Posted: 8:48 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, 2014
By David Fucillo
Niners Nation wants to send its condolences to 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh over the passing of his grandfather, Joe Cipiti. The man Coach Harbaugh called "Grandpa Joe" passed away this past Sunday morning before the 49ers faced the Panthers. If you were watching the game, you might have heard Joe Buck and Troy Aikman mention it. Coach Harbaugh asked them to mention Grandpa Joe, and they had some nice words.
Jim Harbaugh brought this up in his Monday press conference. He thanked Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, and even thanked the family baby sitter for TiVo'ing the game so he could see the announcers mentions. Here are his thoughts on the topic:
I also wanted to mention too, I had a chance to fly home last night and Stephanie, our babysitter, had Tivo-ed the game for us, and she took out the trash cans, which was, she is the best. Not a lot of babysitters would do that. And I did get a real nice note on the trashcan this morning saying, ‘Great job coach. Quest for six, from the fellas. So, I appreciated that. But what I wanted to say is I was watching the game on the Tivo and Joe Buck and Troy Aikman talked about my grandfather, Joe Cipiti. And they just did a wonderful job. I wanted to thank them for that. Both Joe and Troy, the way they talked about it, you could hear it in their voice that they understood family and they just had a great understanding of what our grandpa meant to us. So, I appreciate those guys for that."
Had he come out here to visit a lot?
"Many times, yes."
And just how difficult was it for you to coach yesterday after hearing the news earlier in the morning?
"It was sad, and I kind of felt that sadness all day. But I know he's got a new audience now to tell his stories to. He is an amazing storyteller. He's a poet of life and a man that was all about family. We learned that you take care of your family, take care of your family first. And if you ever have any disagreements or difficulties you address them in-house with your family. And he lived that. He lived such a great life, did so many things, went to so many places. He always showed up and just did it. So, I don't know if he's up there shooting craps, or he's playing golf, or he's at the track watching the trotters. But he came out a lot and I got a wonderful photo of him with [T] Joe Staley and [G] Mike Iupati sitting on the bench. And I talked to the guys after the game and told them what they meant to Grandpa Joe. And they all remembered him and felt great. Some of my Stanford players, because he was always around our team, texted their condolences. But he lived a great life. He was watching the Green Bay game a week ago, and he took credit for Colin Kaepernick's performance. He said when he put the 49ers hat on the 49ers scored a touchdown. And he's just a wonderful, amazing man."
You going to be able to make services?
"I may not. Bit of a crushing blow there. But they're having them Friday and I don't think I'll be able to make it. But Grandpa Joe is with me and I'm with him and he knows that."
Coach Harbaugh talked about how his grandfather was an amazing storyteller. This is not at all surprising. Jack Harbaugh was spinning stories throughout the lead up to the Super Bowl, and Jim can have a way with words at times. The Harbaugh loves to tell their stories.
We send along condolences to the entire Harbaugh family.