49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

October 20, 2008
Nolan fired; enter Singletary

Fox Sports is reporting that Mike Nolan was fired this afternoon. Apparently, Jay Glazer made the report, and Glazer definitely is tight with Nolan. I'm still at 49ers headquarters and will continue to report as information come available ...

10:15 p.m. -- Six hours after the first report that Nolan has been fired, the 49ers issue a statement: "This decision was difficult because Mike has been both a friend and valued coach of our team." said GM Scot McCloughan. "I have a great deal of respect for Mike and his family. But my first obligation is always to do what is in the best interest of our fans and the entire 49ers organization. It is for this reason that we've made the decision to give the head coaching role to Mike Singletary. I am confident that Mike Singletary's leadership ability along with his experience as both a Hall of Fame player and coach gives him the ability to turn our season around."

8:52 p.m. Just spoke with Lisa Lang, the head of 49ers communications. I asked her if she could confirm today's news. She said she could not because nothing's been announced. (Feel like you're in some weird parallel universe? I do) She did say that there might be an announcement shortly. I believe that Singletary has to sign on the dotted line before the 49ers say anything. Evidently, he's doing that right now. Stay tuned ...

8:42 p.m. Mike Singletary just pulled up and walked into team headquarters with someone else. Who? His agent, Bob LaMonte, who interestingly represents both Nolan and Singletary. Singletary did not stop to talk to reporters.

8:28 p.m. Just got my first official confirmation that Nolan has been fired when I placed a call to his house. Understandably, he did not want to talk. He's at home spending time with his kids his wife, Kathy, said.

7:37 p.m.: Most of the assistant coaches, including presumed interim coach Mike Singletary, are still on the premises. But still no word from the Yorks or from anyone on the PR staff.

7:01 p.m. I know everyone is clamoring for details, and believe me, I am, too. Problem is, the 49ers haven't said boo. The only report continues to be Glazer's, which is what everyone else is basing their "reports" off of.

6:21 p.m. The 49ers are on their usual lock-down mode when it comes to big happenings. Which means the reporters get booted out of any area where they can actually talk to someone in the know and the team announces nothing. I've bumped into two assistant coaches, both of whom declined to comment. "You all never wanted to talk to me before, why should I talk to you now?" Jerry Sullivan said.

Nolan has been facing questions about his job status since mideason last year when the 49ers went on an eight-game losing streak. Nolan hasn't had a winning season since taking over the 49ers in 2005, and he is currently 2-5 and in the midst of a four-game skid.

Nolan held his weekly 12:15 p.m. post-game press conference today and obviously did not believe he would be fired. He insisted that he still had the support of the 49ers' players.

"I think the proof is in the players myself," Nolan said. "... We don't have a divided house. We have a lot of trying times but we don't have a divided house."

Asked about his job, Nolan said he meets at least once a week with Jed York but that his status hasn't been a topic recently.

"You know, you always want to have support," Nolan said. "But I know what my job is, by having a job. My job's to work with our players and coaches and try to put together the best game plan to win games. That's what my job is."

He said he also was sure he and the 49ers would reverse their fortunes. Why was he so confident?

"Because I have no choice but to be confident in things around me, that I surround myself with," Nolan said. "That's why. It's not a choice. It's just the way it is. That's my job."

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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