Clancy Pendergast Brings Pedigree of Success to 49ers

A breakdown of the 49ers 2015 coaching staff in photos.

From 1991 to 2013, Clancy Pendergast rode the coaching carousel around the collegiate and professional ranks.

He served on staffs at four colleges and five NFL teams, reaching his highest title – defensive coordinator – at four different stops.

After a coaching change at Southern California in '13, Pendergast spent last fall as a first-time free agent at his home in Arizona, studying film and biding time until another opportunity arose.

His vacation didn't last long.

The San Francisco 49ers scooped up the experienced defensive mind, announcing Pendergast as their linebackers coach on Monday.

Here are five things worth noting about the new hire.

Pac-12 Supremacy

Pendergast's two most recent jobs were at Cal (2010 to '12) and USC (2013) as the defensive coordinator.

In those four seasons, Pendergast's unit ranked first in Pac-12 total defense three times.

Among the players Pendergast coached were Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints, Keith Browner of the Houston Texans and projected top-five 2015 NFL Draft pick Leonard Williams of USC.

Led Cardinals 'D' to Super Bowl XLIII

For five seasons beginning in 2004, Pendergast was in charge of the Arizona Cardinals defense.

His tenure in the desert culminated in a '08 run to the Super Bowl.

The Cardinals fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Pendergast's defense allowed just 292 total yards in the game.

Arizona parted ways with Pendergast following the title game loss, and he spent the following year as the Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator.

Learned from Fisher

As a volunteer assistant at USC in 1992, Pendergast was introduced to Jeff Fisher by then-Trojans coach John Robinson.

Two years later, Fisher – now the head coach for the St. Louis Rams – gave Pendergast his first job in the NFL as a defensive quality control coach for the Houston Oilers.

"I learned a lot from Jeff," Pendergast told Bruce Feldman of FoxSports. "I really learned to think outside the box."

Gift of Clean Clothes

While settling into a new job as the defensive backs coach for the Dallas Cowboys in 1996, Pendergast ran into then-coach Barry Switzer inside the team's facility.

When Pendergast told his boss that he had found a place to live but still needed to buy a washer and dryer, Switzer told him, "Give my secretary your address."

The next day, a truck delivered a brand new washer and dryer to Pendergast's home.

Hired Consultant

Last July, Washington brought Pendergast in to spend a couple of days with then-defensive coordinator Jim Haslett to offer tips on how to slow down Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly's high-flying offense.

Pendergast saw plenty of Kelly at Oregon when the two battled it out in the Pac-12.

Washington only won four games in 2014 but one of those victories came against the 10-6 Eagles. 

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