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Niners raid Seahawks front office for McCloughan

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.