San Francisco 49ers

Report: Colts to hire Tom Rathman as running backs coach

San Francisco 49ers running backs coach Tom Rathman calls to his team in the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in San Francisco.
San Francisco 49ers running backs coach Tom Rathman calls to his team in the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in San Francisco. AP

Tom Rathman, who was inducted into the 49ers hall of fame last season, will be joining the Indianapolis Colts as their running backs coach, according to a report in The Sporting News.

Rathman sat out the 2017 season after incoming head coach Kyle Shanahan tapped long-time Shanahan lieutenant Bobby Turner to be his running backs coach. Rathman was offered another position but was wary of being a distraction for Turner and opted to wait for a job opening in 2018.

In Indianapolis, he'll work under new head coach Frank Reich, who runs the West Coast offense that Rathman prefers. The Colts also have employed Rathman's favorite pupil, Frank Gore, although it's unclear where Gore will wind up when free agency begins next month.

“I look at him like a father," Gore has said in the past. "He came into my career at the right time. If he didn’t coach me the way he coached me, making me look at the big picture of football, I don’t think I’d still be in the league. He helped me become a complete player. You wanted to make him look good. I wanted to make him proud of me – of how I was playing and how I did.”

Rathman spent eight seasons in the 49ers' backfield and another 14 as the team's running backs coach. He also spent three seasons as the Detroit Lions running backs coach and another three with the Raiders.

Rathman also appeared in 14 postseason games for the 49ers, including two Super Bowls, when he was a player and rushed for 287 yards and four touchdowns in the postseason.

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