Owner details dumping Mariucci

49ers owner/director John York discusses some of the circumstances that went into his decision to fire Steve Mariucci as San Francisco's head coach on Wednesday.

"This is a difficult day. Steve has been a very good, a great coach for us. I think all of you know that I have supported him all four years. I tried on the first day that I took over in 1999 to get him signed and have his contract extended and we were supportive during the two years that we were not winning and we have been supportive in these last two years. Steve has been a good friend, we've done things together, but this is something I thought was necessary to get us to move forward. Steve and I see things differently. It's something that's unfortunate, but I think we had to make this decision to move forward."


RE: Mariucci's side stating there was never any chance to negotiate

"There was not a negotiation today. My mind was made up this morning and I wanted to talk to Steve. We spent almost an hour and a half discussing this and I tried to listen to what Steve had to say but my decision had been made. My mind was not made up on Monday. I had a conversation with Steve Monday evening and based on the things we discussed it was clear to me that the way that Steve saw this organization and what we wanted to do was clearly different then how I saw it.


RE: Mariucci wanting an expanded role and York not wanting him to have one

"That is one of the issues. It was brought up last year when Steve was requesting an extension to his contract. He asked for a number of areas of control outside of the head coaching role. This year I met his agent, Gary O'Hagan, for the first time down in St. Louis before the Rams game at our hotel and spent an hour and a half together. One of the things Gary said that Steve would like is to be the VP of Football Operations, if and when John McVay retired."


RE: Mariucci reiterating his demand for an expanded role on Monday

"His demand on Monday was that if it was available he would like to have it and I told him that I did not feel that was something that was going to be discussed. Regardless of backing away from it or not, the fact that it keeps coming up makes it clear it's his desire to have an expanded role."


RE: Was the direction of the team on the field an issue as well?

"No I don't think so. I think there can always be differences of opinions about how to improve the team, but it really was not that direction. It was other things with regards to the authority and how he looked at the evaluation of the assistant coaches and any number of different things. It's not just one issue. There were major issues and there were minor issues and there's no point in getting into all of them. They all had to do with philosophy and Steve saw things one color and I saw them another."


RE: Did he try to change your mind at all during the conversation?

"Yes he did."


RE: Was the damage done during the Monday night phone call that caused you to come to this decision?

"That is correct."


RE: What occurred that made you decide to act so quickly?

"I wasn't planning on trying to do it this way, but there were reasons why I needed to talk to Steve. That Monday night call was a combination of some other things, plus trying to get together what we were going to do on Tuesday, which was set up some times. During that discussion, it just got longer and longer, we were on the phone for well over an hour. It just seemed to be that no matter what came up, Steve and I did not see things together." 


RE: Mariucci saying expanded power issue was addressed by York's side first

"If this is going to be a we said they said, I'm not interested in that. I know what Steve asked for last year and I know what came up in conversation this year with his agent and I didn't bring that up."


RE: Where Steve and John differed

"I think I've tried to answer that, in that there are things from minor issues to more major issues and that regardless of where I turned, Steve and I saw things in different ways.  You can't have that much difference all the time between the owner and the head coach. That is why I thought that it was important to make that change now and to let Steve go on with his career and be a head coach someplace else and make the big impact wherever he goes. We need to go find a head coach that fits into our structure and that could take us into the playoffs."


RE: Having Steve one more year

"I didn't think that it was best to have a lame duck coach. I thought it was best to have a coach that we were fully committed to. There is enough noise around here now for the last two years about Steve being the coach and Steve vs. Bill and Steve vs. Terry. And now, we love Steve. It is just to much noise. You can't be doing all this stuff and move the team along."








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