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The learning process continued for George Seifert even after earning his dream job -- head coach of his hometown San Francisco 49ers.

He moved from coordinating the team's championship defense to managing a team that had established an unrelenting demand for excellence. And under such pressure, he succeeded like no other coach in NFL history, achieving a .755 winning percentage over his eight-year tenure. In an era of parity, free agency and the salary cap, Seifert's 49ers were fixtures in the NFC championship game and won two Super Bowls.

How did he do it? Here's Seifert's management philosophy, as he wrote in a chapter for the book, "Game Plans for Success":

"My main responsibility as head coach is to create an environment in which it is possible for my coaches and players to succeed. ... I present ideas, not mandates. If something works, we go with it. If it doesn't, we try something else."

"If you can't learn, or aren't willing to try, you can't coach in this league."

"With so many players changing teams each year, it is essential that a head coach be flexible. You have to adjust to your personnel."

 

Seifert-Era 49ers

1989 Super Bowl XXIV champs

1990 NFC Championship Game

1991 Missed playoffs

1992 NFC Championship Game

1993 NFC Championship Game

1994 Super Bowl XXIX champs

1995 NFC West champions

1996 Second round of playoffs

Record as 49ers head coach:
108-35 (.755)
includes 10-5 postseason record


Seifert's 49ers draft picks


End of an Era

1997 Seifert resigns, travels

1998 Seifert on CBS


A New Era

1999-2001 Carolina head coach