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49ers hiring in house candidateTomsula for their head coach


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By Paul Gutierrez | ESPN.com


After eight known external interviews, including a second sitdown with one candidate, the San Francisco 49ers are prepared to stay in house.

Jim Tomsula, who has been the Niners' defensive line coach since 2007, is set to be promoted to succeed Jim Harbaugh, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Tomsula, who was the interim head coach at the end of 2010 after Mike Singletary was fired, led the team to a win in its final game of the season.

In tabbing a popular locker room figure in Tomsula, though, the Niners figure to lose defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who interviewed for the job on Dec. 30. The Niners' defense was its strength in an up-and-down 8-8 season last year, ranking fifth in the league in total defense.

And there are questions about who Tomsula brings in to replace offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who left for the Buffalo Bills. Because the Niners' offense tried to reinvent itself last year from a ground-and-pound attack to more of a spread passing offense, the next O.C. will seemingly have to make better use of the personnel at their disposal.

The promotion of Tomsula represents some continuity -- he has been with the Niners for eight-plus years but was not tied to Harbaugh. The cynic will say Tomsula is a yes man to York and general manager Trent Baalke, the polar opposite of Fangio.

In any event, the Niners' "seven-to-10-day" search, as described Baalke on Dec. 29 was about to end on Day 16 after they talked with Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn (Dec. 30), Fangio (Dec. 30), Gase (Jan. 2 and Jan. 13), Mike Shanahan (Jan. 3), New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (Jan. 3), Rex Ryan (Jan. 4), Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin (Jan. 8) and Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles (Jan. 9).

Tomsula served as the Niners' interim coach in the 2010 season finale, after Mike Singletary was fired, and the 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals, 38-7, as they finished 6-10. Tomsula's only other head-coaching experience came with NFL Europe's Rhein Fire in 2006.


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