Steve Wilks Lands in San Francisco as 49ers DC

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Steve Wilks Lands in San Francisco as 49ers Defensive Coordinator


The 49ers have a new defensive coordinator this afternoon. Former Panthers DC and interim head coach Steve Wilks will replace DeMeco Ryans as the new DC in San Francisco, per Tom Pelissero.

Wilks led the Panthers to a 6-6 record this season after he took over for the fired Matt Rhule. Many believed that the 6-6 finish under Wilks was a strong enough reason for him to become the Panthers’ permanent head coach.

Panthers owner David Tepper instead went with Frank Reich as the next head coach in Carolina. The Panthers allowed Wilks out of his contract as defensive coordinator to seek other opportunities as a result.

With DeMeco Ryans taking over as the head coach in Houston, San Francisco’s DC vacancy became a hot spot. Each of the two previous 49ers’ defensive coordinators were hired as head coaches. Robert Saleh in 2021 and Ryans this year.

Wilks will try to use the San Francisco DC job as a springboard into next year’s coaching cycle.

Wilks has been a defensive coordinator several times previously at various levels of college football, in 2017 with the Panthers and 2019 with the Cleveland Browns. He was previously the Arizona Cardinals head coach in 2018, going 3-13.

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.