. I don't think that is a significant concern as his comfort level comes with football, and being with his players. He will make mistakes on game-day, but I don't think the press conference issues are something that can be viewed as predictive of how he will do as a coach.