SANTA CLARA—After it was announced before the San Francisco 49ers season finale against the Seattle Seahawks (to whom they lost 25-23) that General Manager Trent Baalke had been fired, reports surfacing that Head Coach Chip Kelly, after one season was also fired from the organization.
Following the news of Baalke’s dismissal, Adam Schefter of ESPN posted on Twitter that Kelly’s firing would take place shortly after. He also tweeted the official report from the 49ers announcing the departure of both Kelly and Baalke.
Prior to the SF 49ers, Kelly served as the head coach for the University of Oregon Ducks from 2007 to 2012. He cultivated a 46-7 record in four seasons. He later coached the Philadelphia Eagles from 2013 to 2015, cultivating a 26-21 record for those three seasons.
Kelly was also fired from his coaching position with the Eagles, and Fox Sports shared that the end of his career with the team “did not go so well.”
After dismissing Jim Harbaugh, as the 49ers head coach two years ago, assistant Jim Tomsula (who was replaced by Kelly) took over for the 2015 season (cultivating a 5-11 record) and was also fired after a year with the organization. This is the third year in a row that the 49ers have fired a head coach.
In a press conference on Monday, January 2, CEO Jed York confirmed the dismissal of both Kelly and Baalke.
“I have informed Trent and Chip of my decision to pursue new leadership for our football team. These types of conversations are never easy, especially when they involve people you respect personally and professionally. Trent gave this organization every ounce of effort he had over the last 12 years and his contributions were integral to the team reaching three straight NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. I will forever be grateful for his dedication to the 49ers, and his friendship to me and my family. I wish Trent, Beth and their daughters the very best in whatever the future holds for their family. Chip has my gratitude for the job he did this year, navigating the team through some adverse circumstances. I look forward to watching his career continue to unfold, and wish him and Jill great success in life. Despite my feelings for Trent and Chip, I felt the decision to change our football leadership was absolutely necessary. The performance of this team has not lived up to my expectations or those of our fans, and that is truly disappointing. We all expected to see this team progress and develop as the season went on, but unfortunately that did not happen. That is why now is the time to find a new direction for this team,” said York.
York explained that the “marriage” between Baalke and Kelly was unsuccessful and that he “should have seen it.”
“The most important thing is for the general manager and head coach to work together,” York added.
In regards to future staffing decisions, York drew on Harbaugh’s career with the 49ers to express his capability of improving the team’s future records, stating:
“I’ve done it before. We’ve put together a team that has had three NFC championship runs. That was in the past. I can’t live on the past. I need to make sure that anything I do is backed up by the results on the field.”