49ers CEO not worried if Jim Harbaugh is 'well-liked'
Posted by: Josh Kendall on January 31, 2013
Jim Harbaugh "is not maybe the most well-liked guy in the media or across the league," but the San Francisco 49ers love him, team CEO Jed York told 95.7 The Game in San Francisco.
"Ultimately, I'm going to judge Jim on whether he wins or loses and if he's getting us to compete for Super Bowls and win Super Bowls. I don't think Jim is as bad as what some people think he is in the media," York said.
"He's just himself, and he has no interest in promoting himself," York added. "He has no interest in doing anything that's not about the team. ... Could he be better and could he be more generous in the media? Yeah, I'm sure he could. But that's not who he is, and I respect who he is, and I don't want to put our coach or any of our players in a position that they're not comfortable with."
York got Harbaugh to San Francisco by appealing to what he thought Harbaugh was all about, he said.
"Jim is very comfortable being himself. And I think the way we approached it, very early on, you had colleges and you had pro teams sort of setting deadlines and ultimatums. ... And then they'd come back when he didn't respond, 'Well, we'll raise the number and do this for you.' I looked at it as Jim lived in Palo Alto, or outside Palo Alto ... his wife had just given birth to their second daughter and he wanted an opportunity to compete for Super Bowls. And when we sat down with him, it wasn't, 'We'll give you everything that you want; here's all this money,' ... it was, 'This is a team effort. I don't think you want to leave and go across the country. ... We have a talented team that has underachieved. You need to choose that you want to be here as much as we need to choose you,'" York said.
The hire, obviously has worked out well as Harbaugh has the 49ers two days away from the Super Bowl.
"I think there is a good group of people in the locker room, first. What he's gotten them to do is he's gotten them to perform to their peak performance ... not just on the field, but off the field," York said. " And he's gotten them to come together as a group of people, where it really is a family and they treat each other like that. And that doesn't mean that they always get along. Sometimes there are fights. Sometimes you have a quarterback change in the middle of the season that not everybody is fired up for at the point, and now it shows why he made a quarterback change. ... You have a very unique dynamic on this team that's special."
Josh Kendall is a staff writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered the SEC for more than 15 years for papers such as the Athens Banner-Herald, Macon Telegraph, and The State. He’s the father of two boys who he’s hoping don’t inherit his wide receiver frame and offensive guard feet. Follow @EyeOnCoaches on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org