49ers CEO Calls into Question Harbaugh Report

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York took to the media on Monday in order to defend his team and head coach from reports that he’s calling “categorically not true.”

It was reported by Fox Sports insider Jay Glazer on Sunday that Jim Harbaugh will not be back with the 49ers next season, even if they win the Super Bowl. This came on the heels of a report the previous week from Deion Sanders that some players within the 49ers locker room want Harbaugh out.

For his part, York isn’t having any of this (via NFL.com).

It’s categorically not true,” York said. “I mean, Jim’s our coach. I said it clearly yesterday.

York is talking about this tweet he sent out prior to the team’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Appearing on Rich Eisen’s new podcast, York continued…

In terms of that sustainability, every coach will move on at some point, and I don’t think Jim is at that point. We’ve had a great relationship here, we’ve had three pretty successful seasons so far, and by 49ers standards, unless you’re holding the Lombardi Trophy up, it’s not truly a successful season, and I think we all know that and understand that.

I’ve tried to explain this to people, the rawness of getting close but not getting there, not actually obtaining the ring. It’s hard to start from zero every season after you have a long, long road going to the playoffs, having a gut-wrenching loss last year in Seattle, it’s hard to hit reset. I think you start to see our players hitting their stride, and I think you saw that a little bit yesterday.

York is right in that every marriage between a coach and an organization comes to an end at some point. As of right now, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is the longest-tenured coach with one organization. He’s currently in his 15th season with the franchise.

The larger point to take out of York’s comments is that the 49ers view any season that doesn’t end with them holding a Lombardi as a failure. That can obviously cause some friction within the organization itself, as the pressure continues to mount. This is only magnified by just how close the 49ers have come to winning that elusive sixth Super Bowl in each of the past three seasons.

The young executive continued…

I think that’s pretty fair to say. That’s how Jim is. Jim competes at anything and everything he does. That sometimes rubs people the wrong way, but he has an amazing way to be able to pull people together, and find a way to go win tough football games, put himself in a position to have his team have the most success.

You don’t need to be in the 49ers locker room on a daily basis to understand that Harbaugh’s personality may rub some people the wrong way. Heck, this has been well documented since his days at Stanford.

But as with every profession, success has a way of making up for personality issues and internal strife. For the 49ers, it’s all about living up to the hype and contending for the Lombardi this season. If that doesn’t happen, we can surely expect a lot of conversations within the organization about the future of Harbaugh himself. Until then, the 49ers are intent on backing their head coach publicly. And to be honest, what else could we have expected?

Photo: USA Today