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49ers head coach/general manager search timeline

We break down everything from beginning to end of this wild head coach/general manager search.

Well, that was exciting. The 49ers now have Kyle Shanahan. There will a press conference on Thursday to go over everything, but first, let’s look back on all the craziness that happened to get us here. Here is your timeline of events. To the best of my ability, I’ve added the breaking news in the order it happened. So the first item for January 1st would be the first piece of breaking news that day and so on.


December 31st:

-News is leaked that not only Trent Baalke will be fired, but Chip Kelly as well.


January 1st:

-Reports come out that Trent Baalke was informed of his firing two days prior, however there was no conversation to Chip Kelly that he would not be retained.
-The story is official that evening: Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly are fired.

January 2nd:

-Jed York holds a press conference to discuss the firings. Makes media gold with this quote:

“I own this football team. You don’t dismiss owners.”

-The reported GM pool consists of Chris Ballard (Kansas City), Eliot Wolf (Green Bay), Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay), George Paton (Minnesota), Trent Kirchner (Seattle), Scott Fitterer (Seattle), Louis Riddick (ESPN Analyst), and Nick Caserio (New England).

-Coaching candidates linked to the 49ers are Josh McDaniels (offensive coordinator-New England), Kyle Shanahan (OC-Atlanta), Anthony Lynn (OC/interim head coach-Buffalo), Tom Cable (offensive line coach-Seattle), Vance Joseph (defensive coordinator-Miami), and Doug Marrone (OL-Jacksonville).

-Chris Ballard pulls out of the 49ers interview that evening.

January 3rd:

-Sean McVay (OC-Washington) is added to the coaching candidate pool.
-Jimmy Raye III (Indianapolis) is added to the GM pool.

January 4th:

-49ers complete their interview with Anthony Lynn. The first interview of the combined GM/HC search.
-News comes out that Shanahan prefers the Broncos job.
-Interviews with Kirchner, Fitterer, and Cable are scheduled for the following week.
-Jeff Garcia announces his candidacy for the coaching job. The 49ers don’t respond.
-Sean McDermott (DC-Carolina) is added to the coaching pool.
-Brandon Beane (Carolina) is added to the GM pool.

January 5th:

-McDermott is scheduled for an interview.
-49ers interview Eliot Wolf and Brian Gutekunst.

January 6th:

-49ers interview Paton.
-49ers interview Shanahan (1st interview).

January 7th:

-49ers interview Josh McDaniels.
-It’s made official that Nick Caserio turned down an interview for GM.

January 8th:

-49ers interview Raye.
-Ian Rapoport reports that a lot of the Green Bay GM candidates decisions could depend on if Kansas City GM John Dorsey were to return to Green Bay after his contract concluded.
-Riddick makes it known he’d prefer McDaniels as his coach.
-Vance Joseph’s defense has a lackluster performance in the AFC Wildcard against the Pittsburgh Steelers. 49ers fans panic.

January 9th:

-49ers interview Brandon Beane.
-Jacksonville Jaguars hire Marrone as head coach.

January 10th:

-49ers interview Sean McDermott.
-Jason Cole announces that the most likely landing spot for Shanahan is Denver or San Francisco.
-49ers interview Louis Riddick.
-Following the 49ers interview, reports come out that McDermott will be Buffalo’s next head coach.

January 11th:

-Broncos announce Joseph as next head coach.
-McVay has second interview with Rams.
-Terry McDonough (Arizona) added to the GM pool.

January 12th:

-St. Louis Rams announce McVay as head coach. Call off future Shanahan interview.
-Los Angeles Chargers announce Anthony Lynn as head coach.
-Only McDaniels, Shanahan, and Cable remain.

January 13th:

-Reports come out that Gutekunst was a more attractive GM candidate than Wolf.
-Jason Cole says the new 49ers head coach will “essentially” pick the GM.
-Fooch finds this cool Mike Pettine video where Shanahan is told to run the ball.

January 14th:

-Shanahan’s offense curb-stomps Seattle. 49ers fans offer him the job. Front office says otherwise.

January 15th:

-49ers Denise York interviews Cable.
-49ers fans begin to riot at the possibility of Cable being head coach.

January 16th:

-McDaniels withdraws name from consideration. Only Shanahan and Cable remain. 49ers fans rabble.
-Adam Schefter reports the 49ers ‘are - and have been - honing in on’ Shanahan.
-Gus Bradley is rumored as a option for defensive coordinator, only if Cable gets job.
-49ers interview Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer.
-Eric Branch reports the coaching job is McDaniels’ if he wants it.

January 17th:

-Adam Schefter reports the 49ers plan to offer the HC job to Shanahan.
-Mike Silver reports Shanahan will accept job.

January 18th:

-Ian Rapoport reports that Gutekunst, Wolf, and Paton are invited back for second interviews.

January 19th:

-Eliot Wolf pulls his name from the GM search. Paton and Gutekunst remain. Terry McDonough expected to be brought in for second interview as well.

January 20th:

-Gutekunst pulls name. Paton and McDonough remain.
-Mike Silver reports that Paton is the front runner.

January 24th:

-McDonough confirmed for second interview.

January 25th:

-Following their firing of general manager Ryan Grigson, the Indianapolis Colts interview all the 49ers GM leftovers.
-Colts interview Paton.

January 27th:

-Jennifer Chan reports that there is a third candidate. Mystery Candidate is expected to meet with Shanahan.
-Chan also reports that Arizona doesn’t like McDonough.

January 29th:

-49ers interview Shanahan with Paton, McDonough, and Mystery Candidate in attendance.
-Jennifer Chan’s Mystery Candidate confirmed.
-Mystery Candidate is rumored as ESPN’s Mark Dominik.
-After being blocked from a 49ers interview, Chris Ballard becomes the Colts’ GM
-John Lynch is hired as 49ers general manager. Identity confirmed as Mystery Candidate.

Super Bowl Week:

-Everyone stumbles around the obvious and worst kept secret in the NFL. No announcements or titles of Shanahan as head coach can be made—but it’s the elephant in the room.

February 6th:

Kyle Shanahan announced as head coach.

February 8th:

-Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch win the week.

February 9th:

-Formal presser scheduled for the new hires.