Maxie promoted; Stewart staying put

The Niners promoted Brett Maxie to secondary coach on Thursday, while receivers coach George Stewart defused speculation that he would leave the team for a position as associate head coach at the University of Arkansas.

Maxie had the word "assistant" removed from his coaching title of the past three seasons, when he combined with defensive coordinator Jim Mora to guide the team's young secondary. Maxie, a 13-year NFL safety who had 23 career interceptions, will now be responsible for preparing the unit himself.

"The 49ers are a first-class organization and my family and I are excited to have the opportunity to be here. There are great things in the near future for this team, and I want to be a part of it," said Maxie, who was instrumental in the development of young defensive backs such as Ahmed Plummer, Jason Webster, John Keith, Ronnie Heard and Rashad Holman over the past two seasons.

A recent story out of Arkansas stated that Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt contacted Stewart about an opening on his staff as associate head coach/defensive line. Stewart - an All-American and All-Southwest Conference guard during his playing days at Arkansas - had applied for the head coaching position at his alma mater in 1997. Stewart previously has indicated the only way he would return to the college ranks is as a head coach. Stewart was quoted this week by an Arkansas newspaper as saying,

"I signed a contract extension (with the Niners) for two years. Obviously, I'm interested in my home state, but I'm not looking to leave here. It was a done deal last week. ... I'm not coming to Arkansas."

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