Former San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was forced out of the organization after leading the team to its greatest successes since the days of Bill Walsh and George Seifert.
Harbaugh coached the 49ers for four seasons, which was an eternity under CEO Jed York, who has hired three coaches since Harbaugh departed after the 2014 season. Harbaugh said he should receive an "endurance medal" for remaining with the team for such a "long" stretch of time.
"I think we did, and correct me if I'm wrong, but we did set a record for coaching there the longest under the present ownership, if I'm not wrong," Harbaugh told San Jose Mercury News sportswriter Tim Kawakami last week. "So, I take pride in that. Maybe there should be an endurance medal, courage medal for that."
In all, York has hired five head coaches since he was named CEO of the team in 2009. The 49ers have posted just three winnings seasons during the York era, all of which occurred when Harbaugh was coach. Harbaugh led the 49ers three consecutive trips to the NFC Championship game and they reached the Super Bowl in 2013.
Harbaugh and then-general manager Trent Baalke engaged in a power struggle and York sided with Baalke and forced Harbaugh out. The 49ers have posted a combined record of 7-25 and York has fired two coaches - each after just one season - since Harbaugh's departure. Baalke was fired following the 2016 season.
Harbaugh is currently the head coach at the University of Michigan.
-- Geoffrey C. Arnold | @geoffreyCarnold
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