Singletary, the former Chicago Bears linebacker who was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1998, worked as the 49ers assistant coach from 2005-2008 after a short stint (2003-04) as Baltimore's assistant. Once San Francisco fired head coach Mike Nolan (18-37 in four seasons, never finished better than third in division) halfway through the '08 season, Singletary took over as interim coach.
After going 5-4, and finishing in second in the NFC West at the end of the '08 regular season, Singletary was named head coach.
In his only full season in 2009, Singletary's Niners, who were said to be on the rise after being replenished with younger players, finished the season 8-8 and again placed second in the division. San Francisco were crowned division favorites by plenty of analysts and writers this off-season, but his job appeared to be up for grabs after a slow start, and finish.
Just last night, after San Fran was eliminated from playoff contention with a 25-17 loss to St. Louis and a heated argument with quarterback Troy Smith (who was benched mid-game by Singletary) on the sidelines, owner and team president Jed York fired Singletary with just one week in the season remaining.
Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was named the team's interim coach for the final week of the season against the Arizona Cardinals.
Why York decided to go through with the firing now instead of waiting one more week until the end of the season is beyond me, but the fact is that it happened and that Tomsula has a shot at impressing his boss against the Cards.
Mike Singletary: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson