The San Francisco 49ers on Monday announced a trio of Bill Walsh NFL diversity coaching fellows. The program is designed to help boost the number of full-time minority coaches in the league, and takes place during OTAs, minicamps or training camp.
Their three coaching fellows this year are former 49ers outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, former NFL offensive lineman Orlando Franklin, and college coach Ahmed Saleh.
Banta-Cain is working as the defensive coordinator for Santa Monica high school and will help coach the 49ers’ defensive line. He spent eight years in the NFL after the Patriots made him a seventh-round pick in the 2003 draft. He played in New England for four years, San Francisco for two, then returned to his original club for his final two seasons. In 113 NFL games he notched 249 tackles and 27.5 sacks.
Franklin was a second-round pick of the Broncos in 2011 to kick off his seven year NFL career. He was with Denver for four years, the Chargers for two and Washington for one. Across seven seasons Franklin played in 90 games with 89 starts. He’s now a radio host in on 104.3 The Fan in Denver, and will work with the 49ers’ offensive line as part of his fellowship.
Saleh is former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s cousin per Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. He’ll be working with the 49ers’ defensive backs. The 49ers bring Saleh in after he spent time as a graduate assistant with Colorado State, and as a defensive student assistant with Michigan State and the University of Pittsburgh. Now he’s the defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator at Madonna University.
The coaching fellowship can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and require the applicants to either be a former player or to have coaching experience at or above the high school level. Some clubs have extended their coaching fellowships to a full season.