The list of head coaches dotting the San Francisco 49ers’ history is simply amazing – they range from the legendary, the good, the bad, and the bland.
San Francisco 49ers
Stadium: Levi's Stadium, CA
Super Bowls: 5
Below is a list of the most outstanding of San Francisco 49ers coaches:
No. 5: Dick Nolan
Dick Nolan coached the 49ers between the years 1968 and 1975. Well, his first nine seasons were lackluster, to say the least. The 49ers odds of winning then were low. However, he’d pick up and lead his team from glory to glory; for example, he catapulted the 49ers to a 10-3 1970 season. After this the team went back to a post-season for around two years before Nolan would finish his term in the Bay Area boasting of a 505 winning percentage.
He is fondly remembered as the first San Francisco head coach to lead his team in consecutive post-season appearances in all of Franchise’s long history. It is also during his tenure that the Niners defense was bolstered.
No. 4: Steve Mariucci
Steve Mariucci served as the 49ers head coach between the years 1997 and 2002. He succeeded George Seifert, and immediately upon the assumption of office, he posted an impressive 13-3 record win during his maiden season.
It wasn’t all glory that first year as Green Bay Packers would thoroughly thrash San Francisco in the NFC Championship game, but a wounded Mariucci would go back to the drawing board, meet the Green Bay Packers, and his team revenged, winning with a resounding victory. In this game, thanks to the quarterback Steve Youngs’ last second pass to receiver Terell Owens, the 49ers sealed their place as perpetual champions, in a play that is now widely known as The Catch II.
It is also during Mariucci’s tenure that the Niners made a surprising comeback by winning against New York Giants 39-38 in the 2002 season.
Politics got on the way, and thanks to Mariucci’s icy relationship with general manager Terry Donahue and the York Family, he was fired unceremoniously on January 15th 2003.
No. 3: Jim Harbaugh
Jim Harbaugh served as the 49ers Head Coach between the years 2011 and 2014. He came at a particularly low time for the San Francisco team, when, under the leadership of coaches Mike Nolan (Son to Dick Nolan) and Mike Singletary, the team had teetered from its winning trajectory to the doldrums of perpetual defeat.
Jim Harbaugh single-handedly steered the team back to its former glorious self upon officially taking over coaching duties in 2011.
He also holds the title as the second-most winning coach in all of the San Francisco 49ers history. He prides himself of an impressive 695 winning percentage rivalled only by George Seifert’s, which is a little higher.
That is not all. It is under Harbaugh’s leadership that the Niners had the honor to consecutively play in three NFC Championship games sometime between 2011 and 2013, making it to the super bowl following their outstanding performance during the 2012 season.
During the 2012 season, he made the difficult decision to replace quarterback Alex Smith with an upstart quarterback, one Colin Kaepernick after Alex suffered a concussion midway the 2012 playoffs. It is thanks to the decision that Niners stayed longer perched atop NFL ranks.
One more time, politics ruined a good story. In 2014 stories leaked out to the public of internal power wrangles between general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Harbaugh, leading to the exit of Harbaugh after a draw. Harbaugh moved to the same position of head coach at the University of Michigan.
No. 2: George Seifert
George Seifert was head coach for San Francisco 49ers between the years 1989 and 1996. He was very fortunate to head a team that was already very talented. The man didn’t waste the chance, he ran with the opportunity and scored the greatest winning percentage in all of franchise history during his tenure. His winning percentage was 766. 49ERS posted an impressive 98-30 regular season record in his tenure.
During his headship, the Niners got to post-season an incredible nine times and won two super-bowl victories at the close of both the 1989 and 1994 seasons.
No. 1: Bill Walsh
Bill Walsh was San Francisco’s head coach between the years 1979 and 1988, and he is by far 49ers’ best head coach – yet. He took over a dysfunctional and dispirited Francise in 1979. His first year didn’t go well, too. It wasn’t until 1981 that Bill Walsh would win the NFC championship and receive the franchise’s first trophy in Super Bowl XVI.
He’d lead his team to win two more Super Bowls. The legend is renowned for implementing the now famous West Coast offense – which is a method of short and precise passes that rely on proper footwork and precise timing.
He retired from his position as head coach after the 1988 season.
Super Bowl Summary
|1981||Bill Walsh||XVI||Pontiac, Michigan||Cincinnati Bengals||26–21||16–3|
|1984||Bill Walsh||XIX||Stanford, California||Miami Dolphins||38–16||18–1|
|1988||Bill Walsh||XXIII||Miami||Cincinnati Bengals||20–16||13–6|
|1989||George Seifert||XXIV||New Orleans||Denver Broncos||55–10||17–2|
|1994||George Seifert||XXIX||Miami||San Diego Chargers||49–26||16–3|
|Total Super Bowls won:||5|
After starring with the Gophers, Jim and Keith Fahnhorst went on to win five Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers. https://t.co/SAmWzK8zWS via @GopherSports #UMN #SuperBowl #SuperBowl52 #Minnesota #Gophers pic.twitter.com/v3UWcikLt3— Jon Ruzek (@JonHigherEd) February 2, 2018