San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York and General Manager Trent Baalke surprised a few people on Wednesday when they announced the appointment of Defensive Line coach Jim Tomsula as the team’s new Head Coach.
Just hours before his appointment news was spreading on social media that the Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator, Adam Gase, had been interviewed and was set to be named as the new top man. Instead, the hierarchy at the Levi’s Stadium opted to stay in-house. “Jim Tomsula is clearly the right man for the job”, said York.
Within minutes the 49ers’ Tight End, Vernon Davis, was on Instagram pledging his support for his new leader. He was later on TV saying, “I think Tomsula has what it takes to be one of the best coaches in the league”. Davis had a season to forget in 2014, so if Tomsula can get him back to being the player he was 12 months earlier then he’s halfway to cracking it.
The players clearly love him. 49ers Safety, Eric Reid, tweeted, “Extremely happy for Jimmy T! Can’t wait to get back at it!” Linebacker Patrick Willis has worked with Tomsula since his rookie year and has talked about his “love” for his new HC and called him a player’s coach.
That’s what this team have got, a leader who connects with his players. Jim Tomsula is a man who has gained the respect of this talented squad and he now has the challenge of turning them into winners again. It’s not going to be easy to replicate the success Jim Harbaugh had in his first three years in charge. But, the players had clearly grown tired of Harbaugh’s methods. Okay, the team was ravaged with injuries last season but it was obvious that they’d lost that desire to fall on their swords for their leader.
Hours before their final game at home to Arizona on the 28th of December, Harbaugh announced to his players that he was leaving. During the 60 minutes of football that followed the 49ers had their swagger back. They looked like the team that had made the NFC Championship games the previous three years running. They played with spirit. For whatever reason, they looked like the shackles had been freed.
This man slept in his car with his cat and dog whilst chasing his dream
Tomsula appears to have their full support and, most importantly, the support of the leaders within the team. The 49ers just might get their game back in 2015, along with a group of elite players returning from injury.
It will be interesting to see who he appoints as his new Offensive Coordinator. Whoever he brings in will have to get to work on improving their franchise quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Kap regressed last season and needs to improve if this team is going to succeed next season. A wide receiver with pace will be top of their recruiting priorities this off season, be it in the draft or free agency. Could we see Adam Gase come in, if he doesn’t get his Head Coach offer elsewhere?
Jim Tomsula certainly deserves his crack at the big time. Before coaching full time he worked as a janitor, a rug salesman, a newspaper deliverer and a firewood cutter. He did all of that to make ends meet while chasing his dream. The phone call that changed his life forever came as he was selling floor cleaning products to a department store. He was asked to move to London and coach defensive linemen for the London Monarchs. He also spent time with the Scottish Claymores, before moving to Germany and worked as defensive coordinator for the Berlin Thunder a position he held for the 2004 and 2005 seasons. In 2006 he became the head coach of Rhein Fire.
In 2007 he moved to The Bay. This man slept in his car with his cat and dog whilst chasing his dream. We’ll soon find out if this fairytale story has a happy ending.