SANTA CLARA (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers interviewed a pair of Green Bay Packers executives Thursday for their general manager vacancy.
Niners CEO Jed York first met with Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf and then with director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst as he seeks to fill the void created when Trent Baalke was fired Sunday following a 2-14 season.
San Francisco is also conducting a coaching search at the same time and interviewed Buffalo Bills interim coach Anthony Lynn for that job on Wednesday. York said he was open to hiring either the coach or general manager first.
The 34-year-old Wolf is the son of Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf, who helped build a Super Bowl champion in Green Bay and developed numerous front office executives throughout the league.
Eliot Wolf started with the Packers in 2004 as a pro personnel assistant and worked his way up the organization. He was director of player personnel before getting promoted to his current job last March.
He coordinates the pro and college football departments, handles pro and college scouting and helps evaluate potential free-agent signings.
The 43-year-old Gutekunst has spent the past 18 seasons in the Packers’ front office, beginning as a college scout. He was promoted to director of college scouting for four seasons before starting his current role last March.
York said the primary goal in the search is finding a coach and general manager who can work well together. The Niners got rid of coach Jim Harbaugh following the 2014 season in part because of conflicts with Baalke. Harbaugh led the team to its only successful stretch of the past 15 years with trips to the NFC title game in his first three seasons from 2011-13 and a Super Bowl appearance.
Jim Tomsula replaced him and was fired after a 5-11 season. York then fired both Baalke and coach Chip Kelly after this past season.
The Niners became the first team in nearly four decades to fire coaches in successive seasons after only one-year tenures. The only other time that happened since the 1970 merger came when San Francisco fired Monte Clark after the 1976 season and Ken Meyer the following year. The 49ers then fired Pete McCulley midway through the 1978 season and interim coach Fred O’Connor after the year before hiring Bill Walsh to start a dynasty.
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