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Young, Garcia reflect on time with former 49ers coach Knapp

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The 49ers’ only two Pro Bowl quarterbacks since Joe Montana have one person in common they credit for making a huge impact on and off the field.

Assistant coach Greg Knapp helped Steve Young excel during his final few NFL seasons. Knapp was also instrumental in the development of Jeff Garcia into one of the game’s top quarterbacks.

Young and Garcia posted messages on social media after Knapp’s death on Thursday.

Knapp, who joined the New York Jets’ staff this year, died from injuries sustained when a motorist struck him while he was riding his bike in San Ramon on Saturday. He was 58.

Knapp served nine seasons as a 49ers assistant under head coaches George Seifert, Steve Mariucci and Dennis Erickson.

Knapp was the 49ers’ quality control coach for three seasons before his promotion to quarterbacks coach in 1998.

In Knapp’s first season as quarterbacks coach, Young threw for a career-high 36 touchdowns and 4,170 yards with a league-best 278.0 yards per game.

Young was a first-ballot selection into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“He was one of a kind,” Young wrote about Knapp. “He had a big impact on me. Much love to him and his family.”

Garcia carried on the 49ers’ tradition at quarterback with three consecutive Pro Bowl selections from 2000 to ’02. Knapp was promoted to 49ers offensive coordinator in 2001. He worked with Garcia as both a position coach and a coordinator.

RELATED: Former 49ers assistant, longtime NFL coach Knapp dies at 58

Garcia passed for a 49ers’ single-season record 4,278 yards in 2000. He threw 31 touchdown passes in 2000 and 32 touchdowns in 2001.


“He will be long remembered as a great person, incredible coach, wonderful father, and true friend,” Garcia wrote. “Knapper was so instrumental in my growth as a QB with the @49ers."

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