Who Owns the 49ers

DeBartolo returned from his suspension in 1999, but a series of lawsuits over control of the family's vast holdings led him to surrender controlling interest to the Yorks as part of a 2000 settlement. Denise York became chairwoman of the board, while John York became CEO. On the field, the 1999 49ers got off to a 3–1 start, then in a nationally televised Monday Night Football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Steve Young suffered a blindside hit from cornerback Aeneas Williams that knocked him out of the game and eventually convinced him to retire. At the time it was believed the severe hit ended his career but Young later said in interviews he could have come back to play another season or two. After meeting with then-general manager Bill Walsh and being told about how the salary cap troubles would make the team non-competitive, Young chose to retire rather than risk his long-term health further for a likely losing club. Without their future Hall of Famer, 29-year-old rookie Jeff Garcia took over as starting quarterback, but he would be benched for poor performances in favor of Steve Stenstrom. Garcia would be reinstated as the starting quarterback and in the final 5 games of the regular season. The 49ers lost 11 of their last 12 games, and suffered their first losing season in a non-strike year since 1980, which was also the last time that the 49ers did not win at least ten or more games in a season. Bobb McKittrick, 49ers offensive line coach since 1979, also died of cancer following the 1999 season.