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When we last checked in on Jim Tomsula, the man who led the 2015 San Francisco 49ers to a 5-11 record in his one season as head coach, he was mustache-free and back where his pro coaching career first began: Germany. In the summer of 2022, Tomsula took over as head coach of the Rhein Fire in the European League of Football (ELF), a team he had previously overseen back in 2006. In Tomsula's first season, the Fire went 7-5 and finished second in their conference. In his second season, which concluded on Sunday, Tomsula's boys went 14-0 and won the championship.

The Fire ran the table in the regular season, beating their opponents by an average of 20 points. They defeated the Frankfurt Galaxy, 43-23, in the league semifinal, then claimed the title with a 53-34 win over the Stuttgart Surge. Tomsula, who was also named the ELF's Coach of the Year, was singled out for praise by league commissioner Patrick Esume during the trophy ceremony.

"He's not only a great frickin' football coach, he's a great human being," Esume said while Tomsula was hugged by a few of his players. When the commissioner finally handed over the trophy, a soaking wet Tomsula got his mitts on it first.

You might be worried about this level of success changing Tomsula. Will leading his team through an undefeated season and championship sand away at his befuddled charm? Will he suddenly stop striding through life like a confused father attempting to navigate a foreign city, and become just another one of those pompous tyrants populating every NFL sideline? We'll have to wait and see, but based on how Tomsula conducted himself throughout the season in Germany, it doesn't seem like this guy will change his stripes.

How many undefeated coaches do you know who prowl their sideline with two pairs of glasses hanging from the front of their shirt, while also wielding a comically large pair of binoculars?

Marcus Brandt/picture alliance via Getty Images

The binoculars were actually a bit of a mystery within the ELF, because nobody understood why Tomsula used them. Local reporter Sebastian Mühlenhof eventually got to the bottom of it: Tomsula told him he needed the binoculars in order to read the scoreboard at the top of the stadium.

Marcus Brandt/picture alliance via Getty Images

Tomsula seems to have found his place in Germany. Last year, he talked to The Ringer's Rodger Sherman about coaching in Europe, and sounded like a guy who was falling in love with his profession all over again. "It’s one hell of a party," he told Sherman. "We have 100 fan clubs. They all dress up in different outfits for the games. And they all try to outdo each other. It’s crazy stuff, man." Tomsula also said he always hated doing press conferences in the NFL, but doesn't mind them in the ELF because he can "let an F-bomb slip" and just rely on his translator to edit it out.

If there's any reason to worry about Tomsula, it stems from the possibility that his success in Europe will open doorways back into the NFL. Here's hoping he escapes notice. This man sold too many doormats and squirmed through too many NFL pressers to have his life ruined with an offer to become the Chicago Bears' defensive line coach.

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