The San Francisco 49ers have emerged as one of the model organizations in the NFL. Behind the guidance of owner Jed York and coach Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco has transformed from a bottom feeder into a perennial Super Bowl contender with an abundance of offensive riches and defensive strength. At this point, the 49ers needs are more of the tweak variety than a systemic transformation.
So, what do the 49ers need? Apparently a legendary high school coach, if recent reports from Comcast Sports Bay Area are to be believed.
According to CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maioco, a 49ers insider, Harbaugh has reached out to recently retired Concord (Calif.) De La Salle High head football coach Bob Ladoucer, sounding out the decades-long coach of the Spartans about a consulting job with the 49ers in which he would help Harbaugh navigate “team dynamics”.
That’s a major step up for Ladoucer, who led the De La Salle Spartans to 399 victories and a whopping eight mythical national titles. Ladoucer’s prep legend is so compelling that a major motion picture (starring Jim Caviziel) chronicling his life and tenure at De La Salle is currently under production.
For the moment, the former De La Salle head coach is still on the coaching staff for the Spartans, serving as a volunteer running backs coach. At the same time, he is playing an active mentoring role to new Spartans head coach Justin Alumbaugh, who told MaxPreps that his predecessor is apparently happy in his new more limited role, in part because it puts a limit on the stress he feels on a daily basis.
"I think he's happy in his new role. He seems a more spry,” Alumbaugh told MaxPreps. “This is a well-earned change in roles. I think he's enjoying and embracing it and seems a lot less wound up."
Whether that calming phase would continue if he takes on the 49ers as well remains to be seen. Given Ladoucer’s penchant for tackling challenges head on, he might be precisely the kind of coach to take on the role that Harbaugh thinks he could fill, as well.