SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The search begins.
The San Francisco 49ers president Jed York said Monday that he'll begin looking for a general manager this week, but don't expect him to hire someone in the next few days, or even the next several weeks.
"There's no time frame," he said. "It's getting the right guy."
There's going to be plenty of speculation about who the right guy is, but York offered no clues, only that he's spoken to several people by phone and hopes to have a few candidates in for face-to-face interviews soon. The GM will be handed the task of finding a head coach to replace Mike Singletary, who was fired Sunday night after the 49ers were eliminated from the playoff race.
York also said he'll consult with others during the process, including his uncle, former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his son Jonathan, the Patriots team president.
"It's important for me to get a general manager and have the general manager select the head coach," York said. "Somebody that's going to work with the general manager, someone that's going to have a great relationship, because when you see teams that are successful, it's the teams that have that good relationship between the general manager and the head coach. They understand that everybody is on the same page."
Among the names already mentioned are former Miami Dolphins GM Randy Mueller; former Denver Broncos GM Ted Sundquist; Floyd Reese, a senior football adviser for the Patriots and former GM of the Tennessee Titans and Houston Oilers; and Michael Lombardi, a former executive with the Oakland Raiders now working for the NFL Network. York refused to say if he has an interest in speaking with former Niners assistant coach Mike Holmgren, who is now president of the Cleveland Browns.
York said that Trent Baalke, the team's vice president of player personnel, would also be considered for the post, although if he's not hired, his future with the team would be in the hands of the new GM.
And what about a head coach? York said it would be up to the general manager to hire a coach, but it's likely to be one with an offensive background. Jim Tomsula, the 49ers' defensive line coach, was named interim coach after York fired Mike Singletary on Sunday night.
"I wouldn't say we're strictly looking for an offensive-minded head coach, but I think we've had a lot of problems on the offensive side of the ball," York said. "If it's not an offensive minded head coach, it's got to be a head coach that has experience in dealing with the NFL, in dealing with putting together a staff. I wouldn't say we're only looking at offensive minded people, but if it's a defensive minded head coach, it's got to be somebody that understands how to put an offensive staff together."
York said he intends to be involved in the hiring of the next coach. Although some prominent names like Jon Gruden and Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh have been mentioned, the 49ers are likely to throw out a broad net and look at a number of candidates.
"I think there will obviously be some coaches that aren't retained that are potential candidates for us," he said. "There are a lot of coaches that are on the street right now that are potential candidates. And I think there are a lot of guys that are coordinators that have been successful, so there's a broad array. But that's not me putting that list together. Our general manager is going to put that list together."