When the San Francisco 49ers hired Jim Harbaugh, they had it easy. The team immediately saw success and didn’t have to entertain the idea of wondering whether or not the hire was a good one. It was a great hire. The 49ers were contenders for the Super Bowl in the first three seasons of Harbaugh’s tenure. Then in the fourth season, due to some power struggle and undermining, the team faltered to an 8-8 record and Harbaugh was gone.
Rather than thoughtfully seek a new head coach, the 49ers under CEO Jed York took the easy way out and hired Jim Tomsula and revamped the coaching staff to this collection of misfit ideas. It was a poor hire and one year later, the 49ers let Tomsula go. He couldn’t wait to get rid of Harbaugh instead of resolving the issue. He quickly then dismissed Tomsula (with news surfacing before season ended).
So the 49ers knew they had to get it right. They can’t afford to screw up once again. After interviewing the likes of Hue Jackson, Tom Coughlin and Mike Shanahan, the team settled for Chip Kelly.