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Keena Turner moves into front office role with 49ers

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Keena Turner, who came to the 49ers in 1980 and played 11 seasons as a linebacker, has been promoted to a role within the organization's front office.

Turner will remain as a team vice president in his new role as special advisor to general manager John Lynch. Turner spent the past six seasons as vice president of football affairs.

“I don’t think there’s a person in our building who understands the 49er way more than Keena,” Lynch said on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“When I was with the Bucs, there was no previous success that you could steal from. Here, there’s a lot of success and a lot of parallels in our philosophies. Keena is a great link to those. We feel he has great value. I’ve known him since I was a senior at Stanford University and he was a coach on our coaching staff.”

Turner coached three seasons (1992-94) on Bill Walsh’s staff at Stanford. He returned to the 49ers in 1998 in the public relations department.

In 2001, Turner was promoted to player development director with alumni responsibilities. He served as alumni coordinator before becoming vice president of football affairs in 2006. He oversaw the 49ers’ player engagement program.

In addition to Turner’s promotion, the 49ers also announced:

--DeMeco Ryans, who served as defensive quality control coach last season, becomes the team’s inside linebackers coach. Ryans played 10 seasons in the NFL. He last played in 2015 with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Ryans takes over the duties for which Ken Norton was hired in January. Norton left his job with the 49ers after one week to become the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator.


--Johnny Holland, who coached linebackers last season, becomes the run-game specialist/outside linebackers coach.

--Ethan Waugh, who has spent 14 seasons in the 49ers’ player personnel department, was promoted to college scouting director. Waugh worked previously as the team’s senior player personnel coordinator.

--The 49ers hired Austin Moss as director of player engagement. Moss comes to the 49ers after working as senior manager of football administration and development for the NFL.