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49ers owner thinks Jim Tomsula can be the next Steve Kerr


The 49ers have hemorrhaged players and coaches all offseason, setting the stage for what many believe to be a huge letdown from the Jim Harbaugh era.

But 49ers owner Jed York doesn’t have to look far for a reason that replacement coach Jim Tomsula can be successful.

Via Emily Kaplan of, York cited the NBA title just won by the Golden State Warriors with first-year coach Steve Kerr as justification for replacing Harbaugh with the less-experienced, less-charismatic Tomsula.

Culture is huge. That’s the difference between a championship-caliber team and a championship team,” York said. “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? 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.”

Of course, for York, that kind of talk is as much about throwing dirt on Harbaugh as it is an endorsement of Tomsula. The rift between the 49ers and their former coach appeared ugly from the start, and keeps getting more unseemly with time and distance.

But it’s also not a perfect analogy, either. Kerr was a player who won multiple championships in the NBA, and was a widely respected analyst on television, ready to deliver a new message to someone, and pursued by multiple teams. Tomsula, for all his other abilities, does not share that same gift of communication, or the demand for his services.

That doesn’t mean he’s not capable of being a good coach. His abilities to develop players and build relationships in the locker room have long been respected, and the 49ers identified him early on as a potential replacement for Harbaugh. He’s also assembled an interesting staff of guys with diverse backgrounds and experience.

But at a time when the team was hit with a rash of retirements and free agent losses, management might not be doing Tomsula any favors by setting the bar so high for him.