The San Francisco 49ers are hiring former Carolina Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks as their new defensive coordinator following the departure of DeMeco Ryans, who took the head coaching job with the Houston Texans.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Wilks’ hiring comes a day after his formal interview with the team. Wilks was considered a finalist to become the Panthers’ head coach on a permanent basis, but the Panthers tabbed Frank Reich instead.
While under Ryans’ lead over the past two seasons, the Niners defense ranked second in the NFL in points (18.9) and yards per game allowed (305.3), fourth in ESPN’s defensive efficiency (60.7) and yards per play (5.04) and fifth in defensive EPA (67.02)
“I love our defense,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said last week. “I’m trying to get something where we don’t have to turn much over. I would love to keep our same staff, so I’m going to talk to some guys on our staff. I’m going to talk to some guys outside of our staff and hopefully whichever way we decide to go, whether we bring in a new guy or not, that it’s someone who can work with who we have and what we’ve accomplished here. Because I love the scheme that we run and I feel the foundation we have on the D-line, at linebacker, at corner, at safety, I think our players fit very well in it too, so I’m hoping to find someone who fits with us personalitywise and schemewise.”