San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh could be on his way out after the 2014 season. Harbaugh has reportedly lost a majority of the locker room, and he has had several clashes with the San Francisco front office that have isolated the franchise’s most successful head coach since Bill Walsh.
Fox Sports Jay Glazer is reporting that the 49ers have made the decision to fire Harbaugh at the conclusion of the season, even if the team wins the Super Bowl. Glazer’s report is based off of locker room tensions between the players and their head coach. The players feel that Harbaugh hasn’t treated them with enough respect, and the winning has masked a lot of the uneasiness within the locker room.
San Francisco owner Jed York has publicly denied the Fox Sports report on Twitter.
Glazer’s report is the first time that we’ve heard about a definitive end to the Harbaugh era in the Bay Area. If it’s true — we have to wait until the end of the season to find out if its true — then that means the 49ers have decided that their head coach is no longer worth his energetic, and sometimes explosive, personality.
Speculation about Harbaugh’s future with the 49ers has been running rampant for a while now. After all, there was a point in the summer where he was nearly traded to the Cleveland Browns. According to ProFootball Talk, the trade was nixed when Cleveland decided to go in a different direction.
Back in July, SF Gate author Scott Ostler talked about how Harbaugh is on the hot seat due to his inability to win a Super Bowl. Ostler’s theory is that the head coach will be fired if San Francisco doesn’t win it all this season; and that the $1.3 billion Levi Stadium increases the pressure on the franchise to bring home the Lombardi Trophy.
Harbaugh is 41-14-1 (5-3 post season), has won the NFC West twice, appeared in the NFC Championship game three times, and has guided the team to one Super Bowl appearance during his three-year tenure in San Francisco.