Hostler in as offensive coordinator

Jim Hostler is no Norv Turner clone, but the 49ers' offense figures to look a lot like it did last year now that he'll be running it. Mike Nolan went with both stability and youth Wednesday when he named Hostler as San Francisco's new offensive coordinator, but the team's erstwhile quarterbacks coach is no neophyte when it comes to calling plays.

Hostler has experience as an offensive coordinator at Indiana University in Pennsylvania, but the reason he got the job over other qualified candidates on the San Francisco staff that were interviewed by Nolan was because of his experience with four NFL teams, detailed preparation, understanding of the offense put in place last year by Turner and close association with quarterback Alex Smith.

"Jim has great roots in the offensive system we had in place last year," Nolan said Wednesday afternoon. "Our goal was to keep the same structure and continuity in the offense, and Jim's a great teacher who was instrumental in putting in the offense last year. Because of the strength of our staff, I thought that was the best decision for us going forward."

Hostler came to the 49ers in 2005 when Nolan was assembling his first coaching staff with the team, and he remained in the background as the 49ers went through two offensive coordinators in his first two seasons in San Francisco, working closely with Smith during the youngster's first two NFL seasons.

But as quarterbacks coach, it also was Hostler's responsibility to have a comprehensive understanding of the offense, and Hostler impressed Nolan during his interview when he showed San Francisco's head honcho the game plans he had organized on his own last year. Hostler kept laminated copies of those from last season.

"In interviewing Jim, I was very impressed with what he was doing," Nolan said. "We have an outstanding offensive staff in place. Everybody has to do it for a first time (at the NFL level), but he's got a great staff to support him. I feel very good about the decision. I believe it makes us better. I feel very confident that with the way it's worked out, we're getting better in the long run."

Hostler, 40, said he will bring his own new wrinkles to the offense but also remain true to the system that already is in place.

"The philosophy has been set by coach Nolan in how we're going to try and win football games," Hostler said. "I understand the importance of balance in this league, understand what it means to put your best players in a position to make plays. I'm confident in what I've learned along the way, and coach Nolan has put together a strong structure and environment to be successful here."

Said Nolan: "Jim contributed a lot to the offense last year. Right now, I feel we've maintained structure and continuity in our staff and have someone who works very well with the coaches."


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