Leavitt, Chryst and Donatell officially named to staff

The 49ers officially announced the hirings of three assistants today: Jim Leavitt (linebackers), Geep Chryst (quarterbacks) and Ed Donatell (secondary).

A look at the new additions:


Position: Linebackers coach

Age: 54

NFL experience: None

Coaching career: 1978-79: Missouri (graduate assistant); 1980-81: Dubuque (defensive coordinator); 1982: Morningside College (special teams); 1983-87: Morningside (defensive coordinator); 1989: Iowa (graduate assistant); 1990-91: Kansas State (linebackers); 1992-95: Kansas State (defensive coordinator); 1997-09: South Florida (head coach).

Notable: Leavitt was fired last year after he allegedly struck a player in the locker room during halftime of a game against Louisville in 2009 and lied about the incident. Last week, Leavitt received a $2.75 million settlement after filing a wrongful-termination suit against USF … Leavitt was the only coach in USF’s 13-year history prior to his dismissal … was 94-57 at USF, which was briefly ranked No. 2 in the nation during the 2007 season … USF, which began as a Division I-AA program, moved to the Big East in 2005 … the Bulls went to bowl games in his final five seasons, posting a 3-2 record.


Position: Quarterbacks coach

Age: 48

NFL experience: 18 years

Coaching career: 1987: Wisconsin-Platteville; 1988: Wisconsin; 1989: Wyoming (offensive line); 1990: Wyoming (quarterbacks); 1991: Orlando Thunder, WLAF (wide receivers/running backs); 1991-95: Bears (director of research/quality control); 1996-97: Cardinals (tight ends); 1998: Cardinals (quarterbacks); 1999-2000: Chargers (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks); 2001-03: Cardinals (quarterbacks); 2006: Panthers; 2007-2010: Panthers (tight ends).

Notable: Was Jim Harbaugh’s QBs coach/offensive coordinator in San Diego from 1999-2000. In 1999, Harbaugh, then 35, had the second-most yards (2,761) and completions (249) of his 15-year career as Chryst implemented the no-huddle offense. Harbaugh also finished with a 70.6 QB rating, the lowest rating in his final 12 seasons in league (did not play for Panthers in 2001) … Chryst was on Chicago’s staff when Harbaugh played for the Bears (1991-93) … as the Cardinals QB coach in 1998, Jake Plummer had the most completions (324) and second-highest yardage total (3,737) of his 10-year career … was a three-year starter at linebacker at Princeton and also played baseball at the school. Has a B.A. from Princeton and master’s in educational administration from Wisconsin … the Wisconsin State Journal has reported the Niners have requested permission to speak with his younger brother, Paul Chryst, the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Wisconsin. The Niners have an opening for a tight ends coach. Paul Chryst has also coached tight ends at Wisconsin.


Position: Secondary coach

Age: 53

NFL experience: 20 years

Coaching career: 1979-80: Kent State (graduate assistant); 1981-82: Washington (graduate assistant); 1983-85: Pacific (secondary); 1986-88: Idaho (secondary); 1989: Cal State Fullerton (secondary); 1990-94: Jets (secondary); 1995-99: Broncos (secondary); 2000-03: Packers (defensive coordinator); 2004-06: Falcons (defensive coordinator); 2007: Jets (special assistant); 2008: University of Washington (defensive coordinator); 2009-10: Broncos (secondary).

Notable: Has coached seven defensive backs who have been named to the NFL’s All-Decade teams, a list that includes Ronnie Lott, Ty Law and Champ Bailey … Green Bay had an NFL-best 116 takeaways during his tenure as defensive coordinator … the Falcons advanced to the NFC Championship game in his first year as defensive coordinator … Atlanta ranked 14th, 22nd and 22nd in his three seasons as defensive coordinator … the Niners ranked 24th in the NFL in pass defense in 2010 … will take over for Vance Joseph, who was hired as Houston’s secondary coach last week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *