The 49ers continued to pursue Adam Gase as offensive coordinator after bypassing him for their head-coaching position, a source told CSNBayArea.com on Wednesday.
New Chicago Bears coach John Fox hired Gase, 36, the Denver Broncos’ offensive coordinator the past two seasons under Fox, for the same position, the Bears announced.
San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke spent 8 ½ hours interviewing Gase for the head-coaching job on Jan. 13 in Denver, according to the source. It was Gase’s second interview with the 49ers after the club and former coach Jim Harbaugh announced a “mutual parting” just minutes after the 49ers’ season finale against the Arizona Cardinals.
After the lengthy meeting and another phone call to Gase the next morning, the 49ers announced a promotion of defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to head coach.
However, the 49ers continued to have contact with Gase over the next week, a source said. Gase had an interview with John Elway for the Broncos’ head-coaching job, which went to Gary Kubiak. Gase also took part in interviews for the offensive coordinator positions with Jacksonville and Baltimore. Jacksonville hired former Raiders coordinator Greg Olson, while the Ravens hired ex-Bears head coach Marc Trestman.
The Raiders and St. Louis Rams also reached out to Gase, the source said. New Raiders coach Jack Del Rio hired Bill Musgrave, while the Rams have yet to fill their vacancy.
The 49ers retained quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst off Harbaugh's staff, but it is unclear whether he will be back in that position or another role. It's not known if he is a candidate for the offensive coordinator post.
Indianapolis assistant Rob Chudzinski is considered a strong candidate, but the Colts denied permission from the 49ers and St. Louis Rams to interview him for offensive coordinator positions. Chudzinski, however, could be available next week when his contract expires, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Former Raiders coach Lane Kiffin, Alabama's offensive coordinator, is the leading candidate, according to a recent report from ESPN's Adam Schefter. The 49ers also reportedly spoke to Mike Shanahan about the vacancy.