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49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh made some announcements during a meeting with local media today, and he appears to have just about wrapped up his coaching staff. The 49ers sent out an official announcement on a new hire and several retentions. The team announced they have retained four coaches – offensive line coach Mike Solari, running backs coach Tom Rathman, defensive line coach Jim Tomsula and assistant offensive line coach Ray Brown. The team also named Ejiro Evero quality control coach.
For those wondering what a quality control coach is, I recommend reading THIS article. It gives a basic rundown of the position and how it got started in the NFL (fittingly enough it started with the 49ers).
While there are some smaller roles to fill out (assistants to the assistants), the coaching staff is just about finished and I’ve posted it below. The next step for the team will be getting the personnel executive that was mentioned when Trent Baalke was promoted. Baalke moved up and the team has yet to fill his vacated job. I’d imagine such a role would be filled sooner rather than later. I could see it happening next week or after the Super Bowl depending on individuals available on the remaining playoff teams.
Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh
Offensive Coordinator/TE Coach: Greg Roman
Defensive Coordinator: Vic Fangio
Special Teams Coordinator: Brad Seely
QB Coach: Geep Chryst
RB Coach: Tom Rathman
WR Coach: John Morton
OL Coach: Tim Drevno, Mike Solari
OL/TE Assistant: Ray Brown
DL Coach: Jim Tomsula
LB Coach: Jim Leavitt
DB Coach: Ed Donatell
Head Strength & Conditioning: Mark Uyeyama
Quality Control Coach: Ejiro Evero
Jim Harbaugh’s 2011 coaching staff is slowly coming together as more holes are being filled each week. The 49ers formally announced the hiring of Ed Donatell as secondary coach, Geep Chryst quarterbacks coach and Jim Leavitt as linebackers coach. Additionally, Mark Uyeyama has been promoted to head strength and conditioning coach.
Of the new hires, Jim Leavitt is the only coach without prior NFL experience. With additions still to come, Coach Harbaugh’s staff will have as much NFL experience as any coaching staff in the NFL. College coaches have often struggled making the leap from college to the NFL, but 49ers fans have to hope these experienced hirings will be a difference-maker for Coach Harbaugh. Here is a rundown of the resumes of each new coach:
1978-79 – Missouri – Grad Assistant
1980-81 – Dubuque – Defensive Coordinator
1982 – Morningside – Special Teams Coordinator
1983-87 – Morningside – Defensive Coordinator
1989 – Iowa – Grad Assistant
1990-91 – Kansas State – Linebackers Coach
1992-95 – Kansas State – Defensive Coordinator
1996-09 – University of South Florida – Head Coach
1979-80 – Kent State University – Grad Assistant
1981-82 – Washington – Grad Assistant
1983-85 – University of the Pacific – Defensive Backs
1986-88 – University of Idaho – Defensive Backs
1989 – Cal State Fullerton – Defensive Backs
1990-94 – New York Jets – Defensive Backs
1995-99 – Denver Broncos – Defensive Backs
2000-03 – Green Bay Packers – Defensive Coordinator
2004-06 – Atlanta Falcons – Defensive Coordinator
2007 – New York Jets – Special Assistant
2008 – University of Washington – Defensive Coordinator
2009-2010 – Denver Broncos – Defensive Backs
1987 – University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1988 – University of Wisconsin-Madison
1989 – University of Wyoming – Offensive Line
1990 – University of Wyoming – Quarterbacks
1991 – Orlando Thunder (WFL) – Wide Receivers/Running Backs
1991-95 – Chicago Bears – Director of research/quality control
1996-97 – Arizona Cardinals – Tight Ends
1998 – Arizona Cardinals – Quarterbacks
1999-00 – San Diego Chargers – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2001-03 – Arizona Cardinals – Quarterbacks
2006-10 – Carolina Panthers – Tight Ends/Offensive Quality Control
Jim Harbaugh has made one of his first hires for the San Francisco 49ers that extends beyond his Stanford Cardinal roots, although he is well acquainted with former USC Trojans wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator John Morton. Harbaugh worked with Morton back when they were both under the rule of Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders, with Harbaugh working as the quarterbacks coach with Rich Gannon from 2002-03. Morton's tenure in the East Bay lasted longer (from 1997 to 2004), and he was the receivers coach for several seasons before being a senior offensive assistant in the years Harbaugh coached the signal-callers.
It's unclear exactly what Morton's role would be, although you'd bet he'll be working with the offense and primarily with the passing game. The Raiders were a pretty successful pass offense during Morton's years as receivers coach under Jon Gruden, and there is definite talent with tight end Vernon Davis and wide receivers Michael Crabtree. Can he help revive the Niners as a legitimate West Coast offense?
While Vic Fangio and Greg Roman were the far more important Jim Harbaugh Stanford staffer hires for many San Francisco 49ers fans, don't overlook the addition of former Stanford Cardinal tight ends/offensive line position coach Tim Drevno. Matt Maiocco, the 49ers insider for CSN Bay Area, reported that Drevno will join current offensive line coach Mike Solari rather than replace him, as both will work in tandem to try and improve a young but talented 49ers offensive line corps.
