Jed York: 'That was reason No. 1 why we hired Jim Harbaugh'
Posted by: Chris Vannini on January 21, 2013
Jed York knew the quarterback position had to be fixed.
After letting Mike Singletary go as head coach following the 2010 season, the 49ers president wanted to hire a coach who would improve the team's quarterback play. Enter Jim Harbaugh.
While on The Jim Rome Show, York was asked about supporting Harbaugh's decision to go with Colin Kaepernick as the starter over Alex Smith late in the season. York said he had to be 100 percent behind his coach.
"That's what (general manager) Trent Baalke and I saw when we hired Jim," York said. "The reason why we wanted Jim to be the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers is because he understands the most important position in sports. Played it for 14 years, coached it when he was in college, he coaches two guys that went on to have NFL careers. He just gets that position.
"If you don't get that position, it's really, really hard to have success in the National football League. That's why we hired Jim. That was reason No. 1, because he gets that position. He gets being a leader of a team. He might not do it in a fashion that everyone in the media loves, he might not make a lot of friends, but I respect the way he grinds, the way he works.
"I'd much rather entrust the San Francisco 49ers to somebody like Jim and somebody like Trent than have me, a former banker-type guy sitting there trying to put spreadsheets together to make decisions. That's not going to work."
York became the team's president in late 2008 at just 27 years old. He talked about what he has learned over that time and how he was able to move past a coaching change.
"It was intense, because we did everything at one time," he said. "It was me being announced as president, we announced Mike Singletary as the coach the same day. Being a young guy, feeling like Mike Singletary was the right guy to get this done and then seeing it not be the right guy a year and a half later, that's tough. That's the one piece of advice I always try to give young people in college or young professionals: You can't be afraid to a make a mistake, and if you do make a mistake, don't try to cover it up. Don't try to hide it. It's OK. You just need to move forward.
"I think a lot of people might try to put a bandage on it figure out, 'How do we fix this?' As opposed to, 'This was the wrong decision.' I think Mike Singletary did a lot of good, positive thing for the 49ers, but he wasn't the right guy as the head coach, and we needed to make a change.
"That's the thing I've learned form my family, starting with my grandfather and my mother and my father and my uncle. You're going to make mistakes, but if you do, correct them and keep moving forward and don't worry about failure."
You can listen to the interview by clicking here.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com