Below is the team-issued statement released just after Harbaugh left the podium for his post-game press conference:
The San Francisco 49ers and Jim Harbaugh have mutually agreed to part ways. The 49ers organization has begun its search for the team’s next head coach, while Harbaugh is now free to consider his next coaching opportunity without any constraints.
49ers CEO Jed York and General Manager Trent Baalke will hold a press conference in the Levi’s® Stadium auditorium at 1:00 p.m. PST on Monday, December 29, to address the announcement and the organization’s subsequent coaching search.
“Jim and I have come to the conclusion that it is in our mutual best interest to move in different directions,” said York. “We thank Jim for bringing a tremendous competitive nature and a great passion for the game to the 49ers. He and his staff restored a winning culture that has been the standard for our franchise throughout its history. Their commitment and hard work resulted in a period of success that should be looked back on proudly by our organization and our fans. We wish Jim and his family all the best.”
“For the last four seasons I have had the great privilege to coach one of the storied franchises in the history of football,” said Harbaugh. “We accomplished many great things together as a team during this period, which is a tribute to the incredible efforts of some of the most dedicated players and coaches in the NFL. I will miss competing alongside this group of players and coaches, I have the utmost respect and admiration for their hard work and support. It has been my honor to share the sideline with these mighty men. I will always appreciate and remember fondly, the passion and support of our Faithful fans, and want to express my particular thanks to them.”
York added: “We are now squarely focused on finding the next head coach of the 49ers and I am very confident in Trent’s ability to lead that process. With the great leaders and talented players we have in our locker room, we are ready to move into the next chapter of our team’s history.”
Harbaugh, who just concluded his fourth season with the franchise, led the 49ers to an 8-8 record in 2014 and a 49-22-1 overall record (5-3 in the postseason). During his tenure, the 49ers won two NFC West titles, reached the NFC Championship game in three consecutive seasons and advanced to Super Bowl XLVII. Harbaugh is the only coach in the history of the NFL to lead his team to the conference championship game in each of his first three seasons, and his 44 regular season coaching victories rank second in the NFL during his four-year tenure with the 49ers.