York winced at the question.
"We're going to talk about this right now, one time, and then we're finished with it," he said. "At the end of the season, regardless of what goes on during the season, Steve and I will sit down and discuss an extension of his contract. It's not going to be an issue during the season, regardless of what comes up."
Mariucci's current deal with the Niners runs through the 2003 season. But when Mariucci was pursued by Notre Dame officials last year during San Francisco's surprising playoff run, reports surfaced that Mariucci felt unappreciated with the Niners and was seeking a new deal from the team. York then came out publicly and said he was in no mood to renegotiate a contract with his coach that still had two years to run.
Mariucci later fired his agent, Don Yee, who had apparently planted the idea that Mooch felt unappreciated. Though Mariucci obviously would like a little bit more security and a larger vote of confidence as he enters perhaps the pivotal season of his coaching career, he said he has no problem waiting until after the season to discuss a new deal with the team.
"That's great," Mariucci said. "To discuss that continually throughout the season doesn't do anybody any good. It becomes a distraction. Really, there is no need to discuss that until the appropriate time, which really is at the end of the season."