SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -Coach Mike Nolan will return to the San Francisco 49ers next season despite going 16-32 in his first three years with the club.
Owner John York promoted top personnel executive Scot McCloughan to general manager, giving him a raise and final say on personnel issues. But other than the new title for McCloughan, the 49ers changed almost nothing significant in their power structure at the close of their franchise-record fifth straight losing season.
Nolan, who previously had total control of football operations, and McCloughan said they will continue to make joint decisions on every issue for the 49ers (5-11). San Francisco lost 20-7 at Cleveland last Sunday to complete an embarrassing run of losing for a franchise with five Super Bowl trophies.
``The trigger belongs to Scot on personnel issues, and it's something that I've been excited about,'' said Nolan, claiming the change will allow him to focus more on coaching. ``I think it's something that will make us stronger.''
Nolan also fired offensive coordinator Jim Hostler, whose unit finished last in the NFL with 219 points, but announced no additional changes to his coaching staff.

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