49ers to hire former Cardinals HC Steve Wilks as DC
The San Francisco 49ers will have a new defensive coordinator in 2023 after DeMeco Ryans was hired to be the head coach of the Houston Texans. It will be a familiar face to Arizona Cardinals fans.
According to NFL Media’s Tim Pelissero and Ian Rapoport, the 49ers will hire Steve Wilks to be their next defensive coordinator.
Wilks was the Cardinals’ head coach in 2018 and fired after one season when they were 3-13 and had a historically bad offense.
In 2022, he was the defensive back coach and defensive passing game coordinator for the Carolina Panthers and was named interim head coach after Matt Rhule was fired. The Panthers were 6-6 after he took over.
He was under consideration for the Panthers’ head coaching vacancy after the season before Frank Reich was hired has head coach.
Wilks will now get to face the Cardinals twice a season with the league’s No. 1 defense in 2022.
The last two defensive coordinators — Ryans and previously Robert Saleh — were hired as head coaches.
Wilks has to think the situation will propel him to another shot as a head coach, and he will have the added bonus of being able to face the team that fired him after only one season.
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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire