San Francisco 49ers Chief Executive Officer Jed York is confident that his team will perform well in the coming NFL season despite the big change at the head coaching position. In a recent interview, York compared his 49ers’ situation to that of the Golden State Warriors, who had a coaching change before winning a title in the NBA.
"Culture is huge. That's the difference between a championship-caliber team and a championship team. You look at the Golden State Warriors. They were the dumbest team in the NBA for letting Mark Jackson go, who won the most games in the franchise's history. How could you be so dumb?” York said to MMQB.com.
“They bring in Steve Kerr, who has been around the game for a long period of time but has never coached before. Kerr changes the culture, comes in with a different perspective, and look what happens.”
York, who is one of the youngest CEOs in the league, has been widely criticized for letting go of Jim Harbaugh as head coach. The team replaced him with Jim Tomsula, who has had no prior NFL head coaching experience but has been working with the team’s defensive line the past eight seasons.
York has repeatedly defended the team’s decision to hire Tomsula and replace Harbaugh.
The 49ers finished the 2014-2015 regular season with eight wins against eight losses and did not qualify for the playoffs after making the postseason from 2011 to 2013. The Warriors finished with a 51-31 record in the 2013-2014 regular season but fired head coach Jackson after they lost in the first round of the playoffs that season. The following year, they hired Kerr and the franchise went all the way to the NBA championship.
Harbaugh was not the only key personality that left the 49ers entering the new season. Others who will not be part of San Francisco’s roster are punter Andy Lee (to Cleveland Browns), cornerback Chris Culliver (Washington Redskins), inside linebacker Chris Borland (retirement) and Patrick Willis (retirement), defensive end Ray McDonald (free agent), defensive end Justin Smith (retirement) and offensive tackle Anthony Davis.