The San Francisco 49ers will not announce Kyle Shanahan’s coaching staff until the entire group is hired and signed, but Shanahan confirmed one name on Thursday. On Wednesday, a report came out that Shanahan was going to bring Atlanta Falcons running backs coach Bobby Turner with him for the same role. Shanahan confirmed that in the post-press conference scrum.
Shanahan told the media he had promised Turner he would bring him with him as running backs coach, whenever that might happen. He said:
“I made a commitment to Bobby Turner a long time ago that if I got a head-coaching job I was going to take him with me, regardless of where that was. And Bobby is a life-long running backs coach, just like Tom. Bobby is going to come here and be the running back coach.”
However, he also acknowledged he is a huge fan of Tom Rathman, mentioning to Mindi Bach that he had a pair of Rathman’s cleats in his high school bedroom. Shanahan said he wants to find a role for Rathman other than the running backs coach:
“I love Tom Rathman. He’s a hero of mine, and I know what kind of coach he is. I’m trying hard to get him to be here in whatever other role he wants. But I know Tom. Tom is a running backs coach. I’m going to try my hardest to keep him here. It’s definitely going to be up to him. But I’m going to have to do some convincing.”
Rathman has a long history with the 49ers, and has gotten nothing but high praise for his work with the running backs. I am not surprised Shanahan would bring one of “his guys” even if he is a huge Rathman fan. I doubt the team will have co-running backs coaches, but it will be interesting to see if they can make something work.