McCloughan hired as senior executive

Former San Francisco 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan did not have to look far for his next NFL job.

McCloughan, 39, is staying within the NFC West as part of the Seattle Seahawks' personnel team. His hiring as senior personnel executive was made official Tuesday.

"It's huge for us because Scot is one of the most respected personnel people in the league," Seahawks general manager John Schneider said Monday. "He played a critical role in helping the Seahawks become a Super Bowl team [in 2005] and did a great job in rebuilding the 49ers over the last few years."

McCloughan was the Seahawks' college scouting director when the 49ers hired him in 2005. He cited undisclosed personal reasons for his departure from San Francisco in March. The team called McCloughan's departure a mutual parting.

McCloughan's hiring in Seattle adds another layer of intrigue to a rivalry that continues when the teams play one another in the regular-season opener. The Seahawks already hired just-retired Niners linebacker Jeff Ulbrich as an assistant coach this offseason, while the Niners snapped up Seahawks offensive line coach Mike Solari after Seattle targeted Alex Gibbs to fill the role.

The Niners considered adding Solari a coup because the highly regarded line coach had worked with San Francisco offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye in Kansas City, and the Niners had wanted to hire him previously. The Seahawks feel the same way about adding McCloughan, who has strong roots in the organization and with Schneider.

McCloughan and Schneider broke into the NFL together under former Green Bay Packers GM Ron Wolf in the early 1990s. They worked together with the Seahawks in 2000. They are similar in age and overall approach; both are known to relish the grunt work of personnel evaluation.

"We're very fortunate to add someone of Scot's caliber," Schneider said. "Scot is not only an experienced leader but he is also extremely loyal."

McCloughan has not disclosed the reasons for his departure from San Francisco other than to tell Sirius radio that "family needs to come first and I lost sight of that with my position at the 49ers."

The role McCloughan fills in Seattle will be more narrowly focused than the wider-ranging GM role he left behind in San Francisco.

Mike Sando covers the NFC West for ESPN.com.