When Jim Harbaugh took over the 49ers in 2011, he was told there were three assistant coaches from the previous staff he should retain: offensive line coach Mike Solari, running backs coach Tom Rathman and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.
Tomsula and Rathman may be the only ones moving on to the new regime. According to a report by Fox Sports' Alex Marvez, Rathman is the only current coach Tomsula plans to retain. General manager Trent Baalke began calling the team's assistants last night and setting up meetings for today.
Baalke, of course, said last month that continuity would be important on a team that was a year removed from going to the NFC Championship game.
“We're not in a rebuild,” he said. “This isn't a rebuild situation, this is a reload situation.”
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Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is expected to have several suitors. Earlier in the process, Washington asked to interview him, but the request was denied by the 49ers. It's not known whether Washington – which has looked at two other 49ers assistants, Ed Donatell and Eric Mangini for the position – has concluded its interviews.
Because the 49ers assistants are all under contract, the team will owe those who are let go their 2015 salaries minus what they make with new teams. Fangio, for example, is scheduled to earn more than $2 million, which is high for a defensive coordinator.
Some of Jim Harbaugh's former staff, including assistant secondary coach Greg Jackson, have joined Harbaugh at the University of Michigan. Others could leave for Buffalo where Greg Roman is the new offensive coordinator. The Bills requested to speak with offensive line coach Mike Solari and are also believed to be interested in receivers coach John Morton.
On defense, Fangio had a small staff. He coached the outside linebackers himself. He, Donatell, Mangini and inside linebackers coach Jim Leavitt will be looking for work.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.