ELF: Former San Francisco 49ers HC Jim Tomsula returns to coach Germany’s Rhein Fire

The Rhein Fire are set to return to the field for the first time since 2007, this time as part of the European League of Football. Leading their reignition will be a familiar face as the Dusseldorf club has signed former NFL head coach Jim Tomsula. The longtime NFL coach returns to the sideline in Germany after having led Rhein Fire as part of NFL Europe back in 2006.

Tomsula, 53, brings experience from the sports highest level as he was head coach of the San Francisco 49ers during the 2015 season. The Homestead, Pennsylvania native coached for the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, and Washington Redskins during his 12 year NFL coaching career. Most recently Tomsula served as the defensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020.

The Rhein Fire’s first head coach in 15 years began his pro coaching career in Europe joining the NFL Europe’s England Monarchs (formerly the London Monarchs) in 1998. Overall, Tomsula spent eight seasons coaching in Europe, roaming the sidelines for the England Monarchs, Scottish Claymores, Berlin Thunder, and of course the Rhein Fire. In 2005, he helped the Berlin Thunder bring home World Bowl XII as defensive coordinator.

Tomsula instantly becomes the most recognizable head coach in the league with his return to Dusseldorf. The Rhein Fire have now answered one of the few remaining questions in the league’s off-season as the ELF gears up for its second year. Tomsula’s squad has already signed several impact players from home and abroad agreeing to terms with proven players such as GFL AllStars Sven Breidenbach, Lukas Ruoss, and Nathaniel Robitaille, along with ELF veterans Nick Wiens and Jason Aguemon. However, the quarterback position remains to be announced.

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football