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Report: 49ers plan to hire Wilks as defensive coordinator

Grant Halverson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The San Francisco 49ers plan to hire Steve Wilks as their defensive coordinator, according to Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Wilks was the interim head coach of the Carolina Panthers for 12 games after Matt Rhule was fired. Wilks served as the Panthers' defensive pass game coordinator and secondary coach before being named the interim head coach.

Former 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans took the Houston Texans' head coaching job on Jan. 31. The 49ers allowed the fewest yards and points per game this season.

Wilks was the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2018. He went 3-13 before being fired after just one season. He was then the Cleveland Browns' defensive coordinator in 2019.

The 53-year-old Wilks ran a 4-3 base defense in Carolina, which is what the 49ers ran under Ryans. The Panthers ranked 22nd in yards allowed per game in 2022.

Wilks has also served as a defensive backs coach for the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers.

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