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Mike Singletary was fired as 49ers head coach with one game remaining in the 2010 season. And Trent Baalke, the team’s top personnel man, would soon be promoted to 49ers general manager.
On our weekly 49ers chat on CSNBayArea.com, reader Brandon asked, “Didn't Baalke also have issues getting along with Mike Singletary? Could he also be at risk of not getting along with whoever is in the HC position?”
Let’s go back to January of 2011.
Jed York said Singletary and Baalke lacked “great chemistry.” After Singletary was hired as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Vikings, he did not dispute he had breakdowns in communication with the organization’s top personnel man.
[RATTO: Jed York learns valuable lesson]
"I will take (blame) for all of that," Singletary told CSNBayArea.com. "That's something that's on me. He's exactly right. That's something Jed knew last year. But Trent did a good job. And for me, it's a matter of some people you mesh with and others you don't. I just look at it as one of those things. Sometimes it's there, and sometimes it's not."
Now there is talk about the relationship atop the 49ers’ football structure with Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh. Most of the conversation has centered on Harbaugh’s personality.
But this is the second coach with whom Baalke has not experienced “great chemistry.”
While Singletary was head coach, he had control over the team’s 53-man roster. And that led to some issues with Baalke.
For instance, Singletary demanded that the 49ers select safety Taylor Mays in the second round of the 2010 draft. Baalke did not want Mays. Singletary won the battle. The following training camp when Singletary was no longer around, Baalke shipped Mays to the Cincinnati Bengals for a seventh-round draft pick.
Now, Baalke has contractual control over the 53-man roster. Harbaugh has control over the 46 players who suit up on a week-to-week basis.
However, there is one major difference between Baalke’s professional relationships with the past two 49ers head coaches. Singletary’s teams went 18-22 and failed to reach the playoffs.
And with Baalke responsible for the roster and Harbaugh in charge of coaching them, the 49ers have won 41 games, including the playoffs, in three seasons.
So it's hard to argue with those results.