Despite boasting a fairly decent rush attack thanks to Frank Gore, Brian Westbrook and Anthony Dixon, according to Football Outsiders, last year the Niners were 30th in pass protection (by virture of their adjusted sack rate) and 24th in power possessions (short yardage situations on 3rd and 4th down). The Niners did have a lot of offensive linemen both young and old starting--right tackle Anthony Davis and left guard Mike Iauptai are both rookies, right guard Chilio Rachal is only in his third season, and the aging Barry Sims was a stand-in at left tackle after Joe Staley went down for the season. For Drevno, who spent the last two years presiding over one of the most brutish offensive lines in college football that protected Andrew Luck without fail and powered the Cardinal rush attack to dominating performances, it will be a much steeper challenge to upgrade the offensive line.
This co-offensive line coach look is nothing new for Harbaugh though. Drevno worked exclusively with the guards and centers while the new Niner offensive coordinator Roman worked with the tackles the past two seasons in Palo Alto. You can probably expect a similar type arrangement between Drevno and Solari here that would include the tight ends.
When the Stanford Cardinal's defense kept them from a Pac-10 championship in 2009 (particularly in the passing game, where they were one of the worst), Jim Harbaugh went to hire the experienced Vic Fangio. Fangio had spent the last half-century assembling defenses in the NFL, including ten years as defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans.
What did Fangio do at Stanford? He installed the 3-4 to take advantage of the girth of Sione Fua, moved two defensive ends to outside linebacker spots in Chase Thomas and Thomas Keiser, let Owen Marecic play two-ways, and had them executing an impressive pro-style defense. It was a pretty strong turnaround that had them near the top of the conference in every important category.
Rush defense: 4.23 rush yards allowed per carry in 2009 (T-78th), 3.87 rush yards/carry in 2010 (19th)
Pass efficiency: 139.57 efficiency allowed (98th), 112.82 efficiency allowed (16th)
Scoring defense: 26.5 points per allowed in 2009 (69th), 17.4 points per allowed in 2010 (tied for 9th)
Turnover margin/game: Net zero (T-61st), Plus-one (T-7th)
Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area now reports that Fangio is following Harbaugh to the San Francisco 49ers as their new defensive coordinator. Although the Niners were not a poor defensive team, one of the weaknesses was corner coverage and poor pass rush from the defensive ends. Can Fangio put the personnel of the Niners in the right place?
Jim Harbaugh is quickly bringing on board his chief lieutenants from Stanford as he fills out the 49ers 2011 coaching staff. After adding Greg Roman as offensive coordinator earlier today, he has since added Vic Fangio and Tim Drevno. Fangio was his defensive coordinator at Stanford and will fill the same role with the 49ers. Drevno was an offensive assistant and dealt with the offensive line last year and tight ends for the two previous seasons. The 49ers are expected to retain Mike Solari as offensive line coach, which likely means Drevno would become the 49ers tight ends coach.
The decisions are falling into place today because Stanford settled on their head coach yesterday when they promoted David Shaw. Vic Fangio and Greg Roman were both candidates for the job and were waiting on that before deciding on their futures.
For more details on the 49ers coaching staff hires as well as some in-depth discussion, head over to Niners Nation.
The San Francisco 49ers have reportedly made their first coaching staff hire. Jim Harbaugh has reportedly hired Greg Roman to fill the role of offensive coordinator. Roman handled numerous duties for a Stanford coaching staff that seemed to mix and mingle duties. Jim Harbaugh enjoyed doing some of the play-calling, but it’s hard to tell who was exactly in charge of what. Roman reportedly was the running game coordinator, which might be his role with the 49ers. Hopefully we’ll get some kind of Harbaugh (or just hiring) press conference where the specific roles of each coach will be explained.
As is the case with many of Harbaugh’s Stanford assistants, Roman has extensive NFL experience. He’s worked primarily on the offensive side of the ball, and focused in on the offensive line and tight ends, which are of significant value in establishing the rushing attack. Harbaugh has indicated he wants to do some of the play-calling for the 49ers, so we’ll see how Roman transitions back into an NFL coaching role.
Year School/Team Assignment
1995 Carolina Panthers Defensive Quality Control/Strength/Conditioning Assistant
1996 Carolina Panthers Defensive Assistant
1997-98 Carolina Panthers Offensive Quality Control
1999-00 Carolina Panthers Offensive Assistant
2001 Carolina Panthers Assistant Offensive Line
2002-03 Houston Texans Tight Ends
2004-05 Houston Texans Quarterbacks
2006-07 Baltimore Ravens Assistant Offensive Line
2009 Stanford Tight Ends/Offensive Tackles/Running Game Coordinator
2010 Stanford Associate Head Coach/Asst Head Coach-Offense/TEs/OTs
Earlier this afternoon the Stanford Cardinal promoted offensive coordinator David Shaw to head coach of the Cardinal football team. Shaw was a top assistant to Jim Harbaugh and when Harbaugh signed with the 49ers, Shaw was widely expected to succeed him at Stanford.
