San Francisco 49ers

Source: 49ers interested in ex-Raiders coach Tony Sparano

Denver Broncos head coach John Fox and Oakland Raiders head coach Tony Sparano, right, greet after an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Denver.
Denver Broncos head coach John Fox and Oakland Raiders head coach Tony Sparano, right, greet after an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Denver. AP

The 49ers are interested in hiring former Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano, according to a league source. The team is believed to be looking at Sparano for the role of tight ends coach, a position Sparano, 53, coached early in his career.

Adding Sparano would give the 49ers someone with head-coaching experience. He was in charge of the Dolphins from 2008-11, compiling a 29-32 record over that span. He was named the Jets offensive coordinator in 2012 and the next year joined the Raiders as offensive line coach.

When the Raiders began the most recent season 0-4, head coach Dennis Allen was fired and Sparano tapped to run the team. Oakland finished 3-13 with one of the wins coming over the 49ers in Week 14. Sparano coached tight ends from 2001-04 in Washington, Jacksonville and Dallas.

He also has close ties with Bill Parcells having served under him in Dallas and in Miami. Parcells also has served as a mentor to 49ers general manager Trent Baalke.

Sparano is one of several ex-Raiders the team is considering. The 49ers interviewed Oakland's former defensive coordinator, Jason Tarver, last week for an undetermined role on Jim Tomsula's defensive staff. San Francisco also is reportedly interested in ex-Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin as an offensive coordinator. Kiffin currently runs the University of Alabama's offense.

Tight ends also is a role that Geep Chryst, the team's quarterbacks coach the previous four seasons, could fill. Chryst also has drawn interest from the Bears and the Raiders. His son, Keller, is a quarterback at Stanford, meaning that Chryst might prefer to remain in the Bay Area.

Sparano also has coached the offensive line. The 49ers, however, are set to hire Chris Foerster in that role with ex-Younstown State head coach Eric Wolford serving as assistant offensive line coach.

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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