The head coach of the San Francisco 49ers needs no introduction. Hall of famer Mike Singletary was one of the most dominant linebackers to ever play football, spending 11 seasons with the Chicago Bears and the cornerstone of the famed ’85 Bears defense. Singletary took over the 49ers after the firing of Mike Nolan on October 20, 2008. An assistant coach there since 2005, Singletary was given the job on an interim basis, but after finishing the season with a 5-4 record and winning 5 of his final 7 games, he was awarded with a 4 year 10 million dollar contract. Before his time with the 49ers, Singletary spent 2 years as the linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens.
Singletary is known for his tremendous passion and drive in all things, especially football, and has been known to highly value effort and work ethic in his players. Often given credit for the great play of the 49ers linebackers, as well as the play of the Ravens linebackers in 2003 and 2004, Singletary has been very successful at getting a high level of production out of his players, helping linebackers under his coaching earn Defensive Rookie of the Year honors (Patrick Willis 2007) and Defensive Player of the Year (Ray Lewis 2003) honors.
The 49ers defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky, has held the position since 2007. During his tenure the 49ers went from being ranked 25th in the league on defense to an impressive 13th. Manusky was a linebacker in the NFL for 12 seasons and was known as a tremendously dedicated and hard-working player.
Once his playing career ended in 1999 he became the linebacker coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He then spent 1 year with the Redskins and 5 with San Diego, helping 4 separate linebackers under his guidance earn spots in the Pro Bowl. Manusky’s determined and tenacious style, along with his propensity at training stingy defensive players, makes him the perfect fit for Coach Singletary.
Jimmy Raye, the recently named offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, took his first NFL coaching job as a wide receivers coach with the San Francisco 49ers in 1977. Since then he has spent the next 32 years coaching with various teams around the league, including stints as offensive coordinator with the Patriots, Rams, Redskins, and Raiders until finally becoming the running backs coach with the New York Jets from 2006-2008. Last year under Raye, the Jets running attack elevated to 9th in the league, with Thomas Jones rushing for over 1300 yards with 13 touchdowns and Leon Washington averaging 5.9 yards per carry with 6 touchdowns. Before his time as a NFL coach, he coached for 6 years in college with Michigan State, his alma mater, and Wyoming. Raye was chosen by Coach Singletary because of his hard-nosed, run first offensive philosophy.
The combination of these two coordinators, both with old-fashion, slug-it-out type mentalities, should be the perfect duo for Coach Singletary. The system in San Francisco is set to turn the 49ers into a rough, physical team; one that works extremely hard during practice and plays even harder on game day, all for the pursuit of wins.