Jim Harbaugh: I didn’t leave 49ers, they left me
When the 49ers’ season came to a close, owner Jed York announced a mutual parting of ways with coach Jim Harbaugh. Turns out, the parting wasn’t so mutual.
Appearing on a podcast with Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, Harbaugh said he was told after the 49ers’ Week 15 loss to Seattle that it was time for a change.
“I was told I wouldn’t be the coach any more,” Harbaugh said via Pro Football Talk. “And then … you can call it ‘mutual,’ I mean, I wasn’t going to put the 49ers in the position to have a coach that they didn’t want any more. But that’s the truth of it. I didn’t leave the 49ers. I felt like the 49er hierarchy left me.”
So why did Harbaugh stick around for the final two games?
“I wanted to finish what I started — what we started,” Harbaugh said. “And I have great fond memories of it.”
Speculation was rampant all season that Harbaugh was on the outs in San Francisco. Harbaugh even asked the aforementioned Kawakami at season’s end to investigate where all the leaks of disenchantment were emanating from, a notion that was not lost on Kawakami during his podcast.
Kawakami: You did ask me after the last game to investigate where the leaks came. And I understood that and I believe we should do that. I asked Jed York point blank if he was the leak, he denied it. I’ve since written that I believe he was. How do you think I’ve reported it so far?
-HARBAUGH: I can’t say that I’ve read everything. I mean, I have a good idea–I’ve got a pretty good understanding of some of the things that took place.
I don’t think we were playing out of the same playbook. But maybe there’ll be a book some day. Maybe I’ll write a manuscript…
Maybe after he’s done stimulating Ann Arbor’s khaki economy, Harbs can pen his memoir and give us the full truth. Although we think it’s pretty safe to say that Jed York is the one who ordered the code red from the start.