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Mike Nolan (born March 7, 1959 in Baltimoremarker, Marylandmarker) is an American football defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos

College years

Nolan attended the University of Oregonmarker and was a three-year letterman in football and starter at safety.

Coaching career

He has coached at the collegiate level at Stanford Universitymarker, Rice University, and LSUmarker before moving on to the National Football League.

The son of former San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints head coach, Dick Nolan, he signed with the 49ers in 2005 to be head coach, following in his father's footsteps. Nolan joined San Francisco after establishing himself as the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, a position he held with three other teams: New York Jets (2000), Washington Redskins (1997–99), and New York Giants (1993–96).

Nolan finished the 2005 season with a 4–12 record. Nolan led a late season run and the 49ers improved in 2006 to 7–9. That led to expectations for the 2007 season, which included at least 9 wins and a playoff appearance. The season started well at 2–0, but an 8 game losing streak ended all hope of a playoff run. Nolan had been under intense scrutiny in the Bay Area. After the season, Nolan lost his general manager position and on October 20, 2008, Nolan was fired and replaced by his assistant head coach Mike Singletary.

In early 2009 Mike Nolan became the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos under Josh McDaniels. With a new 3-4 defense the Denver Broncos gave up the fewest points in the NFL (66) during the first six games of the season, and made their way to their first 6-0 start since the 1998 season in which they won Super Bowl XXXIII.

Suit issue

Following his hiring by the 49ers, Nolan asked the NFL for permission to wear a suit and tie on the sidelines as a tribute to his father. The league initially denied Nolan's request because of the contract it has with Reebok for its coaches to wear team-logo attire, a ruling that was changed during Nolan's second season as coach. In the new NFL policy, coaches were allowed to wear a full suit for only two home games per season. The suits were designed, marketed and labeled under the Reebok corporation. Nolan debuted the suit in a game at home against the Seattle Seahawks on November 19, 2006. A day later, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio sported another Reebok suit on Monday Night Football. Both coaches won their weekend games.

After further lobbying on the part of Nolan, the NFL and Reebok reached an agreement to allow suits to be worn at all home games in the 2007 season.

Radio show

During football season, Mike Nolan came on with Murph & Mac every Tuesday at 8:00 AM on KNBRmarker. He also came on other shows occasionally.

Coaching tree

Mike Nolan has been linked to more than one coaching tree. He was a defensive coordinator for Brian Billick (who is part of the Sid Gillman/Bill Walsh coaching tree), Al Groh (who is part of the Bill Parcells coaching tree), and Norv Turner (part of the Jimmy Johnson tree). However, Nolan is most directly related to Dan Reeves. Reeves brought Nolan with him from Denver (where he was linebackers coach) to be the New York Giants defensive coordinator in 1993. Nolan excelled at the position and his success served as a springboard for later success with other teams.

NFL Head coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
SF 2005 4 12 0 .250 4th in NFC West - - - -
SF 2006 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC West -
SF 2007 5 11 0 .313 3rd in NFC West -
SF 2008 2 5 0 .286 Fired mid-season - - - -
SF Total 18 37 0 .327
Total 18 37 0 .327

Personal life

Married (to Kathy Nolan) with four children, and a devout Roman Catholic. His sons are sometimes seen on the sidelines. He has three brothers and two sisters.

Attended Bellarmine College Preparatorymarker in San Jose, California.

Mike Nolan's father, former 49ers coach Dick Nolan, died at age 75 on November 11, 2007, just a day before Mike's 49ers were to take on the Seattle Seahawks. Nolan decided to coach the Monday Night Football game in honor of his dad, but was not able to get the win.


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