Comings and goings: 49ers coaching staff

Comings and goings: 49ers coaching staff

First-year coach Kyle Shanahan is close to completing his 49ers coaching staff.

Shanahan will handle the duties of the offensive coordinator, the position he held with Houston, Washington and Atlanta over the past nine NFL seasons.

Robert Saleh is the 49ers' new defensive coordinator, while Richard Hightower has been hired as the special-teams coordiator.

Here's a look at the 49ers' coaching staffs under Shanahan and last season under Chip Kelly:

Position: Coach (2016 job)
Head coach: Kyle Shanahan (Falcons, offensive coordinator)
Defensive coordinator: Robert Saleh (Jaguars, linebackers coach)
Special teams coordinator: Richard Hightower (Bears, assistant special teams)
Assistant head coach/tight ends: Jon Embree (Buccaneers, tight ends)
Run game specialist: Mike McDaniel (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Quarterbacks: Rich Scangarello (Wagner, offensive coordinator)
Running backs: Bobby Turner (Falcons, running backs)
Wide receivers: Mike LaFleur (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Offensive line: Vacant
Offensive assistant: T.C. McCartney (LSU, offensive assistant)
Senior defensive assistant: Jason Tarver (49ers, outside linebackers)
Defensive line: Jeff Zgonina (N.Y. Giants, assistant defensive line)
Linebackers: Johnny Holland (Browns, inside linebackers)
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Offensive quality control: Taylor Embree (Chiefs, defensive assistant)
Defensive quality control: Bobby Slowik
Head strength and conditioning: Ray Wright

* * *

Position: Coach (current status)
Head coach: Chip Kelly
Offensive coordinator: Curtis Modkins (Bears, running backs)
Defensive coordinator: Jim O’Neil
Special teams coordinator: Derius Swinton
Quarterbacks: Ryan Day (Ohio State, quarterbacks)
Running backs: Tom Rathman
Wide receivers: Bob Bicknell
Tight ends: Jeff Nixon (Baylor, co-offensive coordinator/running backs)
Offensive line: Pat Flaherty (Jaguars, offensive line)
Assistant offensive line: Eric Wolford (South Carolina, offensive line)
Defensive line: Jerry Azzinaro (Cal, defensive line)
Assistant defensive line: Vince Oghobaase
Outside linebackers: Jason Tarver (49ers, senior defensive assistant)
Inside linebacker: Joe Bowden
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Assistant defensive backs: Roy Anderson (Bears, assistant secondary)
Assistant special teams: Michael Clay
Offensive quality control: Mick Lombardi (Jets, offensive assistant/assistant QBs coach)
Defensive quality control: Tem Lukabu
Senior analyst: Dana Bible
Director of human performance: Mark Uyeyama

Tarver, Hafley retain positions on 49ers' coaching staff

Tarver, Hafley retain positions on 49ers' coaching staff

The 49ers announced the hirings of nine assistant coaches, including two members who have been retained from Chip Kelly's staff.

Jason Tarver, who coached outside linebackers last season, has been placed in the new role of senior defensive assistant under first-year coach Kyle Shanahan. And Jeff Hafley will return as the 49ers’ defensive backs coach.

The 49ers officially announced the hiring of defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. Shanahan publicly confirmed Saleh’s appointment earlier on Friday.

The other additions to the staff are Richard Hightower as special teams coordinator, defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina, linebackers coach Johnny Holland, defensive quality control coach Bobby Slowik, and Marquis Johnson and Dustin Perry as strength and conditioning assistants.

Tarver, 42, has served two stints as a 49ers assistant coach in a variety of different roles. Shanahan becomes the seventh different head coach under whom he has worked, following Steve Mariucci, Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly.

He served as co-defensive coordinator/inside linebackers for one season at Stanford under David Shaw before working as defensive coordinator three seasons with the Oakland Raiders. Tarver coached outside linebackers last season under Kelly.

Hafley, 37, remains as the 49ers’ defensive backs coach. Hafley and Shanahan worked together on Mike Pettine’s staff with the Cleveland Browns in 2014.

