Mike Holmgren, the ex-Seahawks coach who once upon a time served the 49ers as Bill Walsh's quarterbacks coach and George Siefert's offensive coordinator, got teased a bit when he said how he's spend his retirement. When asked what he'd do after finishing his time with the Seahawks, Holmgren said he wanted to open a bookstore and serve muffins.
Looks like that retirement plan is on the shelf.
Holmgren told Seattle's KJR 950, "I think I want to work again. Yeah, absolutely," Tuesday morning in a live interview still available online. "We're going to take the year off, then after next season we'll see. I plan to go back to work. Now where and in what capacity, that is pretty vague. But I know this. I want to do something. That's pretty much a given.
Holmgren made the remarks in an interview today with Seattle personality Dave "Softy" Mahler. You can see how Mahler got that nickname when you hear the kind of interview questions he asks. He's so easy on the former Seattle coach that at one point Holmgren's answer to Softy's question is, "The next big challenge that I'm gonna attack this afternoon is to wash all of (his granddaughter) Emma's clothes. And I understand I have to separate the dark clothes from the light clothes."
Interestingly, Holmgren sounds happy with either a head coaching or front office position in 2010. "The wear and tear on your body and your mind and your soul are quite different in the two jobs," he says. "There's a tremendous draw being on the sideline and playing that chess game on Sundays. But also, there's a pull that it takes."
Niners Nation points out that Holmgren-to-San Francisco enthusiasts aren't necessarily calling for Coach Singletary to go. Holmgren could be brought in as the true "football guy" the 49ers' front office currently lacks, with Singletary continuing to build the team as head coach. GM Scot McCloughan is your logical fall guy from the pecking order in that scenario, but one could also imagine McCloughan creating a new position for Holmgren involving terms like "consultant", "personnel", or "quality control", and thereby retaining his own job.
Holmgren gives no indication he'd be interested in a position this coming 2009 season. But he did have some insights on this offseason's "un-retirement" situation with Brett Favre, whom he coached in two Super Bowls.
Holmgren ran into Favre and his family recently when visiting Disney World. "We chatted for awhile, and I teased him a little bit about (retirement)," Holmgren recalls., "I said 'You don't have anything to prove to anybody, this is it', and he goes. 'Yeah. I'm done'."
To which Holmgren replied, "'Well you told me that four times.'"
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who always roots for former SF State Gator coordinators to succeed.