Former 49ers head coach George Seifert is one of three finalists for the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame. The two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach recently spoke with 49ers.com to share his thoughts on the nomination.
Q: How much does the nomination mean to you?
A: Having grown up as a 49ers fan, obviously it’s quite meaningful. Having grown up in the city, ushering at games with so many of the great players such as Gordy Soltau, R.C. Owens and Billy Wilson had meant a lot to me. Just to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys is obviously exciting. And being considered with the likes of Roger Craig, who’s certainly one of the great backs in 49ers history, having been a part of his success too, that’s quite meaningful.
Q: You were inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame earlier this year, does this nomination bring back similar feelings for you?
A: There’s no question about it, it’s kind of like pulling a fan out of the stands and putting them on the field and allowing them to coach. My blood runs deep.
Q: With fans being able to vote for the 2011 inductee, what are your thoughts on the 49ers are letting the fans have a say in who gets in?
A: The fans along with the players are the ones that make the game. If it weren’t for the fans, I’d imagine there would be a few guys playing in the playground, but that’s about the extent of it. The fans are our foundation and I think it’s only fitting that they be involved in something like this. It’s just an honor to be associated with the team and to be in this position.
Q: What are your fondest memories of the 49ers Faithful?
A: I was there when San Francisco lost to Detroit in 1957, when it appeared they were going to win the game and go on to the championship. That was certainly a downturn, but to be there when Dwight Clark made “The Catch” and Eric Wright made the tackle to help us beat Dallas to put us in the Super Bowl was such a high. Having had my background, I’ve been very fortunate to appreciate those moments like our fans.
Q: Now that you’re retired from coaching, what have you been up to and how closely do you still follow the 49ers?
A: I’m permanently on vacation since I’ve retired, so I get to do an awful lot of things with my family and my grandkids. I do an awful lot of outdoors things too. I find myself very busy and I certainly continue to follow the 49ers. The Yorks are polite enough and kind enough to invite me to games and plus, I still have season-tickets myself. I follow them a lot and I’m particularly excited with the hiring of Jim Harbaugh. I’m a real Harbaugh fan. I think it’s a great fit for the team and I feel very optimistic about the 49ers future.