After a disappointing season, the 49ers have fired head coach Chip Kelly, the team announced. General manager Trent Baalke has also been fired.
“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.” 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement. “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.”
San Francisco lost Sunday's season finale against the Seattle Seahawks.
This was Kelly’s first season with the team, after replacing Jim Tomsula. The Niners went 5–11 in 2015 under Tomsula, who received just one season at the helm.
The team has struggled to find a replacement for Jim Harbaugh, who parted ways with the team in 2014 after reported clashes with Baalke.
Baalke has been with the team’s front office since 2005, assuming the GM role in 2011 after starting as a scout and later helming player personnel.
The team won 36 games in Baalke‘s first three seasons and with Harbaugh as coach, winning two NFC West titles and appearing in Super Bowl XLVII, where the 49ers lost to the Ravens.
Kelly is 28–34 in four NFL seasons, spending his first three with the Eagles after leaving Oregon. There has been speculation he could return to the college ranks.
- Jeremy Woo and Scooby Axson