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Catawba Alumnus Jim Tomsula '90 Named Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers

January 15, 2015

Category: Alumni, Athletics


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Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Jim Tomsula, a 1990 Catawba alumnus, has been named the head football coach for the NFL's The San Francisco 49ers. He becomes the 19th coach in team history, taking over for Jim Harbaugh, who recently left to take the head coaching job at the University of Michigan.

Reports from the San Francisco 49ers say that after conducting a thorough search, Tomsula was clearly the right man to lead the team. Jed York, 49ers CEO, was quoted in saying, “Jim is a great teacher and a tremendous mentor who conducts himself with great class and integrity.” Trent Ballke, 49ers general manager added, "Our organization is excited to have Jim Tomsula leading this football team. We have had the privilege of working alongside Jim for the past eight seasons. He is a proven leader, teacher and mentor, and we look forward to seeing him apply his craft and vision to our team.”

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 NFL FIlms Presents: Jim Tomsula

Tomsula will be formally introduced as head coach during a press conference Thursday afternoon at Levi’s® Stadium.

Tomsula played defensive line at Catawba until a knee injury as a senior in 1989 ended his career. After a stint as an assistant at Charleston Southern, Tomsula returned to Catawba and joined David Bennett's staff in 1997.

During his years as an assistant at Catawba, Tomsula began his professional career with NFL Europe during the summers. He was defensive coordinator for the Berlin Thunder when the team won World Bowl XII. In 2006, Tomsula was named the head coach of the Rhine Fire, becoming the youngest head coach in league history at age 38.

Tomsula joined the 49ers as defensive line coach in 2007. Since then, the 49ers rank fourth in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (98.4) and rushing average (3.72). San Francisco’s defense also ranks third in the NFL in points per game allowed (19.4) and fourth in yards per game allowed (320.9).

In 2011, San Francisco set the NFL record by not allowing a rushing touchdown in their first 14 games of the season. The team surrendered just three rushing touchdowns all year, the fewest allowed in the NFL since the league went to a 16-game schedule in 1978.

Tomsula and his wife, Julie, also a Catawba graduate, have two daughters, Britney and Brooke, and a son, Bear.