Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh yells official after the San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) fumble in the third quarter in a game at Candlestick Park Sunday December 1, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif.


How long will Jim Harbaugh be the 49ers' coach?

Leading Off: Ignore those rumors, Harbaugh’s not leaving

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 - 1:03 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 - 6:57 pm

Nearly every time there’s an opening for a head coach in the NFL or at a major college, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is thrown into the mix.

After reports surfaced this week that Mack Brown would leave Texas, Harbaugh’s name quickly hit the wild, wild world of the Internet, where bloggers and Twitter users “report” rumors – and sometimes things that haven’t even reached rumor stage.

And then, some reputable news organizations – in this case, Fox Sports and CBS Sports – report on the report, chasing a story that might not even be a story.

Chip Brown of, dedicated to Texas football, told Fox Sports Live that Harbaugh and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin are possible candidates for the job, even while Brown is still the coach. reported on that report – and made the case for why neither would be the next Longhorns coach.

And CBS Sports is right; neither makes sense.

There are just 32 NFL head coaching jobs, and nearly all of them are better than even the best college job.

With Harbaugh, the 49ers reached the Super Bowl last season and are peaking as this season winds down. No one would be surprised if they made it to the big game again, so he’s not leaving the 49ers.

Ditto for Tomlin. Despite the Steelers’ struggles this season, he’s secure in Pittsburgh, just the franchise’s third coach since 1969. He is Pittsburgh.

It’s becoming more and more difficult for folks to differentiate between news and rumors, with everyone racing to be first, but that’s the world in which we now live, when an off-the-cuff comment at a bar can instantly become a headline.

Today’s poll

How long will Jim Harbaugh be the 49ers’ coach ?

• As long as he wants.

• As long as he wins.

• Until a better offer comes along.

Vote above, or go to

Wednesday’s results

Are the Kings making the right moves to improve the team?

• Yes, the team is getting better with each move: 76%

• No, they haven’t added any real impact players: 5%

• It’s too early to say: 19%

Total votes: 194

Read more articles by Tom Couzens

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