Zgonina played for seven teams in 17 NFL seasons. Zgonina, 46, left his post as assistant defensive line coach with the New York Giants to join the 49ers. Zgonina finished his playing career with the Texans from 2007 to ’09. Shanahan was in Houston in 2008 and ’09.

Richard Hightower, 36, a former college teammate of Shanahan, will be the 49ers’ special-teams coordinator. Hightower and Shanahan were teammates at the University of Texas and they worked on the same NFL coaching staffs with Houston (2006-08), Washington (2010-13) and Cleveland (2014).

In 2015, Hightower was the 49ers’ assistant special teams coach under Thomas McGaughey. He worked in the same role last season with Chicago.

Holland, 51, spent last season as the inside linebackers coach for the Cleveland Browns. Prior to Cleveland, he spent three years in the Canadian Football League, coaching linebackers with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (2013) and B.C. Lions (2014-15).

Henderson, 47, was the defensive passing game coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons last season. He spent the previous four seasons as the Dallas Cowboys’ secondary coach. He has coached in the NFL for 10 seasons with the Jets, Browns, Cowboys and Falcons.

Henderson played eight seasons as a defensive back with four different teams after being a 1991 second-round selection of the New England Patriots. He played college ball at Clemson.

Slowik, 29, spent four years with Washington organization. He was video assistant for one season before spending three seasons as a defensive assistant (2011-13). Kyle Shanahan was offensive coordinator in those three seasons in which his father, Mike Shanahan, was the head coach.

Johnson, 31, was an assistant strength coach at the University of Tennessee last year. Perry, 31, spent four years (2012-15) as an assistant strength & conditioning coach at the University of Minnesota.

Shanahan: 49ers will show patience at QB, 'don’t want to gamble'

Shanahan: 49ers will show patience at QB, 'don’t want to gamble'

Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch arrived together with the 49ers under six-year contracts.

The length of those contracts suggests the two top football people atop the organization will be afforded plenty of time to turn the 49ers around.

And Shanahan said Friday morning he and Lynch plan to exercise patience in charting the future at the quarterback position.

“You’re not trying to commit everything to one year,” Shanahan said on KNBR’s “Murph and Mac Show.”

“Yes, you want to win right away. That’s the goal of everybody. But you don’t want to do that at the expense of hurting your future. You don’t want to gamble. You want to be aggressive in everything, but you got to do what’s right. You have to build your team the right way and that’s what I mean by being patient.”

Shanahan added, “If we can build this the right way, it could be right away. It could be in this first year. It could be in the second year. But that depends on what’s available. And what’s available is through trades, it’s through free agency and it’s through the draft. And we’ll explore all three of those.”

The 49ers own the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. But seven weeks before the 49ers have the opportunity to add players through the draft, the start of the new league year on March 9 marks the beginning of free-agent signings and trades.

Quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins are among the veteran starters who could become available early in the offseason. Regardless of which veterans the 49ers acquire before the draft, Shanahan said the team will not lock into selecting a quarterback early in the draft.

“If there is a quarterback there that we believe can match that criteria and we believe he can be a franchise quarterback for us, of course, you don’t hesitate on that,” Shanahan said. “But if you don’t see that and there are other good players – if there’s a pass-rusher, a linebacker, if there’s an O-lineman, whatever it is – you need to get the best player possible who can help your team for the next 10 years.

“The worst mistake you can make is you take a guy who isn’t that good of a player or not worthy of that and the expectations change. You put a guy in a position that is really unfair to him and you set your organization back and then you try to commit to a guy who really, it’s unfair to him because he shouldn’t have been put in that position. You have to study these guys hard. “

Shanahan said he and Lynch are continuing to study the players the 49ers already have under contract. That includes Colin Kaepernick, who can opt out of his contract in March and become an unrestricted free agent.

If Kaepernick does not opt out, the 49ers would be expected to release him – whether or not they ultimately wish to re-sign him – to avoid being on the hook for his scheduled $14.9 million pay for the 2017 season.

Shanahan said he has communicated with Kaepernick via text message and figures to meet with him at some point.

“The players are all off,” Shanahan said. “Some guys have randomly stopped by. We have time. It’s their vacation time, except for guys who’ve been rehabbing and stuff. Anybody who stops by, my office is always open and (I’m) available.”