49ers News: 49ers Part Ways With Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio, Secondary Coach Ed Donatell

After the San Francisco 49ers promoted defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to head coach, it was only a matter of time before DC Vic Fangio made his exit.

Fangio has left the team, per CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco, and while it's unclear whether he was fired or not, it doesn't really matter - he was leaving either way. Fangio wanted to be the team's head coach, and it was clear from the outset that if they chose Tomsula - who was in a 'lesser' role as defensive line coach - Fangio would be gone. When Jed York chose to promote Tomsula, he knew he was going to have to part with his defensive coordinator as part of the deal.

Ed Donatell's departure was slightly less obvious, but still doesn't come as a surprise. Donatell and Fangio had been close allies, and Donatell had been widely tipped as Fangio's defensive coordinator if Fangio was given a head coaching job in San Francisco or elsewhere. Linebackers coach Jim Leavitt has also been released from his contract.

At this point, Fangio is not expected to become anyone's head coach - only the Falcons, Broncos and Bears have vacant positions, and all three are looking for more experienced candidates. The Bears are reportedly zeroing in on former Denver HC John Fox.

Both Donatell and Fangio were strongly linked to the Washington Redskins, a team currently without a DC, and Fangio is now one of the leading candidates for that job. Donatell could come along as part of a package deal, or pursue higher-level opportunities elsewhere - his next position is a bit more unclear.

The 49ers are expected to switch to a 4-3 defense under Tomsula, and he'll be on the lookout for a defensive coordinator with experience running that scheme. We'll have more on potential candidates for the job later - stay tuned.

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