The 49ers have filled the position coach Kyle Shanahan described as a head coach of training, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area.
Ben Peterson, who has served as director of sports science for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League since August of 2016, will reportedly take on a similar role with the 49ers. The Athletic was first to report the news on Monday. Peterson's title with the 49ers has yet to be determined, a source said.
The 49ers are undergoing a restructuring of their strength and conditioning program and athletic training staff this offseason. The club fired strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright and head athletic trainer Jeff Ferguson after the season.
“It’s about where we want to go, how we can make the overall process of it better,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said last month. “Injuries happen, and we’ve looked into that, and we’re going to do everything we can to improve that. We have to, because that has hurt us a lot in the last two years.”
The 49ers had 37 players finish on injured reserve the past two seasons, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon, both of whom sustained torn ACLs last season. McKinnon sustained his injury before the first regular-season game. Garoppolo was lost for the season in Week 3. Shanahan and general manager John Lynch said they want better coordination between the team's medical and strength and conditioning programs.
“(The new position will) mold those two places so you’re not dealing with separate parts of the building and we can make it a little more collaborative,” Shanahan said.
Peterson has experience in integrating strength and conditioning, sports medicine, physical therapy and nutrition. He previously worked at Catapult Sports and is co-author of Triphasic Training.
Peterson described his role in his bio: “I help teams identify and evaluate contextual analytics by measuring training volumes, (accelerations, decelerations, change of direction speeds, biomechanical and physiological load quantifications), in real time, to improve performance outcomes and reduce soft tissue injuries of athletes.”