October 21, 2008

49ers Introduce New Head Coach Singletary

Santa Clara, CA (Sports Network) - Mike Singletary officially took over as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday, less than a day after the organization fired Mike Nolan.

"I'm very honored to be considered for this position...but getting there was a little difficult," said Singletary at an afternoon press conference where he was formally introduced by 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan. The Hall of Fame linebacker, who was Nolan's assistant head coach, talked about the emotional conversation he had with the former 49ers coach on Monday.

"He was emotional, and so was I," said Singletary. "I felt like I came here for one reason, and that was to help coach Nolan make this a winning organization.

"He (Nolan) said 'I want you to understand something. I want you to take this job. I don't even want you to blink...because I know you have the heart of the players at hand...I want you to take it to the next level,'" Singletary said.

The Niners, losers of their last four games, fired Nolan late Monday night. San Francisco suffered a 29-17 road loss to the New York Giants this past Sunday, dropping its record to 2-5.

"I know that what is here, there is a lot of talent, a lot of good coaches," said Singletary, who will make his NFL head coaching debut on Sunday, when the Niners host the Seattle Seahawks.

The 50-year-old Singletary is in his fourth year with the 49ers. A 10-time Pro Bowl selection as a Chicago linebacker, Singletary was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

"I'm excited about the opportunity. I'm excited about taking it to the next level," Singletary said.

The 49-year-old Nolan, who was in the fourth season of a five-year contract with the 49ers, compiled an 18-37 record during his tenure with the team. The best finish under his watch was 7-9 in 2006. The 49ers haven't had a winning record since 2002 under Steve Mariucci, when they went 10-6 before falling to Tampa Bay in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Nolan was hired by the 49ers on January 19, 2005, 37 years to the date his late father, Dick, was hired by the team. Dick Nolan, who passed away last November, captured three straight NFC West championships (1970-72) in San Francisco.

10/21 15:50:29 ET