49ers hire Hardy Nickerson as linebackers coach

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Chip Kelly still hasn’t named the 49ers’ next defensive coordinator, but he is filling out the defensive coaching staff.

Hardy Nickerson will serve as the 49ers’ linebackers coach, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports.

Nickerson had a 16-year NFL career with the Steelers, Buccaneers, Jaguars and Packers and was a five-time Pro Bowler. He has twice worked as an assistant to Lovie Smith, first in Chicago and then for the last two years in Tampa Bay.

That Kelly would begin hiring defensive coaches suggests that he knows what kind of defense he’s going to run and may have already decided on his defensive coordinator without actually naming him yet.

The job in San Francisco will allow Nickerson to be close to his son, Hardy Nickseron Jr., a linebacker at Cal.