The San Francisco 49ers have followed a clear pattern in hiring coaches for Jim Tomsula's staff.
Much like the Golden State Warriors surrounding rookie HC Steve Kerr with nearly over-qualified experience, the 49ers are stocking up on assistants with long resumes and extensive NFL careers. Now, they've brought in Clancy Pendergast (pictured above) as inside linebackers coach and Tim Lewis as secondary coach - both have served as NFL defensive coordinators and certainly aren't short on experience.
Pendergast, 47, will take over coaching an inside linebackers group expected to include both veteran Patrick Willis and upstart Chris Borland in 2015. Pendergast has bounced between college and the NFL in recent years, and most recently was USC's defensive coordinator under Lane Kiffin in 2013. Pendergast has also served as defensive coordinator for the California Golden Bears (2010-12), Kansas City Chiefs (2009) and Arizona Cardinals (2004-2008).
Lewis, 53, brings years of DC experience with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants to the table. A standout defensive back in college for the University of Pittsburgh, Lewis was drafted by the Packers in 1983 and quickly became one of the most promising young corners in the league. A scary neck injury forced him into premature retirement in 1986, however, and he entered the coaching ranks soon after.
Combined, the two have over 12 seasons of NFL experience as defensive coordinators, and over three decades elsewhere. Tomsula might be in for some surprises in his first season as an NFL HC, but his assistants will give him plenty of experience to draw from.
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