Three coaches leave Niners
January 18, 2003
By Roger Phillips STAFF WRITER
At least three of the assistant coaches from former coach Steve Mariucci's staff have left the San Francisco 49ers.
Defensive backs coach Brett Maxie, linebackers coach Richard Smith and special teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven have been released from their contracts to look for new jobs.
Mariucci was especially close to Smith, citing him Thursday during his farewell news conference.
DeHaven wasted little time in finding a new job. He was hired Friday by Bill Parcells to serve as the Dallas Cowboys special teams coach.
DeHaven and Smith were at the ends of their contracts. Maxie, however, had another year on his deal. He was released from his contract so he can explore his options, and a return to the 49ers is not totally out of the question, a source said.
Six other 49ers assistants have contracts set to expire: offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, receivers coach George Stewart, tight ends coach Tom Batta, running backs coach Tom Rathman, defensive line coach Dwaine Board and strength development coordinator Terrell Jones.
As for a replacement for Mariucci, the team could begin interviewing candidates the early part of next week. A source said nothing is slated for this weekend.
General manager Terry Donahue spent Thursday meeting with the offensive assistants and Friday meeting with the remaining defensive assistants.
INJURY UPDATE: In other 49ers news, two players have undergone medical procedures since the season ended Sunday with a 31-6 NFC divisional playoff loss at Tampa Bay.
Defensive end John Engelberger underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs from his left ankle. Left guard Eric Heitmann, who played the final weeks of the season with a broken right hand, has had a plate inserted in the hand to help the healing process.
Additionally, defensive tackle Bryant Young and linebacker Jeff Ulbrich probably are facing arthroscopic shoulder surgery.
Tell us what you think on the new 49ers Clubhouse message board.