<
>

49ers hire Dolich as COO, will have control in non-football decisions

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco 49ers hired veteran
sports executive Andy Dolich to be their chief operating officer
Friday, but owner John York claimed the move wasn't a precursor to
a major organizational shakeup for the struggling franchise.

Dolich, the president of business operations for the NBA's
Memphis Grizzlies, will have control of all non-football aspects of
the beleaguered 49ers, including the drive to build a new stadium
in Silicon Valley. Dolich spent 14 years with the Oakland Athletics
from 1980-94 before his stint with the Grizzlies.

"Even as the A's were winning championships highlighted by the
Battle of the Bay World Series in 1989, I always looked across the
Bay in admiration of the gold standard that the Niners exemplified
in Northern California sports lore," Dolich said.

"I'm eager to work with Denise and John York and the 49ers
organization, using my sports business skills to ensure that this
storied franchise remains one of the most venerable and valuable in
all of professional sports."

York, who hasn't commented publicly on the 49ers' disappointing
3-10 season under third-year coach Mike Nolan, refused to speak
about the football direction of the franchise. York also said he
doesn't plan to turn over day-to-day supervision of the franchise
to his oldest son, Jed, contrary to rumors.

"All of those are football issues that we will be discussing
and going over after the end of the season," York said.