Lott, McDonald want USC's Carroll to lead Niners

Updated: January 9, 2005, 11:45 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

49ers alumni Ronnie Lott and Tim McDonald are among those trying to convince Pete Carroll to leave Southern California and become San Francisco's head coach, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Sunday, citing USC sources.

USC alums Lott and McDonald are acting as intermediaries in an effort to bring Carroll back to San Francisco, where he grew up and once worked as the franchise's defensive coordinator. Lott and McDonald are also attempting to sell 49ers owner John York on the idea of turning over all team operations to Carroll.

Carroll, however, said last Thursday he had no interest in the job.

"I have not been contacted, I don't expect to be contacted and I'm not interested," Carroll said.

A former 49ers assistant and former coach of the New York Jets and New England Patriots, Carroll has guided USC to consecutive national championships.

Others on San Francisco's list of candidates to replace Dennis Erickson include current Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, a former 49ers offensive coordinator, and Jim Fassel, who coached the Giants to the Super Bowl four years ago.

But there are some intriguing coordinators who have captured York's attention, as well. York met with Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel on Saturday, and the Niners are also to interview Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, son of former San Francisco coach Dick Nolan.

Two potential sleepers are defensive coordinators Jerry Gray of the Buffalo Bills and Tim Lewis of the Giants, according to a league official. The Jets' Donnie Henderson and Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger are also in the mix. Heimerdinger is expected to interview on Monday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE