Shanahan receiving plenty of interest in Wilks for head-coaching jobs

Shanahan receiving plenty of interest in Wilks for head-coaching jobs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Coach Kyle Shanahan has fielded multiple calls this week regarding 49ers defensive coordinator and NFL head coach candidate Steve Wilks.

“I get a lot of phone calls and stuff, so I know there’s a lot more people interested,” Shanahan said Tuesday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters.

“You got to go through the process of formally requesting an interview, and I’ve only gotten that from the Chargers so far.”

Wilks is expected to interview with the Los Angeles Chargers this week, as the 49ers have a first-round playoff bye.

“It works out so well when you have the bye week,” Shanahan said. “This is a great week for him.”

Wilks is serving his first season on Shanahan’s staff after finishing last season as the interim coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Wilks did well enough with the Panthers to warrant strong consideration for the permanent job. But owner David Tepper instead hired Frank Reich. Tepper fired Reich just 11 games into his tenure.

The Los Angeles Chargers and Panthers, along with Las Vegas, Atlanta, Washington and Tennessee currently are the six NFL teams with head-coaching vacancies.

There could be more openings to follow.

Wilks, 54, previously served as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2018. He was fired after a 3-13 season. The Panthers were 6-6 with him as interim head coach in 2022.

In Wilks’ first season as defensive coordinator, the 49ers ranked third in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing just 17.5 points per game. The 49ers were eighth-best in the league, allowing 303.9 yards per game.

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