DeMeco Ryans wins AP Assistant Coach of the Year

Feb 9, 2023, 5:38 PM | Updated: Feb 10, 2023, 8:23 am
Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans of the San Francisco 49ers on the field before during the game a...
SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 4: Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans of the San Francisco 49ers on the field before during the game against the Miami Dolphins at Levi's Stadium on December 4, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Dolphins 33-17. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

DeMeco Ryans got the flowers he deserves Thursday following an impressive season with the San Francisco 49ers.

The former 49ers defensive coordinator was awarded the AP Assistant Coach of the Year at the NFL Honors ceremony Thursday night. Ryans was phenomenal in 2022, coaching the 49ers’ defense to be the best unit in the NFL. First in yards and points allowed, the Red & Gold under Ryans produced one of the best defenses in the last decade.

Taking the coordinator position after Robert Saleh left in 2020, Ryans implemented a system of SWARM defense with San Francisco, a group of athletes who played a team style on the field. That mentality showed on the gridiron, leading the NFL in interceptions (22).

After a second standout season, Ryans took his talents to Houston, becoming the next head coach of the Texans last week. He will now be tasked with rebuilding a young Houston franchise that he once played for. And with the second overall pick in the 2023 draft, many expect Ryans to flourish from the jump.

“We came into this thing together. I owe everything to him. He’s the reason I’m the player I am today. He’s fully deserving to go on and be a head coach,” 49ers’ linebacker Fred Warner said about his former coach.

“I love DeMeco one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around, best people I’ve ever been around. Him and [his widfe] Jamila mean the world to us and I really wish they weren’t going, but it’s more than deserved and more than earned. And I think they made the best hire by far that was available because DeMeco is going to be a great one. He already has been,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said last Wednesday.

DeMeco Ryans, 38, joined the 49ers’ organization in 2017 after spending 10 seasons as a linebacker in the NFL. He finished his playing career with 970 combined tackles, 46 passes defended, seven INTs and seven forced fumbles over 140 games played.

The 12th Annual NFL Honors award show aired Thursday, Feb. 9th at 6 p.m. PST on NBC


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