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Niners fire defensive coordinator Wilks

Steve Wilks San Francisco 49ers Steve Wilks - The Canadian Press

The San Francisco 49ers have made a change at defensive coordinator only days after their Super Bowl loss.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan announced on a conference call that he had fired DC Steve Wilks.

Wilks, 54, was in his first season on the job, having succeeded DeMeco Ryans, who became the head coach of the Houston Texans.

The move comes only a day after Shanahan indicated that he expected his coaching staff to return.

“I haven’t talked to anybody yet, so, yeah, I expect all our coaches to be back," Shanahan told reporters on Tuesday.

Under Wilks, the Niners gave up the 14th-fewest passing yards in the NFL with 3,949 and were the joint-leaders in interceptions with 22. The team gave up the third-fewest rushing yards at 1,525.

Wilks was in his fourth decade of coaching, having also spent time on the staffs of the Chicago Bears, San Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers.

He was named head coach of the Arizona Cardinals ahead of the 2018 season and was fired after one year following a 3-13 campaign. He served as interim head coach of the Panthers in 2022 upon the firing of Matt Rhule, leading the team to a mark of 6-6.

The Niners lost Sunday night's Super Bowl 25-22 in overtime to the Kansas City Chiefs.