San Francisco 49ers co-owner John York today announced that Scot McCloughan has been promoted to the team's general manager position and confirmed head coach Mike Nolan will remain for the 2008 season.
York said that McCloughan has been groomed for the general manager's job since he was hired three years ago and the promotion is not a result of “this frustrating” season” when the team went 5-11.
At an afternoon news conference, McCloughan said he would have final authority over both personnel decisions and Nolan. However, he made it clear he believes in Nolan's coaching ability.
“I totally believe in what he started here,'' McCloughan said.
Nolan previously had final authority over the team's personnel and reported directly to York and his wife Denise DeBartolo York.
He said today that because he and McCloughan have such a close relationship and work so well together, the practical effects of the front office change will be minimal.
“I will remain the one voice in this organization,'' Nolan said.
McCloughan received a contract extension as part of his promotion while Nolan admitted he did not.
York was largely silent during the news conference, deferring to McCloughan to answer most questions.
He did say at one point that despite the team being 25-55 since he fired head coach Steve Mariucci, the last coach hired by former owner Eddie DeBartolo, following the 2002 season, “until this season we were on the right track.''
Former number one draft pick Alex Smith will have to compete for the starting quarterback job he held until getting injured this year and the team may draft another quarterback this year, according to McCloughan.
“If we're in the draft and there's a dang good quarterback there we're going to take him,'' McCloughan said.
The 49ers will play the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins on the road. The team will also play home-and-home series with divisional rivals the Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks.