The San Francisco 49ers have hired their new general manager: former All-Pro NFL safety and current FOX broadcaster John Lynch. The news broke Sunday night and sent shockwaves through the football world.
Lynch's interview with the 49ers was kept a complete secret until it became clear that he was the man for the job. Until Sunday, George Paton and Terry McDonough were the only GM candidates who reportedly met with the 49ers. It was later revealed that there was a third candidate – Lynch – who sat down with the team in Atlanta. Potential head coach Kyle Shanahan was on hand for each interview.
Let's get to know the man who will lead San Francisco's personnel department. Here are five fun facts.
1. He played for Bill Walsh at Stanford
View the top images of John Lynch's 15-year NFL career and his time with Fox Sports.
Lynch played for the Cardinal from 1989-92 as a quarterback and a defensive back. Bill Walsh returned to Stanford in 1992 (Lynch's senior year) following his legendary run as the 49ers head coach from 1979-88. That season, Lynch posted four interceptions and one pick-six. He did see some playing time at quarterback early in his college career, with 17 total completions for 229 yards.
Walsh isn't the only former 49ers coach to have a tie to San Francisco's new GM. Mike Shanahan, a former 49ers offensive coordinator, coached Lynch with the Denver Broncos from 2004-07. It's likely that Lynch crossed paths with Kyle Shanahan during that four-year stretch.
2. He's a Super Bowl Champion
Lynch's career spanned 15 seasons – 11 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and four with the Broncos. The safety was originally a third-round pick in 1993. During his career, Lynch made nine Pro Bowls, was named All-Pro twice and hoisted one Lombardi Trophy. He was a member of Tampa Bay's 2002 championship team that throttled the Oakland Raiders, 48-21, in Super Bowl XXXVII.
3. He's a finalist for the Hall of Fame
This has the potential to be one of the most momentous weeks in Lynch's life. He's also a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2017. The list of this year's inductees will be announced at the end of the week. Lynch is currently one of 15 finalists in a group that includes Brian Dawkins, LaDainian Tomlinson and Terrell Owens.
4. He was an MLB draft pick as well
Lynch was a two-sport standout for the Cardinal. Based on draft status, you could also probably argue that baseball was Lynch's better sport in college. The Florida Marlins drafted Lynch in the second round of the 1992 MLB Amateur Draft. Lynch explored his professional baseball career for two seasons before sticking to football. During those two years (1992-93) of Class A ball the former pitcher posted a combined 2.35 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 38.1 innings. Lynch's fastball topped out at 95 miles per hour.
Fun fact, Lynch threw the first pitch in the history of the Marlins organization. The franchises minor league team, the Erie Sailors played before the Major League ball club ever took the field. Here's video from the game back in June of 1992.
5. He's spent the last four years as a broadcaster
Lynch's decorated playing career was followed by a move to the broadcast booth. FOX was quick to scoop up Lynch and team him with Kevin Burkhardt. Lynch called a number of 49ers games during his time at FOX, including last season's road game against Seattle Seahawks. He also called the Atlanta Falcons playoff win against the Seahawks just a few weeks ago. Lynch spent plenty of time lauding Kyle Shanahan's ability as an offensive coordinator.
Burkhardt offered his support of Lynch last night via Twitter.