Now that Harbaugh has moved on, the Cardinal finally got around to taking care of business and getting Shaw into the top role. This coincides with the 49ers interviewing Stanford offensive assistant Greg Roman, potentially for an offensive coordinator type of position. Coach Harbaugh has indicated he’ll do some play-calling during games and the OC role might be occupied by a passing game coordinator and running game coordinator. Roman was in the running game coordinator role at Stanford, although it remains to be seen who was the primary play-caller for the Cardinal.
Now that Shaw has been promoted, some of the 49ers’ coaching dominos will likely fall soon in the form of Roman and potential defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. I’d imagine those hirings will happen tomorrow or Monday at the latest.
As the 49ers offseason progresses, the 49ers coaching staff has not taken shape yet taken shape, but things are certainly progressing in some sense. Jim Harbaugh has spoken some or all of the current 49ers assistants because we are seeing departures or soon to be departures.
49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson would appear to be the second official departure at this point. WR coach Jerry Sullivan indicated he was retiring and/or considering other options. Now, Johnson is reportedly going to become the new offensive coordinator of the UCLA Bruins. UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel has not made an official announcement, but all reports indicate a deal is done. It sounds like the hold-up is figuring out what to do with current OC Norm Chow.
In other coaching news, the 49ers are reportedly considering former University of South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt to be their linebackers coach. Leavitt was fired by USF after allegedly striking a player in 2009. He sued the school and recently settled. He and Harbaugh have limited contacts, but it makes sense to see a controversial former head coach (in any capacity) get a shot as a position coach to start rebuilding his reputation. There had been some rumors that he might become the defensive line coach, but those quickly disappeared as it seems Jim Tomsula has a good shot at returning to the 49ers in that capacity.
The 49ers continue to wait on Stanford defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to figure out his plans. All the reports indicate the 49ers DC role is his if he wants it, but he has yet to make a decision after interviewing with the Cowboys for a similar role. The 49ers current DC, Greg Manusky, has been given permission to interview for a new job and has criss-crossed the league interviewing with the Panthers, Cowboys, and Cardinals, with an interview in San Diego potentially lined up.
Adam Schefter tweeted yesterday that Jim Harbaugh was likely going to name Stanford defensive coordinator Vic Fangio his new defensive coordinator with the 49ers at some point. This isn’t the most shocking news at this point as it has been speculated since Harbaugh’s name was first attached with the 49ers.
The 49ers current defensive coordinator is Greg Manusky. He interviewed for the Carolina Panthers head coach position. Ron Rivera is apparently the early leader after apparently getting a second interview. Even if Manusky does not get the job, it sounds like he probably will not be around in 2011 with the 49ers defense. The defense took a step back in 2010 after a strong 2009 showing. Football Outsiders ranked the 49ers defense 13th overall this past season and 4th overall the season before.
The big difference was due to an incredibly poor performance in pass defense. The 49ers saw a decrease in sacks from 44 to 36. That averages out to half a sack per game, but the struggles went beyond that. The secondary struggled across the board. The corners had their struggles, but one could argue it was poor safety performance on the back end that was the real cause of the problems. Either way, the defense needs some kind of upgrade.
Now that the insanity surrounding the hiring of Jim Harbaugh has somewhat abated, it is officially time for Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers to go to work. This starts with Jim Harbaugh figuring out his 2011 coaching staff. When the 49ers fired Mike Singletary two weeks ago they left most of his staff intact. They promoted Jim Tomsula to interim head coach and retained Mike Johnson as offensive coordinator and Greg Manusky as defensive coordinator. They let go of assistants Vantz Singletary and Al Harris, but otherwise let the rest of the coaching staff finish out the season.
In his introductory press conference, Jim Harbaugh made a few comments about his potential coaching staff:
On how much of the staff will he be taking with him from Stanford to the 49ers:
[Jim Harbaugh] "There's guys off of our staff that I would love to bring to the 49ers, there's also excellent coaches on the 49ers. I look forward to talking to those men who've done, along with their families, who've done a great job for the organization and looking forward to sitting down with each of those men and talking football with them and letting them hear my vision and my plan, and hearing theirs, and together we will put together a great staff. The 49er organization will put together a great staff, and really can't mention anybody's name that's not on the staff already until somebody signs a contract. You know job one will be talking to our players this week and simultaneously trying to hire a great staff."
While no specific timeline has been discussed, one has to imagine he'll be speaking with the current 49ers assistants sooner, if he has not already begun that process. Over at Niners Nation I took a brief look at the current staff and we had some discussion as to which assistants had a good chance of sticking around in 2011. The list is short but some candidates with a strong case for sticking around include Jim Tomsula and Tom Rathman. Tomsula is as popular as any coach on the team and Rathman was a key cog in the west coast offense 49ers of the late 80s and early 90s.
Beyond that it remains to be seen who will get a shot, particularly given the fact that Harbaugh's Stanford staff had a lot of NFL experience on it. He is expected to bring several guys in from Palo Alto, likely including Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator. Whatever Coach Harbaugh ends up deciding, we'll have plenty of coverage here at SB Nation Bay Area.
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