New name for Niners staff

Finally, an outsider. After building his new coaching staff from within for a week, 49ers coach Dennis Erickson announced Tuesday that he has hired Greg McMackin away from Texas Tech. McMackin was named San Francisco's associate head coach/defense and he will coach linebackers for the Niners. But Erickson also continues to build in-house, announcing that physical development coordinator Jerry Attaway and strength development coordinator Terrell Jones would retain their positions with the team.

McMackin is the first coach to join Erickson's staff who was not with the Niners last year. Erickson already had retained eight assistants from the 2002 coaching staff of Steve Mariucci, who was fired Jan. 15. It was expected when Erickson was hired that he would bring in several of his own coaches, but now it looks as though that will only be a minimal number. Some of the assistants on Erickson's 2002 staff at Oregon State still are expected to join him in San Francisco and fill out the Niners' staff for the upcoming season.

McMackin was associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Texas Tech the past three seasons. McMackin also coached with Erickson at the University of Miami and was Erickson's defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks from 1995-98.

He is not unknown to San Francisco's linebacker corps. Starting right inside linebacker Jeff Ulbrich played for McMackin during the coach's only season at Hawaii, and he called McMackin a "great" coach and the kind players "love to play for."

While McMackin adds a new name to the Niners staff, it's perhaps even more significant Erickson retained an old name like Attaway, who has served an understated yet vital role with the team the past two decades. Attaway is instrumental in working with players who are rehabilitating, supervises the team's diet and nutritional needs and coordinates weight and exercise training.

Jones, now entering his fourth year with the team, assists Attaway in several areas and focuses on the team's strength training.


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