SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco 49ers promoted longtime defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to head coach Wednesday, going with a familiar face following a national search that took more than two weeks and ended right in house.
Tomsula is set to be formally introduced Thursday in a news conference at Levi’s Stadium.
Tomsula replaces Jim Harbaugh, who parted ways with the Niners on Dec. 28 in what the team called a “mutual decision.” Harbaugh was introduced as Michigan’s new coach two days later following a successful four-year stint during which the 49ers reached three straight NFC championship games and a Super Bowl.
“After conducting a thorough coaching search, and meeting with a number of outstanding candidates, Jim Tomsula clearly is the right man to lead this team,” CEO Jed York said in a statement. “Jim is a great teacher and a tremendous mentor who conducts himself with great class and integrity.”
San Francisco went 8-8 last season and missed the playoffs for the first time in four years since Harbaugh arrived in January 2011, and the franchise is turning to a familiar face to get the Niners back on track to chase a sixth championship.
York said a day after the season ended he wanted to find a “teacher” to lead the franchise forward. Certainly a coach familiar with the operation was important as the 49ers build around quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is coming off a disappointing year.
DEL RIO SET TO TAKE OVER: The Oakland Raiders hired Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio as their new coach Wednesday.
A person with knowledge of the deal said it happened not long after the team told interim coach Tony Sparano he would not get the job. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not been made.
ESPN first reported the hiring.
Del Rio replaces Sparano, who replaced the fired Dennis Allen during the season and had hoped to keep the job.
Del Rio was head coach in Jacksonville for nine seasons before spending the past three as defensive coordinator in Denver.
BOWLES TAKES OVER; GAILEY TO RUN OFFENSE: The New York Jets hired Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles as their head coach Wednesday.
The 51-year-old Bowles replaces Rex Ryan, who was fired, along with general manager John Idzik, on Dec. 29 after six seasons. Bowles was a highly sought candidate after leading Arizona’s defense the last two seasons.
It is a homecoming of sorts for Bowles, who is a native of Elizabeth, New Jersey. He also served as the Jets’ defensive backs coach under then-coach Al Groh during the 2000 season. Former Dallas and Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey will reportedly be the New York Jets’ offensive coordinator.
Around the league
Referring to the job as his last shot to prove himself, New Bills coach Rex Ryan stopped short of guaranteeing Buffalo winning a Super Bowl. Ryan did “guarantee” winning a championship as being his sole pursuit. ... John Fox interviewed for the Chicago Bears’ coaching job Wednesday, two days after parting ways with the Broncos.