In 2015, Adam Gase was by several accounts headed to San Francisco to take the coaching reigns for the 49ers after Jim Harbaugh and Jed York “mutually parted ways”. Long story short, right before everything was finalized, an order was issued to hire Jim Tomsula as his defensive coordinator. Gase said no, Tomsula was named head coach, and the rest is history. Now Gase coaches for Miami and the 49ers are headed there Sunday.
There has been speculation that given how messy the end of the interview went, Gase and the Dolphins may try to hang a few dozen points on the struggling 49ers defense. Gase on the other hand holds no grudges and when he met with the Bay Area media, there was appreciation for the opportunity and thankfulness for the experience:
“It just seems like a long time ago. It’s hard for me to look back on any it, I know it was a great experience for me going through that process and spending time with all those guys. It was a real beneficial learning experience for me, not just going through that initial interview, but that follow-up interview and spending all that time with Trent was really really valuable experience for me and extremely helpful for me when going through that next round of interviews. Just kinda do’s and don’ts of what to do, just kind of the expectations. I owe those guys a lot just for the fact they gave me that second interview, and I was able to spend the amount of time I spent with Trent. It’s very valuable for me because nobody else gave me that second interview that interviewed me the first time. It made it so much easier for myself when I went through this the next year afterwards and understand that process of that second interview.”
Job interviews can be frustrating. Almost as frustrating as attempting to secure one with your resume. Like anything though, the more you do, the better you get at knowing how to answer the questions and what not to say during a panel. Some people can be angered by the employer for passing them over for a less qualified candidate in their eyes (especially when it’s a big company) or they can be grateful they were in that process and can deconstruct what went right/wrong and use it for their next job interview. Looks like Gase is taking the latter mentality.
NFL head coaching interviews are exhausting. During the 49ers coaching search both in 2016 and 2015, candidates would spend upwards of four or five hours or more talking to the front office—it can be very mentally and physically draining to have your best self onstage for that amount of time. It’s also difficult because even with that you can never really know who you’re working for or who you’re employing, which is why so many companies today have probationary periods or temp-to-hire just to be sure. Obviously that method doesn’t work in the NFL, and they want to cover as many bases as possible.
Of course this is all at face value. NFL head coaches usually don’t bury each other, or opposing teams in the media unless things get extremely heated (See Jim Harbaugh/Pete Carrol). So we may never know if Gase is still ticked off or if he was happy to have made it that far.
Maybe right now he’s realizing being passed on was a blessing in disguise. He got Miami a year later while the 49ers continue to struggle with front office issues.