Jim Tomsula slept in his car for 6 months en route to becoming 49ers head coach
Kelley L. Cox / USA TODAY Sports

Jim Tomsula has one of the best jobs in professional sports, but his road to becoming the San Francisco 49ers head coach wasn't easy. 

In a profile written by ESPN's Paul Gutierrez, Tomsula documented his journey from cleaning floors, delivering newspapers, selling doormats and working as a high school coach before reaching NFL Europe and, finally, the NFL. 

Tomsula admitted that he lived in his car in North Carolina for six months, with his pets, while working as an unpaid assistant. 

"It sounds like it was absolutely horrendous," Tomsula said. "It wasn't. It really wasn't. It wasn't horrendous. I mean, there (are) people that have horrendous circumstances and I feel kind of bad, people making comparisons.

"I mean, I wasn't living in my car in Maine in the winter. I was in North Carolina. ... Listen, I've had an incredible life. I just have."

The 49ers shocked the football world when they promoted Tomsula from defensive line coach to head coach, supplanting defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and a host of external candidates on his way there. Fangio accepted the Chicago Bears' defensive coordinator job. 

Tomsula described what it was like to raise his daughters while working as a defensive line coach, and eventually as a defensive coordinator for four NFL Europe teams. 

"My daughters learned times tables in elevators in Scotland and Berlin from football players that jumped on the elevator and somebody would yell, 'Six times six,' or somebody else would yell something, 'Sprechen sie Deutsch,'" Tomsula said. "That was football players. We lived with football players for eight, nine years. We lived year after year in a hotel with football players and it was tremendous, it was awesome, it was so special."

Tasked with the goal of leading the 49ers back to Super Bowl contention, Tomsula is ready for any challenges that await. 

"My journey has taken my family on three continents and nothing has been the norm," Tomsula said. "So, I'm used to not normal and I'm very comfortable in not normal."

Jim Tomsula slept in his car for 6 months en route to becoming 49ers head coach
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