Before the 49ers hired Jim Harbaugh in 2011, they apparently first had their sights on a 69-year-old coach.
Again, the 49ers are looking into a coach of the same age who also has two Super Bowl victories to his head-coaching credit.
Five years ago, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke and 49ers CEO Jed York first explored the possibility of hiring Hall of Famer Bill Parcells to replace Mike Singletary, according to the 2014 book, “Parcells: A Football Life,” an authorized biography written by Nunyo Demasio.
The New York Giants on Monday granted permission to the 49ers to interview Tom Coughlin for their head-coaching position, as first reported by FoxSports. Coughlin submitted his resignation last week after 12 seasons and two Super Bowl victories with the Giants.
Bill Parcells, whom Baalke considers a mentor, last week endorsed Coughlin for the Philadelphia Eagles’ opening. The Eagles confirmed Coughlin was interviewed for the position on Monday. Coughlin served three seasons on Parcells’ staff with the New York Giants from 1988 to ’90 as a wide receivers coach. The Giants won Super Bowl XXV after the 1990 season.
"I know guys Tom Coughlin's age who know a whole lot more about football than some of the 30 year olds who are coaching it," Parcells said last week on Philadelphia radio station 95.7 FM The Fanatic. “Tom isn't just a good friend, but I have experience coaching with him that goes back a long time. I think his record pretty much speaks for itself.
“I don't think there's a number or age on what someone is capable of. If he has the energy to do the job and still knows what he's doing, then age shouldn't be a factor."
According to Parcells’ book, York wanted to consult with Parcells before officially promoting Baalke to general manager. Baalke had worked under Parcells as a scout with the New York Jets in the late 1990s. Parcells reassured York that Baalke was the correct choice.
One week earlier, Baalke also visited Parcells in Florida before his formal interview with York.
After becoming the 49ers’ general manager, Baalke pursued the possibility of hiring Parcells for the 49ers’ head-coaching job, according to the book. Parcells had last coached in 2006 with the Dallas Cowboys. York and Baalke emphasized the 49ers had a talented roster, despite the fact the organization had not advanced to the playoffs in eight seasons.
Parcells declined, citing his age (69) and his reluctance to move across the country. Once Parcells put an end to serious discussion, the 49ers turned their attention to Harbaugh, according to the book.
Matt is the 49ers Insider for CSNBayArea.com. Follow him @MaioccoCSN.