SANTA CLARA, CA -- The San Francisco 49ers added two assistant coaches to their defensive staff late Monday, hiring Vantz Singletary as inside linebackers coach and Al Harris as a pass-rush specialist coach.
Vantz Singletary is Mike Singletary's nephew, but he's also a veteran college assistant coach who spent last season as the University of Buffalo's defensive tackles coach.
Vantz Singletary coached at Hawaii from 1999 to 2005. Harris is a former Leilehua High star athlete whose NFL career spanned 11 campaigns with Chicago (1979-84, 86-88) and Philadelphia (1989-90).
"We are pleased to add Vantz Singletary and Al Harris to our coaching staff," 49ers head coach Mike Singletary said on 49ers.com. "Both possess the qualities and character that I am looking for to lead our group forward."
Vantz Singletary has been a successful collegiate coach for the past 17 seasons with his most recent stop in 2008 as the defensive tackles coach at Buffalo, where he helped lead the school to its first ever bowl appearance and a 2008 Mid-American Conference title.
His previous assignments were with Tennessee at Chattanooga (2006-07), UH, Southern (1997-98) and Trinity College (1992-96). He has coached numerous future NFL players while they were collegians, including current 49ers defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga at Hawaii.
"Vantz has had a tremendous career during his many seasons as a collegiate coach," said Mike Singletary on 49ers.com. "I am confident that the way in which he has worked with young football players during that extensive experience will translate into success as he embarks on his NFL coaching career."
He starred during his playing days as a defensive tackle and linebacker at Kansas State in 1987 and 1988 after spending two All-American junior college seasons at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas.
Harris played at Arizona State and was drafted in the first round in 1979 by the Chicago Bears. He was the ninth player picked overall — the highest a Hawaii player has ever been drafted.
"Al Harris' greatest attribute is as a teacher," said Mike Singletary. "We're excited about the addition of Al because our players will benefit from his teaching ability, in terms of the strategy and methodology of what goes into the pass rush."