Jets Make Todd Bowles Next Coach, 49ers Promote TomsulaEben Novy-Williams
Two National Football League head coaching vacancies were filled in a 15-minute span yesterday, and another hiring may be officially announced soon.
The New York Jets continued their offseason overhaul, announcing that Todd Bowles will be their next head coach. The news came one day after the Jets made Mike Maccagnan general manager.
“I am confident that Todd and Mike Maccagnan are the right combination to lead this team,” owner Woody Johnson said in a statement released by the Jets.
A quarter-hour later, the San Francisco 49ers sent out a news release announcing that Jim Tomsula had been promoted to replace Jim Harbaugh as head coach after spending the past eight seasons as the team’s defensive line coach.
Tomsula, 46, has been with the 49ers since 2007, helping build one of the NFL’s top defensive lines, and in 2010 took over as interim coach for the final game of the season after Mike Singletary was fired.
The 49ers and Harbaugh mutually agreed to part ways after the team went 8-8 this season. Harbaugh, who had a 36-11-1 record with the 49ers over his first three seasons, then took the head coaching job at the University of Michigan.
Also yesterday, ESPN reported that Jack Del Rio had been hired as the Oakland Raiders’ coach. Del Rio, 51, the Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator for the past three seasons, coached the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2003-2011, posting a 68-71 record.
Bowles, also 51, spent the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals. The Jets did not give contract details in a team release announcing the hiring.
Bowles succeeds Rex Ryan, another defensive-minded coach, who was fired in December after four straight non-winning seasons. The Jets were 4-12 this year, the team’s worst record since 2007.
A former defensive back who won a Super Bowl title with the Washington Redskins after the 1987 season, Bowles broke into the NFL as an assistant with the Jets during the 2000 season under Al Groh.
Bowles developed a reputation for aggressiveness during his time with the Cardinals. Arizona blitzed on 46.5 percent of dropbacks last year, the highest rate in the NFL, according to ESPN. The team went 11-5 in 2014, losing in the opening round of the playoffs to the Carolina Panthers.
“While he appreciates the need for discipline, players love playing for him and I believe he has outstanding qualities to help make the Jets a competitive, winning team,” Maccagnan said in a team release.
Cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who played with the Cardinals this year after four years with the Ryan-led Jets, said there are similarities between the two coaches’ defensive schemes and called Bowles a “great hire.”
“The defense won’t change,” Cromartie said of the Jets on his Twitter account. “Coach Bowles is a very smart coach. 1 of the smartest coaches I’ve been around.”
Like Maccagnan, Bowles is a New Jersey native. He becomes the fifth black head coach in the 32-team NFL, joining Lovie Smith of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jim Caldwell of the Detroit Lions, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin and Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals.