The search for a new head coach continues for the San Francisco 49ers. Following the firing of Jim Tomsula on Jan. 4, executive Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke continue to explore possible replacements with a large group of possible candidates in the mix.
According to reports on Tuesday, the 49ers will meet with Tom Coughlin, who spent 12 seasons with the Giants before resigning last week.
Interesting development: The Giants have granted the 49ers permission to interview Tom Coughlin, source tells @FS1.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 11, 2016
San Francisco has already conducted interviews with four offensive-minded candidates, beginning with former Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly, who expressed his interest in the position from the onset. Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was labeled the frontrunner but there are no reports that Baalke and York have made a formal offer. The 49ers have also completed interviews with Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, Buffalo Bills running backs coach Anthony Lynn and Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.
Coughlin is the most experienced head coach on the market. There had been speculation that Coughlin would retire from coaching after his exit from the Giants, but he interviewed with the Eagles on Monday.
Coughlin, 69, has a solid track record over his long career. He took the Jacksonville Jaguars to two AFC Championships, and won two Super Bowls with the Giants. San Francisco is said to be looking for someone with head coaching experience, which may mean Coughlin is a frontrunner. Kelly (47 games) and Jackson (one season) are the only other candidates.
According to reports, the Browns appear to be leaning towards hiring Jackson, a California native who was considered a top choice for the 49ers vacancy. Jackson grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Pacific. He previously served as the offensive coordinator of the California Golden Bears and the USC Trojans, and spent two seasons on the Oakland Raiders coaching staff. Should the 49ers decide to hire an experienced head coach with ties to the West Coast, Kelly would be the remaining option if Jackson accepts the Browns job.
Koetter, an Idaho native, previously served as the head coach of Boise State and Arizona State, but has never served as an NFL head coach. He has had offensive coordinator stints with the Jaguars, Falcons and Bucanneers.
Meanwhile, the 49ers defense has expressed interest in promoting coordinator Vic Fangio, according to the Sacramento Bee.