The 49ers announced the addition of eight coaching interns, including the first woman in franchise history to serve in an instruction role.
Katie Sowers worked with wide receivers Tuesday for the first day of the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp as part of the team’s 2017 Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship. She is expected to remain with the club at least through training camp.
Sowers worked with the Atlanta Falcons last summer during training camp. She worked primarily with Falcons wide receivers coach Raheem Morris and Mike LaFleur, who now serves as 49ers wide receivers coach and passing game specialist. She also spent significant time as a scouting intern with the Falcons.
“She came in and worked with the receivers and did as good of a job as anyone I've had in the internship,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We loved having her around. She was eager to learn it, she has played professional football in a women's league in the United States for a while and she's passionate about it.
“Us spending a whole training camp with her, she did a great job and she ended up helping out in Atlanta in personnel throughout the year. She just hit me up a few months ago and said her internship was up over there and asked if we would want to have her here. There was no doubt. She does a good job and we're excited to have her.”
Sowers has served as recreation director and athletics director for the Kansas City Department of Parks and Recreation. She attended Goshen College in Indiana, where she played basketball, soccer, and ran track. Sowers received her master's from Central Missouri State University.
The other interns in the diversity program are:
--Alonzo Carter, in his first season as San Jose State’s running backs coach, will work with the 49ers’ running backs. He served as the head coach of Contra Costa College from 2010 to ’16.
--Nick Ferguson played 10 seasons safety in the NFL from 2000-09 with the Jets, Broncos and Texans. He will work with the 49ers defensive backs.
--Corey Ivy, who appeared in 113 games as a cornerback with six different teams, will work with the defensive backs.
--Jerrod Johnson will work with the quarterbacks after finishing his career at Texas A&M as the school’s all-time leading passer. Johnson spent time with the Eagles, Steelers, Seahawks, Bears and Cowboys but never appeared in an NFL regular-season game.
--Rony Sieperda joins the 49ers strength and conditioning department after serving an internship at the University of Colorado.
--Donald White, who will work with the team’s linebackers, while currently working in his 10th season as the defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator at Laney College in Oakland.
--Rodrique Wright will work with the 49ers’ defensive line. He is entering his fourth season at Sam Houston State and second as the team’s defensive line coach. He previously worked in the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Fellowship with the Seattle Seahawks last year. After being a seventh-round draft pick in 2006, Wright appeared in 13 games with the Miami Dolphins in 2007.