Jim Harbaugh
Dec 7, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh looks towards the scoreboard during a break in the action against the Oakland Raiders in the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the 49ers 24-13. Reuters

The Jim Harbaugh era is over in San Francisco after the 49ers and the coach mutually agreed to part ways officially on Sunday. The announcement came after the 49ers 20-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the last day of the 2014 NFL regular season. The development was hardly surprising and was expected with rumours that Harbaugh will be going to the University of Michigan and coach its college football team.

The search for the next coach begins for San Francisco and 49ers Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jed York and General Manager (GM) Trent Baalke will be addressing the media on Monday to tackle the decision to let go of Harbaugh and also about their targets for the newly-opened

“Jim and I have come to the conclusion that it is in our mutual best interest to move in different directions,” York said in an official press release posted on the team’s website. “We thank Jim for bringing a tremendous competitive nature and a great passion for the game to the 49ers. He and his staff restored a winning culture that has been the standard for our franchise throughout its history. Their commitment and hard work resulted in a period of success that should be looked back on proudly by our organization and our fans. We wish Jim and his family all the best.”

York emphasised that their focus now is finding the next head coach and said he trusted their GMs ability to net them a good coach in the near future. Harbaugh, who had a 49-22-1 regular season and 5-3 postseason win-loss-tie records with the franchise, was thankful of the opportunity for coaching one of NFL’s most popular and most successful franchise.

“For the last four seasons I have had the great privilege to coach one of the storied franchises in the history of football. We accomplished many great things together as a team during this period, which is a tribute to the incredible efforts of some of the most dedicated players and coaches in the NFL. I will miss competing alongside this group of players and coaches,” Harbaugh said in the same release. “I have the utmost respect and admiration for their hard work and support. It has been my honor to share the sideline with these mighty men. I will always appreciate and remember fondly, the passion and support of our Faithful fans, and want to express my particular thanks to them.”

Harbaugh led San Francisco to two NFC West titles and three NFC Championship Game appearances in three straight seasons. The team also made the Super Bowl once.

To reach the author of this article, email j.gloria@ibtimes.com.au