Contra Costa Times

Mora makes his pitch for promotion
January 23, 2003
By Cam Inman

SAN DIEGO - Jim Mora is buckin' for a promotion, and the 49ers defensive coordinator came away upbeat Wednesday after interviewing to become the 49ers' next head coach.

Mora met Tuesday night and Wednesday with 49ers general manager Terry Donahue in Southern California.

"We had great discussions. From my standpoint, it was very productive," Mora said by phone from his office at the 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara. "It was enjoyable and I think it was good to get a chance to talk on that level. I enjoyed the heck out of it, quite frankly."

Mora, 41, has spent the past four seasons as the 49ers defensive coordinator and the prior two seasons as their defensive backs coach. He's never previously interviewed to become an NFL coach, a job his father, Jim, held with the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints.

Mora is one of four preliminary candidates Donahue said Tuesday he would interview this week. The others are New England Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson and Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress.

After speaking with Donahue on Wednesday, Johnson declined to pursue the 49ers job, according to a team spokesman.

Mora, who is under contract through next season, interviewed Sunday and Monday in Charlotte, N.C., for the Carolina Panthers' vacant defensive coordinator position.

"(Panthers coach John Fox) has given me every opportunity to get this job (as 49ers coach) and he's not putting any pressure on me to take (the Panthers) job," Mora said. "I get a strong impression I'm (Fox's) first choice."

Donahue said Tuesday that Mora is the only member of the 49ers staff he planned to interview as a possible successor to Steve Mariucci.

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