49ers CEO York: Baalke to remain as GM

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said Monday that Trent Baalke will remain general manager of the team with the knowledge that York isn’t satisfied with the recent results.
”I’ve watched Trent build this roster and I have confidence that he can get it done,” York said. ”This is going to be a very important offseason for us.”
York spoke publicly to the media for the first time this season Monday, one day after firing first-year coach Jim Tomsula after a 19-16 overtime victory against the St. Louis Rams to finish the season. San Francisco went 5-11 and missed the playoffs for the second straight season after going 8-8 a year ago in now-Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s final season before what the team called a ”mutual” parting.
”I think it’s well-understood what effort we made to keep him here,” York said.
Tomsula is owed $10.5 million for the remaining three years on the deal he signed last January, and York said the team would ”eat” that money to pay him off even if he receives a job elsewhere.
”We’re in need of somebody who can win Super Bowls, period,” York said. ”We haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1994.”
York wouldn’t say whether letting Harbaugh go was a mistake.
San Francisco reached three straight NFC championship games in Harbaugh’s initial three years with a three-point Super Bowl loss to Baltimore after the 2012 season.
”Jim Harbaugh’s a good football coach. His success at Michigan doesn’t surprise me at all,” York said.
While San Francisco has established a short list of coaching candidates, York said the Niners would keep those discussions close.
”We have a clear understanding of what we want,” he said. ”We want a leader, we want someone who has a clear vision.”
York promoted Tomsula from defensive line coach to replace Harbaugh in a surprising move, choosing the former NFL Europe coach over current Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase and former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio – also now with Chicago.
Only Tomsula has been fired, York said, and the new head coach will evaluate the remaining members of the staff.
Regarding speculation York might be considering selling, he said, ””My family’s owned this team since before I was born and they’ll own the team after I’m gone.”

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL