posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 02:41 PM
The San Francisco 49ers introduced Mike Nolan as their new head coach on Wednesday.
Nolan, the son of former 49ers head coach Dick Nolan (1968-75), had been the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens. He replaces Dennis
Erickson and becomes the 15th head coach in 49ers history. The 45-year-old Nolan will take over a team that was just 9-23 during Erickson's two years
at the helm. Erickson and general manager Terry Donahue were fired January 5 after the 49ers went 2-14 with the lowest payroll in the league last
That mark tied the franchise's all-time worst record, set in both 1978 and 1979. Niners owner John York had said the team was looking only for
coaching candidates with a winning track record and NFL experience.
"We promised the 49er faithful we would return this team to its winning tradition," York said at a news conference Wednesday. "We are positive Mike
gives us a good head start in the right direction."
Nolan has spent the past 18 years as an assistant in the NFL, including the last three seasons with Baltimore. He was promoted from Ravens wide
receivers coach to defensive coordinator when Marvin Lewis left following the 2001 season. With eight rookies on the starting roster, the Baltimore
defense ranked 22nd in the NFL during Nolan's first season in 2002. But it improved to third in 2003 and was sixth in 2004.
Nolan toiled for seven years as an assistant in the college ranks before joining Dan Reeves' staff in Denver in 1987 as a special teams
coach/defensive assistant. He moved to linebackers coach from 1989-92, and then spent four seasons as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants
after the team hired Reeves as head coach. In 1997, Nolan was tabbed as defensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins, a position he held until
1999. He served in the same capacity for the Jets in 2000, leading a defense that ranked 10th -- 11 positions better than the previous season.
Mike and Dick Nolan are the fourth father-son duo to coach in the NFL.