Skip to main content

This Day in The Bay: Bill Walsh's Head Coaching Debut


September 2, 1979

On this day, Bill Walsh made his regular season debut as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

In his first game at the helm, Walsh's 49ers jumped out to a 9-0 lead against the Minnesota Vikings on three of kicker Ray Wersching's field goals. Most notably, Walsh unveiled a new offensive scheme which became known as the "West Coast Offense." Wide receiver Freddie Solomon is credited with scoring the first touchdown in Walsh's new system on a 44-yard pass from Steve DeBerg. The Vikings rallied with a late touchdown to beat San Francisco 28-22.

The 49ers legend was named San Francisco's head coach and general manager on Jan. 9, 1979, beginning a decades-long relationship with the team.

Related Content