George Rose-Getty Images

George Rose-Getty Images



The San Francisco 49ers were scheduled on Wednesday to announce which former player would be inducted into the team's Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. Hall of Fame, but team CEO Jed York revealed the inductee's identity on Tuesday. That player will be former 49ers fullback and running backs coach Tom Rathman.


Rathman was selected in the third round of the 1986 draft out of Nebraska. He was a 49ers fullback from 1986 through 1993 and is a two-time Super Bowl champion. Over his playing career, he accumulated 2,020 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns.

Aside from his exceptional career as a 49ers fullback, Rathman has had two stints with the team as a position coach. The first was from 1997 until 2002 and the second was from 2009 until 2016.

When Kyle Shanahan was named the head coach of the 49ers, he brought along Atlanta Falcons running backs coach Bobby Turner. He was making good on a promise to take Turner along if he ever became an NFL head coach. The only problem was that the 49ers already had Rathman, who was one of the league's best and most well-respected running backs coaches.

Shanahan was such a fan of Rathman that he wanted to keep him on staff. However, Rathman wasn't interested in another role and didn't want to make things awkward with the current coaching staff, so he did the classy thing and took himself out of the equation – leaving the 49ers.

"I do believe that they have it right now, to be honest with you, with Kyle going in there and John Lynch – two great football knowledge guys," Rathman said on KNBR. "You talk about John Lynch – played the game the way the game's supposed to be played. The demeanor is there. The style of coaching with Kyle is there. He's a very dynamic, young coach coming up and I think they'll do well."

Rathman's induction is expected to take place during a regular season game's halftime. It is not yet known which game that will be.

"Tom Rathman embodies everything this organization wants in its players, coaches and staff," York said later via a statement issued by the team. "Throughout his more than two decades with our team, Tom set a tone for the 49ers both on and off the field. As a player, he was selfless, hard-working and dedicated to bringing his best every single day. Tom coached very much the same way. It was his mission to help every man he coached realize his full potential, as both a player and a man. Tom is family and we are so thrilled to induct him into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame, where he will take his place among the all-time greats in our team's history."

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