The news was first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
“After conducting a thorough coaching search, and meeting with a number of outstanding candidates, Jim Tomsula clearly is the right man to lead this team,” 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement. “Jim is a great teacher and a tremendous mentor who conducts himself with great class and integrity.”
The team reportedly told Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, another candidate for the job, that "they're going in a different direction," according to Schefter.
Tomsula, 46, spent the last eight seasons as the 49ers' defensive line coach. He also served as the team's interim head coach for the final game of the 2010 season after Mike Singletary was fired.
San Francisco also reportedly interviewed Gase, former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and former Jets coach Rex Ryan for the position. 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan were also linked to the opening.
According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, it was "very close" between Tomsula and Gase.
Current 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will not remain with the team, according to Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. According to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco is expected to name Jason Tarver the team's new defensive coordinator. Kawakami also reports that former Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman could be hired as offensive coordinator.
The 49ers mutually parted ways with coach Jim Harbaugh on Dec. 28 after four seasons with the team. San Francisco went to two NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl under Harbaugh, but there were reports throughout the season of friction between Harbaugh and the team, and between Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke.
Harbaugh was then hired by Michigan, his alma mater.
The 49ers went 8-8 this season, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2010. In 2013, San Francisco lost to the eventual-champion Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game after a 12-4 season.
- Molly Geary