SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers team president and CEO Jed York interviewed Tony Softli on Tuesday as the first known candidate to fill the team's vacant general manager position, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
Softli, a former personnel executive with the Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams, met Tuesday with York. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the matter. York fired coach Mike Singletary late Sunday after a 25-17 loss at St. Louis eliminated the 49ers (5-10) from playoff contention, their eighth straight year out of the postseason.
York vowed to turn his team back into a contender, starting by hiring a GM. That person will choose Singletary's successor. San Francisco has been without a general manager since Scot McCloughan's abrupt departure last March that York called a "mutual parting." McCloughan wound up with the division rival Seattle Seahawks, while Trent Baalke took over football operations for the Niners.
York said Baalke, vice president of player personnel, would be considered for the GM job. York planned to spend this week and next week focused on his search for a general manager. The 49ers finish the season at home Sunday against Arizona, but haven't had a winning season since their last trip to the playoffs in 2002. Promoted defensive line coach Jim Tomsula will coach the season finale for a team picked by many to win the NFC West before the season began.
Comcast SportsNet Bay Area was first to report Softli has interviewed.