Sacramento Bee

49ers mum on Garcia's comments
February 04, 2003
By Jim Jenkins -- Bee Staff Writer

The 49ers said Monday they have no immediate response to criticism leveled by quarterback Jeff Garcia concerning the team's search for a new head coach.

Garcia, interviewed at the Pro Bowl in Honolulu, said he was unimpressed with the list of candidates to succeed Steve Mariucci and likened the process to "almost pulling names out of a hat."

A 49ers spokesman said Garcia's comments were made largely out of frustration and that if general manager Terry Donahue wants to respond, he will, but only after interviewing various candidates.

On Monday, Donahue was to interview Greg Blache of the Chicago Bears, the fourth defensive coordinator still under consideration for the job, joining Jim Mora of the 49ers, Romeo Crennel of New England and Ted Cottrell of the New York Jets.

Former coach and ABC commentator John Madden said during the Pro Bowl telecast Sunday that the 49ers should also consider Norv Turner, offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins and former Washington Redskins head coach. But the 49ers said Donahue is proceeding with his own list of candidates, a group that soon may include at least one coach from the college ranks.

High-profile college coaches Donahue might have in mind include Bob Stoops of Oklahoma, Jim Tressel of national champion Ohio State, Tyrone Willingham of Notre Dame and formerly of Stanford, Pete Carroll of USC, Rick Neuheisel of Washington, Mike Bellotti of Oregon, Kirk Ferentz of Iowa and Rich Brooks of Kentucky.

However, Carroll, who had head-coaching stints with the New York Jets (1994) and New England Patriots (1997-99) around a two-season stay with the 49ers as a defensive coordinator in 1995-96, said he is happy as a college coach and has no desire to return to the NFL.

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