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Coaches And Staff

Jim Leavitt
Linebackers Coach

BIOGRAPHY

With over 30 years of coaching experience in the collegiate ranks, Jim Leavitt is in his second season as the linebackers coach for the 49ers after being hired on January 19, 2011.

In 2011, Leavitt led a linebacking corps that featured two, First-Team All-Pro selections, LB Patrick Willis and LB NaVorro Bowman. Bowman, in his first year as a starter, led the team with 173 tackles, while adding two sacks and two fumble recoveries. Willis ranked second on the team with 121 tackles and set career-highs with four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 12 passes defensed. The 49ers also ranked first in the NFL in run defense, in 2011.
With over 30 years of coaching experience in the collegiate ranks, Jim Leavitt is in his second season as the linebackers coach for the 49ers after being hired on January 19, 2011.

In 2011, Leavitt led a linebacking corps that featured two, First-Team All-Pro selections, LB Patrick Willis and LB NaVorro Bowman. Bowman, in his first year as a starter, led the team with 173 tackles, while adding two sacks and two fumble recoveries. Willis ranked second on the team with 121 tackles and set career-highs with four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 12 passes defensed. The 49ers also ranked first in the NFL in run defense, in 2011.

Prior to joining San Francisco, 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. The Bulls achieved another record on September 30, 2007, when they became the fastest program of the modern era to reach the top 10, landing at No. 6 in the AP Poll and No. 9 in the Coaches’ Poll. On October 14, 2007, South Florida received its first ever BCS ranking as the No. 2 team in the nation behind only the Ohio State Buckeyes. That week, the team was also ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll and No. 3 in both the Coaches’ and the Harris Interactive Poll.

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 was instrumental in building a Wildcat defense that improved from 93rd in the nation in 1993 to the number one ranked unit in 1995.

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 named the defensive coordinator in 1983.

In 1988, Leavitt turned his attention towards obtaining his Ph.D in psychology from the University of Iowa, an endeavor he had been pursing sporadically since 1982. By 1989, Leavitt simply needed to complete his dissertation when Iowa head coach Hayden Fry offered him a graduate position. With the coaching bug in his blood, Leavitt jumped at the opportunity and was able to fast track his coaching career in I-A football. Following the ‘89 season, Leavitt was named to Bill Snyder’s staff at Kansas State.

A native of Harlingen, TX, Leavitt is married to his wife, Jody, and the couple has two daughters, Sofia and Isabella. Leavitt also has another daughter, Deandra.

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