On January 8, the San Francisco 49ers hired Ken Norton Jr. to serve as the assistant head coach - defense/inside linebackers on Kyle Shanahan's staff. That Norton-49ers was very short-lived. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network first reported that Norton Jr. could land the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator job. Shortly after, Seattle reporter Alex Rozier reported that Norton Jr. had accepted a three-year deal with the Seahawks.



In a coaching staff shake-up, the Seahawks fired defensive coordinator Kris Richard and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell last week.

The 49ers issued the following statement via NBC Sports Bay Area:

"Last week, Ken was presented with an opportunity to once again coordinate a defense. Because of how we feel about Ken as a coach, we understand and respect his desire to pursue the position."

Norton Jr. is rejoining the Seahawks coaching staff, where he spent five years as the linebackers coach. As Garafolo explained, Norton Jr. has an out in his contract that would allow him to leave the 49ers for Seattle.

Norton Jr. joined the 49ers after serving two and a half seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders. He was fired on November 21.

Before coaching for the Raiders (2015-17) and Seattle (2010-14), he served several roles on the coaching staff at USC from 2004 until 2009.

Of course, most of the Niner Faithful know Norton Jr. from his 13 seasons spent as an NFL linebacker, including his time (1994-2000) with the 49ers. Before joining San Francisco as a free agent, Norton Jr. played for the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him in the second round out of UCLA in 1988.

During his playing career, Norton Jr. appeared in 191 games (188 starts) and registered 1,274 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 13 fumble recoveries, six forced fumbles, five interceptions, and 49 passes defensed. He won three Super Bowls (XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX) as a player during his time with Dallas and San Francisco, is a three-time Pro Bowler (1993, 1995, 1997), and a first-team All-Pro (1995).

Norton won a fourth Super Bowl (XLVIII) while part of the Seahawks' coaching staff.

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