The San Francisco 49ers announced on Wednesday they have named Ed Donatell secondary coach, Geep Chryst quarterbacks coach and Jim Leavitt linebackers coach. Additionally, Mark Uyeyama has been promoted to head strength and conditioning coach as Duane Carlisle has not been retained.
Donatell, 53, brings 32 years of coaching experience, including 15 years of service in the NFL, to the 49ers. He has worked with several of the most highly regarded defensive backs in NFL history, including Ronnie Lott, Steve Atwater, LeRoy Butler, Darren Sharper, Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins.
Most recently, Donatell served as the secondary coach with the Denver Broncos from 2009-10. In two seasons with the Broncos, the team ranked seventh in the NFL in opponent completion percentage (58.8) and ninth in passing yards per game (223.7).
Prior to working as the defensive coordinator for the University of Washington in 2008 and a special assistant for the New York Jets in 2007, Donatell served as the defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons from 2004-06.
Donatell spent four seasons as Green Bay’s defensive coordinator (2000-03), helping the Packers lead the NFL with 116 takeaways from 2001 to 2003. Green Bay advanced to the playoffs during each of those three seasons, including the 2001 and 2002 campaigns when they won the NFC North title.
In Donatell’s first stint with the Broncos (1995-99) he served as the team’s secondary coach and won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1998 an 1999. The Broncos ranked seventh in the league in both passing yards per game (199.6) and passing yards per attempt allowed (6.5), en route to earning three playoff berths under Donatell. The Broncos also ranked in the top 10 against the pass in four of Donatell’s five seasons as defensive backs coach.
Donatell made his NFL coaching debut as the secondary coach with the New York Jets from 1990-94, where he worked with Lott in the final two seasons of his career.
Prior to making the jump to the NFL, Donatell spent 11 seasons in the collegiate ranks. He served as the defensive backs coach at Cal State-Fullerton (1989), the University of Idaho (1986-88) and the University of Pacific (1983-85). He also was a graduate assistant at the University of Washington (1981-82) and Kent State (1979-80).
Chryst, 48, enters his 19th season in the NFL, having most recently served as the tight ends/offensive quality control coach with the Carolina Panthers (2006-10). He is reunited with 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, whom he coached during Harbaugh’s final two NFL seasons with the San Diego Chargers in 1999-00. (Pictured right)
In 2009, Chryst was part of an offensive coaching staff that helped the Panthers become the first team in the history of the NFL to garner two running backs with more than 1,100 yards rushing in the same season. His tight end unit also posted the most productive receiving season for Panthers tight ends in a decade, that year.
Before joining Carolina in 2006, Chryst served as the Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks coach (2001-03) and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (1999-2000). Chryst implemented the no-huddle offense in San Diego in 1999, which led to Harbaugh enjoying the second-highest passing output (2,761 passing yards) of his 15-year career. The Chargers also completed the most passes (332) in 13 years with Chryst directing the offense and Harbaugh became the first quarterback in team history since Hall of Famer Dan Fouts to pass for 400 yards in a game, that year.
Chryst spent three seasons with the Cardinals, serving as the team’s tight ends coach from 1996-97 before becoming the quarterbacks coach in 1998. He began his NFL coaching career with the Chicago Bears in 1991 as the director of research/quality control, a position he held until 1995. In the spring of 1992, Chryst, after being out of uniform for eight years, took a 15-day hiatus from the Bears to long snap in three playoff games for the short-handed Orlando Thunder of the World League. Interestingly, he had made his professional coaching debut with the Thunder in 1991, serving as the wide receivers/running backs coach.
Chryst began his coaching career at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1987 before moving over to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988. Chryst then spent two years at the University of Wyoming, serving as the offensive line coach in 1989 and the quarterbacks coach in 1990.
A three-year starter at linebacker for Princeton University, Chryst also played baseball for two seasons for the Tigers. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Princeton as well as a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin.
Leavitt, 54, joins the 49ers after spending over 30 years coaching in the college ranks. Most recently, Leavitt was the head coach at the University of South Florida, a position he held since the program’s inception in 1995. In 13 seasons, he led the Bulls to a 95-57 record.
The program began play in 1997 at the division I-AA level and immediate success propelled the Bulls to a national ranking for 24 consecutive weeks. In 2001, South Florida became a Division I-A independent before moving to Conference USA, in 2003. Leavitt’s continued success helped South Florida move into the Big East prior to the 2005 season. That year, Leavitt led the Bulls to their first ever Bowl appearance.
Since becoming a member of the Big East Conference in 2005, Leavitt led the Bulls to a 40-24 record, including five consecutive Bowl appearances, posting a 3-2 record in those games. South Florida's ascension into the top 25 from entry into I-A/FCS was the fastest in NCAA history, surpassing Boise State's rise by a mere seven weeks.
Prior to becoming the head coach at South Florida, Leavitt worked under legendary coach Bill Snyder at Kansas State from 1990-95. Leavitt served as the linebackers coach for two seasons before becoming the defensive coordinator. He helped bring the Wildcats from relative obscurity to having a highly-regarded defense.
His coaching career began as a graduate assistant at the University of Missouri (1978-79). Leavitt followed that by serving as the defensive coordinator at the University of Dubuque (IA) from 1980-81. He then spent five seasons at Morning Side College (IA), working as the special teams coordinator for one year before being name the defensive coordinator in 1983. Leavitt also spent two seasons at the University of Iowa from 1988-89, the first as an intern and the second as a graduate assistant.
Uyeyama (ooh-ee-YAH-muh) enters his 4th season with the 49ers, and first as head strength and conditioning coach.
He was originally hired as the 49ers assistant strength and conditioning coach on January 21, 2008, after serving as the head strength and conditioning coach at Utah State University from 2004 to 2007.
Uyeyama graduated from Utah in May of 2000 while working as a student assistant strength coach for two years. He then became a graduate assistant at USU before moving to another graduate assistant position at Arizona State (2001-03), where he was later promoted to a full-time assistant.
Prior to working in the strength and conditioning field, Uyeyama played football at Butte Community College in Oroville, CA, and Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD.
He earned a master’s degree in higher and post secondary education from ASU in May of 2003.