Four new hires make Nolan's staff almost complete

SFI takes a look at the four new assistants Mike Nolan added Tuesday to complete his coaching staff. Nolan announced these four additions to his staff, all of whom will join him and San Francisco's other coaches at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week. Nolan said his staff is now complete except for one more support staffer that Nolan hopes to add this week as an assistant to strength and conditioning coach Johnny Parker.

A quick rundown on each of the 49ers' four new assistants:

Bishop Harris, running backs: Harris comes to the 49ers from the New York Jets, where he produced the NFL's leading rusher last year in Curtis Martin. Harris had spent the last four years as New York's running backs coach, and had coached running backs in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills (1998-99), Oakland Raiders (1995-97) and Denver Broncos (1993-94) before that. Harris – who had a well-publicized run-in with Jets coach Herman Edwards on the sidelines during their playoff victory over San Diego, an incident in which the two coaches almost came to blows – is a crucial hire for the 49ers, because he'll need to nurture the fragile relationship between starting fullback Fred Beasley and starting tailback Kevan Barlow, while also trying to coax Barlow to reach his potential after his disappointing first year in the full-time role last season. Harris left the Jets on Tuesday to accept a similar position with the Niners. "I'm really excited about Bishop – as much as I am about any coach on the staff – from the standpoint that we have two very good backs and it was critical for us to get a very good running backs coach to keep that as a strength of our football team and, certainly, get us to perform at our best level," Nolan said.

Pete Hoener, tight ends/assistant offensive line: Hoener was the offensive line coach for the Chicago Bears last season, but was let go when Chicago head coach Lovie Smith opted to make changes within his offensive staff. Hoener also coached the Arizona Cardinals' offensive line in 2003 before joining the Bears. He also has two stints of NFL experience coaching tight ends – in 2001-2002 with Arizona and in 1985-86 with the St. Louis Cardinals. After his stint in St. Louis, Hoener coached in college at Illinois, Purdue, Texas Christian, Iowa State and Texas A&M before returning to the NFL. He will work closely with offensive line coach George Warhop in the team's plans to give increased emphasis to the offensive line. Hoener, obviously, also will focus on tight ends, one of the team's strongest areas on offense, and will work with players to get better blocking out of the position.

Ben McAdoo, offensive quality control: McAdoo – who was an offensive administrative assistant/quality control coach with the New Orleans Saints last year – recently signed up to join new coach Walt Harris as a position coach at Stanford, where he was going to work with the team's offensive tackles and tight ends. But McAdoo was quick to jump at the opportunity to return to the NFL with the 49ers instead, and was released from his Stanford obligations to join the team Tuesday. He also will assist Warhop in the tutelage of San Francisco's offensive line and will handle all quality control aspects of the offense.

Vance Joseph, secondary assistant: Joseph will be an assistant to secondary coach A.J. Christoff, and likely will focus on the team's cornerbacks – a position he played in the NFL after playing tailback in college. Joseph was the defensive backs coach at Bowling Green University last year after spending two seasons in a similar capacity the previous two seasons at Colorado University, his alma mater. He played 17 games at cornerback in the NFL over two seasons with the Jets and Indianapolis Colts.

NOTE: Nolan also announced that he has moved assistant Jason Tarver to the defensive side of the ball. Tarver – an offensive assistant/assistant running backs coach for the 49ers last year – was one of the few assistants to be retained from former coach Dennis Erickson's staff. "Jason will work specifically with Mike Singletary in the outside linebacker area and be our defensive quality control guy," Nolan said. "Now, four years ago when Jason first got into the coaching aspect, he was a defensive coach. So, he's been on offense the last four years. That expertise is going to help our defensive coaches tremendously. It's a good move not only for Jason, but it's a good move for our defensive staff as well."


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