Editor's Note: The above video is from a media session with 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula on Saturday, September 12, 2015.
One year before the 49ers surprised most fans with their selection of Jim Tomsula to replace Jim Harbaugh, the Minnesota Vikings also considered Tomsula for their head-coaching position.
Tomsula spent one game as the 49ers’ interim coach at the end of the 2010 season but had never served as a coordinator. A defensive line coach with the 49ers since Mike Nolan hired him in 2007, Tomsula was the only non-coordinator the Vikings interviewed for the job that opened when Leslie Frazier was fired after 3 1/2 seasons.
Tomsula met with Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and assistant general manager George Paton when the 49ers were in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the 49ers’ divisional-round playoff game against the Carolina Panthers in January 2014. He later received a phone call from Vikings owner Zygi Wilf.
“Obviously, those are huge honors,” Tomsula said. “I mean, obviously, it’s very humbling for somebody to take a few hours of their day to talk to you. I mean, that was very humbling. I’m very appreciative to it.”
The Vikings also interviewed then-49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, then-Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Cleveland defensive coordinator Ray Horton, then-Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and then-Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who was ultimately hired for the job.
Tomsula, Quinn (Atlanta) and Bowles (N.Y. Jets) all were hired to head-coaching positions this offseason.
Coincidentally, Tomsula’s season opener as the head coach will come Monday night against the Vikings at Levi’s Stadium. Tomsula expressed only the highest regard for his team’s opponent.
“Class,” he said in describing the Vikings organization. “I felt like they were really good people. I felt like they were honest. I met with Mr. Spielman and Mr. Paton and I really enjoyed my time with them. I thought they were two really, really down to earth but sharp football guys, in my opinion, if that matters or not.
“The interesting thing was the phone call I got from Mr. Wilf. He called just to thank me. I thought that was just a really nice gesture.”