49ers hiring former Chargers coach Anthony Lynn as new assistant head coach

© Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Almost a month after his dismissal as Lions offensive coordinator, Anthony Lynn has found a new home for the 2022 season, agreeing on Friday to become the 49ers‘ assistant head coach, as CBS Sports NFL insider Josina Anderson reports. The former Chargers head coach has yet to officially sign a contract and was close to landing another job with a college football program, per Anderson, but has verbally committed to San Francisco as an integral new piece of Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter also reported Lynn’s move to the 49ers on Friday, suggesting the former Lions assistant had other NFL and college offers but will now be tasked with helping guide Shanahan’s offense, specifically the run game. Lynn’s hiring comes days after reports indicated that Jon Embree, the team’s previous assistant head coach as well as tight ends coach, would not return in 2022 for a sixth season alongside Shanahan — apparently after the 49ers requested Embree take a steep pay cut.

Lynn, 53, has previous ties to the Shanahan family. While playing for the Broncos at the tail end of his own NFL career, Lynn’s head coach was Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father, from 1997-1999. Lynn spent three seasons as a special teams assistant under the elder Shanahan after that. He’s perhaps best known for his recent run as the Chargers’ head coach, during which he led Los Angeles to a 33-31 record — and helped welcome quarterback Justin Herbert to the NFL — from 2017-2020.

Prior to his tenure atop the Chargers’ staff, Lynn spent two years with the Bills, first as assistant head coach and running backs coach, then as the offensive coordinator and interim head coach. He also coached RBs in some capacity for four other teams prior to that, starting in 2002.

One domino that could fall in the wake of Lynn’s arrival: current 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, who interviewed for the Dolphins‘ head coaching job on Friday and is reportedly a favorite to fill Miami’s vacancy. McDaniel, who replaced Mike LaFleur as Kyle Shanahan’s right-hand man in 2021, has specialized as a run-game strategist — Lynn’s area of expertise — since joining the staff in 2017 as the run-game coordinator. It’s possible Lynn’s arrival will coincide with McDaniel’s promotion elsewhere.

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