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Report: 49ers hire Chris Kiffin to serve as pass rush specialist

The one-time college assistant is dealing with a show-cause penalty for recruiting violations at Ole Miss. This is an easy way to deal with that.

Kyle Shanahan is adding a slightly notable name to the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff. FOX Sports reporter Bruce Feldman tweeted that Shanahan is hiring Florida Atlantic University defensive coordinator Chris Kiffin to serve as their pass rush specialist. Per Feldman, FAU improved from No. 124 on defense to No. 37 in his one season as defensive coordinator.

This is an intriguing hire from a relationship perspective. Chris worked with his brother Lane at Florida Atlantic. More importantly Monte Kiffin is his dad. Monte was defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when John Lynch was playing there.

Chris was recently slapped with a two-year show cause penalty for his involvement in the Hugh Freeze-led Ole Miss recruiting scandal. The penalty requires that if Kiffin were to try and join another university between now and 2019, the school would have to appear before the NCAA infractions committee to explain why. Additionally, the penalty prevents him from off-campus recruiting activities if he went elsewhere. ESPN reported the ban would be instituted if he had remained at FAU.

All of this is to say that going to the NFL means he doesn’t have to deal with those issues. Given the importance of recruiting in college, I suspect he will remain in the NFL the next two years, after which he might decide to return to college when he can recruit again.

Here’s a look at Kiffin’s resume.

2006 Idaho — Assistant
2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Intern
2008–2009 Nebraska — Quality Control
2010 USC — Defensive Assistant
2011 Arkansas State — Defensive Line
2012–2016 Ole Miss — Defensive Line
2017–present Florida Atlantic — Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers