Source: 49ers fire coach Mariucci
Wed Jan 15, 2:40 PM ET
By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer
SANTA CLARA, California - Steve Mariucci was fired as coach of the San Francisco 49ers after six seasons without a trip to the Super Bowl, a team source told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Mariucci was released from the final year of his contract, the source said on condition of anonymity. Last season, Mariucci jockeyed for a contract extension but didn't get it.
The 49ers said they would have a news conference Wednesday but would not say why.
Mariucci went 57-39 while leading the 49ers to four playoff berths. The team was knocked out of this postseason last weekend with a 31-6 loss at Tampa Bay.
As much success as Mariucci had, his two predecessors — Bill Walsh and George Seifert — led San Francisco to a total of five Super Bowl championships, the first in 1982, the most recent in 1995.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only other team with a head coaching vacancy now and are thought to be interested in Mariucci. The Jaguars fired Tom Coughlin last month.
Mariucci said recently he wanted to return to San Francisco — and was willing to coach without an extension next season, if necessary. Team owner John York said he preferred not to have a lame-duck coach.
Mariucci made $2.1 million this season, 19th among the NFL's 32 head coaches and a bargain rate for a coach with Mariucci's track record.
He angered the 49ers' front office last winter by campaigning for a new contract through the media, and then talking to the Buccaneers last February about becoming their coach and general manager. The teams worked out a compensation package, but when Mariucci waffled on his decision, Tampa Bay hired Jon Gruden instead.
After rejecting Tampa Bay's offer, Mariucci changed agents and rededicated himself to the 49ers. They won the NFC West and finished 10-6, despite significant injury problems on defense.
The 49ers won their first-round playoff game by rallying from a 24-point deficit to beat the New York Giants, but they were never in the second-round game against Tampa Bay.