Just about every offseason for the 49ers involves the departure of some coaching staff. One of Kyle Shanahan’s greatest attributes as a head coach has clearly been his ability to recruit and promote great assistants.
With Mike McDaniel departing for the head coach job in Miami and former assistant head coach/tight ends coach Jon Embree and wide receivers coach Wes Welker joining him, there were clear roles that needed to be replaced.
As the 49ers have often opted to do, they are promoting from within.
The Athletic’s Matt Barrows reports that two of the 49ers’ quality-control assistants — a position Shanahan values highly and tends to use as a platform for promotions – are expected to take position coach jobs within the organization.
The first is Brian Fleury, who Barrows reports will take over the tight ends coach role.
He has eight years of NFL experience, starting in Buffalo before working with linebackers in Cleveland before moving to Miami, where he took on a variety of roles, some of which were heavily research oriented.
He began as a defensive quality-control coach with the 49ers in 2019, before transitioning to an offensive quality-control coach for the past two seasons. That is a common thread with Shanahan coaches; he prefers them to see the other side of the ball, not unlike how Richard Sherman credits being a receiver for why he became a great corner.
Then there’s former Shanahan wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, who was with the head coach starting as a rookie in 2011 through 2013 in Washington, before re-joining Shanahan in 2015 in Atlanta.
Hankerson, per Barrows, will be the 49ers’ next wide receivers coach. After his retirement, he worked as the wide receivers coach for the Miami-based Palmer Trinity School, and was brought to the 49ers after two years as Stephen F. Austin’s wide receivers coach, with a year in the same role at UMass before that.
This will be his second season with the 49ers, after spending 2021, like Fleury, as an offensive quality-control coach.