Sources: 49ers want Erickson to make changes

Updated: December 13, 2004, 6:14 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

San Francisco 49ers coach Dennis Erickson has emerged as the secret leading candidate to become coach at the University of Mississippi, multiple sources have told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Erickson plans to stand firm this week against 49ers front office sentiments that he fire some of his assistant coaches, Mortensen reports. Erickson, who has contractual control over his own staff, reportedly will ask for clarification on management's plans to improve the team through free agency.

49ers general manager Terry Donahue has insisted the team will not fire Erickson, who has three years remaining on his contract at $2.5 million annually.

The 49ers are an NFL-worst 2-11 and have lost seven in a row. The team has been overcome by injuries and dissension that has left the once-proud franchise in tatters.

"I'm holding up OK, but it has been unbelievable here," Erickson said this week. "You have nightmares about something like this, but that's where we are right now. It is something we have to deal with and try to go on and get something out of these last four football games."

Ole Miss has been in the market for a coach since firing David Cutcliffe on Dec. 1 following the Rebels' worst season in 10 years. His staff will remain in place until a new coach is hired.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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