After Jim Tomsula’s cast of assistants is in place, it’s conceivable the man who was picked to replace Jim Harbaugh will have the fifth-most NFL head-coaching experience of anybody on the team’s coaching staff.
Already, the 49ers have secured defensive coordinator Eric Mangini and tight ends coach Tony Sparano, who spent a combined 153 regular-season games in charge of their teams on the sideline.
Aside from a 6-4 stint as the coach of the Rhein Fire (NFL Europe) in 2006, Tomsula has one game under his belt as an NFL coach. He took over as the interim coach after Mike Singletary’s firing in 2010. The 49ers finished that season with a 38-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Sparano, in particular, can provide a lot of assistance to Tomsula during games. He will not have as many wide-ranging responsibilities as Mangini on game days. Therefore, as a long-time offensive coach, Sparano can serve as a sounding board for game-management decisions that must constantly be considered.
Also, 49ers president Paraag Marathe will play a big role in Tomsula’s transition to calling the shots from the sideline. Years ago, Marathe devised a game-management guide that includes such information as when to call timeouts while trailing late in a game and whether to kneel or run plays while protecting a lead. Marathe has constantly re-worked his formulas.
The 49ers added Bill Nayes, who worked as Mike Holmgren's aide for a dozen NFL seasons, to help Tomsula with administrative responsibilities.
In addition, to Mangini and Sparano, the 49ers could also look to add Perry Fewell and Rob Chudzinski as assistant coaches.
Fewell is scheduled to interview Friday for the team’s opening to coach defensive backs. Chudzinski, whose contract as "special assistant to the head coach" expires with the Indianapolis Colts next week, is at the top of the 49ers’ wish list for the offensive coordinator position, according to sources.
HEAD COACH EXPERIENCE ON STAFF
Eric Mangini, 44, defensive coordinator
2006-08: Jets, coach, 23-25
2009-10: Browns, coach, 10-22
Tony Sparano, 53, tight ends
2008-11: Dolphins, coach, 29-32
2014: Raiders, interim coach, 3-9
Jim Tomsula, 46, head coach
2010: 49ers, interim coach, 1-0
Perry Fewell, 52, defensive backs candidate
2009: Bills, interim coach, 3-4
Rob Chudzinski, 46, offensive coordinator candidate
2013: Browns, coach, 4-12