The San Francisco 49ers are going to formally begin the process of filling out Kyle Shanahan’s coaching staff following the Super Bowl, and we know of at least one big change. Matt Maiocco is reporting the 49ers will not retain Mark Uyeyama, the team’s director of human performance. In layman’s terms, he had been in charge of the team’s strength and conditioning staff.
The 49ers hired Uyeyama in 2008 as the assistant strength and conditioning coach. He was promoted to the head role in 2011, and he was a member of five staffs, dating back to Mike Nolan. Per Maiocco, Uyeyama was named Samson Equipment’s NFL Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year by American Football Monthly in 2011.
The 49ers have had a wild run when it comes to injuries. During the 49ers playoff runs in the Harbaugh years, avoiding significant injuries was a critical role. There was of course Justin Smith’s triceps muscle that he played through, but lost games were limited. In the past three years, that has not been the case, with the team ravaged by injuries over and over.
It’s always hard to determine who is to blame for what, particularly when the strength and conditioning coach has been there for both good and bad times. Uyeyama and the 49ers have been one of the teams on the forefront of sports science. They have worked with Stanford University regularly to find ways to improve how they deal with athlete performance. Kyle Shanahan will apparently bring in some of his own guys moving forward, but hopefully the team continues to consider some of these advanced ways to assess and improve athlete performance.