Niners raid Seahawks front office for McCloughan

Updated: February 2, 2005, 1:19 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers hired Scot McCloughan, Seattle's director of college scouting, to be the head of their personnel department on Tuesday.

McCloughan, who got a five-year contract worth around $4 million, will be formally introduced as vice president of player personnel at a news conference Wednesday, the team announced. He replaces Terry Donahue, who was fired last month following a 2-14 season.

McCloughan will work with new coach Mike Nolan, who will have final control over personnel moves. The 49ers will have a big decision coming up in April, when they have the No. 1 pick in the draft.

McCloughan joined Seattle just after the 2000 draft, and helped the Seahawks pick Steve Hutchinson, Koren Robinson and Ken Lucas among other players. McCloughan also worked for five years in the scouting department of the Green Bay Packers.

The signing didn't come cheaply for the Niners, who were willing to pay dearly for such a great evaluator of talent and a person willing to work within a system. The Niners signed McCloughan to a contract worth more than the deal given to Scott Pioli of the Patriots and that given to Tom Heckert of the Eagles. For the Seahawks, a division rival of the 49ers, it was another loss to their front office, which has been taking major hits in the past month. They lost vice president Ted Thompson to the Green Bay Packers, where he'll serve as the general manager, and fired team president Bob Whitsitt, leaving just general manager Bob Ferguson, who has a contract option that comes due in February, and coach Mike Holmgren in the front office.

Seahawks owner Paul Allen, who is on vacation, faces a tall task in his search for a team president and other front-office personnel.

McCloughan, the son of former Oakland Raiders player and current scout Kent McCloughan, played minor league baseball in the Toronto Blue Jays' organization. His older brother, Dave, played two years for the Seahawks.

Other candidates for the personnel job included Brian Gardner, a national scout for the 49ers, former New Orleans and Seattle general manager Randy Mueller and Kansas City vice president of pro personnel Bill Kuharich.

Information from ESPN.com's John Clayton and The Associated Press was used in this report.