After two days of intense meetings with owner John York, Mike Nolan appears to be safe as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday.
Nolan assembled his assistant coaches Tuesday afternoon and informed them that he was expected to stay on as head coach -- although he will be staying with less authority. Under his current contract, Nolan is the boss of football operations. That will change. The 49ers are expected to offer the general manager job to Scot McCloughan, who came in with Nolan.
Yahoo! Sports reported on Tuesday that Nolan agreed to give up front-office control as a condition of his return to the sidelines.
Nolan wouldn't confirm anything as he drove away from the team's training complex in Santa Clara, Calif., on Tuesday.
"Happy new year, guys," Nolan said with a small smile as he
drove away. "I'll see you in the morning."
Following Sunday's loss to the Cleveland Browns, Nolan's future appeared to be in jeopardy. Numerous organizational changes are expected from the 49ers -- starting as soon as Wednesday. The thought was that Nolan was going to be out, but good talks with ownership may have bought him another year. More talks are scheduled Wednesday.
As Nolan indicated, he is expected to participate Wednesday in a
news conference postponed from Monday.
Nolan is expected to make numerous changes to his coaching staff. The switch at offensive coordinator -- from Norv Turner last season to Jim Hostler this season -- didn't work out, so Hostler is expected to be either demoted or fired.
Nolan's assistants were just as tight-lipped as their bosses. Hostler, the most beleaguered coach in the building, didn't say whether he'll be back.
"As far as I know," receivers coach Jerry Sullivan said when
asked if he still works for the 49ers.
"Yeah, we had meetings," assistant head coach Mike Singletary
said. When asked if Nolan led the meetings, he declined to
Singletary also said he hadn't yet had any conversations with
other NFL teams. Atlanta and Baltimore both could be interested in
speaking to the Hall of Fame linebacker about the NFL's only two
current head coaching vacancies.
Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.