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49ers hire Ken Norton Jr. as assistant head coach/inside linebackers

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Norton joins the 49ers, the team he played seven seasons for.

The San Francisco 49ers have hired Ken Norton Jr. as the team’s assistant head coach as well as the inside linebackers coach on the defensive side of the ball. In addition to that, they have named Johnny Holland the team’s run game specialist and outside linebackers coach. Michael Clay will also be named an assistant special teams coach.

Norton is the big name here. He spent seven seasons with the San Francisco 49ers from 1994-2000, and played on three consecutive Super Bowl-winning teams (Super Bowls XVII, XXVIII and XXIX). He spent the past two and a half seasons with the Oakland Raiders as their defensive coordinator.

He was fired this past season, on Nov. 21, by head coach Jack Del Rio. The firing wasn’t surprising, as the Raiders were an absolute hot mess this past season. Del Rio himself was let go in favor of Jon Gruden this offseason. Norton coaches Khalil Mack, the AP Defensive Player of the Year, as well as pro bowler Reggie Nelson.

Prior to Oakland, he spent five years as the linebackers coach for the Seattle Seahawks. He also held multiple coaching positions at the University of Southern California for six seasons.

Holland previously was the 49ers’ linebackers coach, while Clay was an assistant strength and conditioning coach.