San Francisco 49ers hire former Chargers coach Anthony Lynn as assistant head coach

Anthony Lynn, as Detroit offensive coordinator, looks on during warmups before a game against Philadelphia on Oct. 31, 2021.
Anthony Lynn, who was the Chargers’ head coach from 2017 to 2020, served as the Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator this season.
(Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

The San Francisco 49ers are hiring former Chargers coach Anthony Lynn as their assistant head coach.

A person familiar with the move said Friday that Lynn will join coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff in San Francisco. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced the hiring.

ESPN first reported the hiring.

Lynn brings a strong background in the running game to the 49ers and has experience working with running quarterbacks, which will be beneficial with San Francisco expected to turn the offense over to Trey Lance next season.


Lynn played six seasons as a running back in the NFL, including with San Francisco in 1995 and 1996. He also played in Denver under Shanahan’s father, Mike, where he began his coaching career as an assistant in 2000.

Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell will be Vikings coach after Super Bowl, but needs to put that job on hold until finishes job for a championship.

He later worked as an assistant with Jacksonville, Dallas, Cleveland, the New York Jets and Buffalo, where he served as offensive and interim head coach in 2016.

Lynn then was hired as head coach by the Chargers in 2017 and had a 33-31 record in four seasons.

Lynn spent this season as offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions.

The addition of Lynn comes after Jon Embree was not brought back as tight ends coach and assistant head coach in San Francisco. It also provides a coach with deep knowledge of the running game as insurance if offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel gets hired as head coach in Miami.