The San Francisco 49ers fired Mike Singletary late Sunday night after the team was eliminated from playoff contention and fell to 5-10.
San Francisco is the fourth team to fire their head coach mid-season. The interest in veteran head coaches continues to rise with many of these once-elite head men looking to get back into the game of football.
Though there will be a new general manager running the front office, here is a list of some candidates for the San Francisco 49ers job.
I am a NFL Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com.
Follow me on twitter: twitter.com/MattMiselis.
Assuming that Jerry Jones decides to go in another direction for the Dallas opening, Jason Garrett could be on the 49ers' radar.
He is a young coach with a great offensive mind and has been able to put up points with Jon Kitna as his quarterback.
With a new quarterback likely to be acquired in 2011, the 49ers could go with a head coach who should be able to use the talented weapons of the 49ers to their full potential.
Could the next head coach of the 49ers be already running a team in the state of California?
Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh is a hot candidate on the rise. He takes a similar approach to his brother John, who is finding success with the Baltimore Ravens.
However, Harbaugh is more involved with the play-calling, which works to his benefit.
More importantly, the 49ers will be in need of a new quarterback. With a high draft pick likely for the 49ers, there are many scenarios where Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck could land in San Francisco.
Harbaugh could buy that plan and jump on board.
Jeff Fisher's days as head coach of the Titans are likely near their end. However, a team such as the Titans could be interested in this veteran coach.
Fisher controls a disciplined locker room where up until this season there hasn't been a whole lot of controversy outside of Vince Young.
With the talent in San Francisco, if he can bring in a good quarterback to this team then San Francisco is a playoff-caliber team in 2011.
Jon Gruden has been linked to the majority of the NFL jobs out there. San Francisco could be a potential fit in 2011.
Not only was he a coach for a short time in San Francisco, Gruden likes to coach in warm-weather places such as California.
With talent on both sides of the ball, Gruden could turn the 49ers into a team that needs to be reckoned with in 2011.
The tenure of John Fox in Carolina will likely be over at the end of the 2010 season. However, there should be interest in Fox among other teams, including the 49ers.
Fox built multiple playoff teams with a low-market organization in the Panthers. With an owner willing to spend money in San Francisco, Fox has the ability to create a competitive and a respectable team in the 49ers in the future.
The most interesting candidate for the 49ers opening is former head coach and Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren.
Holmgren has been rumored to be possibly returning to the sidelines, with San Francisco apparently being his favorite target.
Mike should know the NFC West quite well with the time he spent with the Seattle Seahawks. There are plenty of young pieces that should interest Holmgren.
I wouldn't even rule out the possibility of him being head coach and president of team operations like Mike Shanahan was during his days in Denver.