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Pete Carroll on Jim Harbaugh's departure from 49ers: "He was tough. I wish him the very best"
Shortly after their season-finale, the San Francisco 49ers announced they had mutually agreed to part ways with Jim Harbaugh. The move freed the head coach from the final year of the five-year contract he signed in 2011 and opened the door for Harbaugh to pursue other opportunities in the NFL and college.
"Yeah, it's good he's out of here in that regard," Carroll said the day after his team's 20-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams when asked to share thoughts on Harbaugh's departure from the division. "He was tough. I wish him the very best."
>>> UPDATE: 12/30 - Harbaugh Hired To Lead Michigan Football Program
The Seahawks' red-and-gold NFC West rival capped their 2014 season with a 20-17 home win over the Arizona Cardinals, tallying an 8-8 record in Harbaugh's fourth and last season in the Bay Area. Harbaugh ends his tenure with the Niners owning an overall record of 49-22-1 (5-3 postseason), two division titles (2011-12), an NFL-record three consecutive NFC Championship appearances (2011-13), and a journey to Super Bowl XLVII (2012).
"He had a fantastic run in this division and meant a lot to us building up a little bit of reputation for being a hard-nosed, tough division," Carroll said of Harbaugh, whose 44 regular-season victories since 2011 rank second to Bill Belichick's 49 with the New England Patriots (Carroll has 43 regular-season wins with the Seahawks since 2011).
With San Francisco, Harbaugh produced a 4-4 regular-season record against the Carroll-led Seahawks and 0-1 mark in the postseason after the two teams met in this past January's NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field.
The two coaches carried a unique rivalry from their time in the college ranks to the pros, with Harbaugh's Stanford Cardinal and Carroll's USC Trojans facing off on a regular basis in the then-Pac-10.
"I'm sure they'll make a great replacement and all that kind of stuff, but he was tough to go against," said Carroll. "We enjoyed it." Read