No experience needed for Bay Area coaches 

It’s an intriguing trend.

Three struggling Bay Area sports franchises: The 49ers, Raiders and Warriors all hired coaches this year with no prior professional head coaching experience.

San Francisco rewarded Jim Harbaugh for his remarkable gamesmanship at Stanford. But it’s still anyone’s guess whether Harbaugh will be able to outsmart his counterparts in the NFL.

Hue Jackson spent 10 years as an NFL assistant before being elevated from offensive coordinator to head coach of the Silver and Black.

Golden State pointed to Mark Jackson’s leadership skills and 17 NBA seasons as a point guard in giving him his first coaching job, anywhere.

Common denominator? All are high-motor motivators.

But if inspiration is going to trump inexperience, the rookie coaches will all need a lot of help, starting with veteran assistants and vastly improved personnel.

Unlike the 49ers and Raiders, who brought in coaches best known for their offensive prowess, Golden State hired a coach with a particularly passionate commitment to defense. Do we now start calling Mark Jackson the NBA’s "Minister of Defense"?

Jackson is the founder of the True Love Worship Center in Los Angeles, but he will undoubtedly need more than divine intervention to boost the defensive skills of this current roster, which finished next to last in the league in points allowed at 105.7 per game.

The Warriors are reportedly shopping Monta Ellis — with the 76ers a possible suitor in exchange for Andre Iguodola, according to ESPN — wisely convinced that the odd couple backcourt pairing with Stephen Curry will not produce a winner.

New Orleans Hornets’ assistant Mike Malone, a defensive wiz, is on his way to Oakland to be Jackson’s first lieutenant.

Some might consider pastor Jackson’s hiring a giant leap of faith.

Others may think the Warriors are pandering to Oakland’s proud religious roots. Forget all that. What wins me over is that new team advisor Jerry West signed off on Jackson. Amen.

KGO (810 AM) Sports Director Rich Walcoff can be heard weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on the KGO morning news. He can be reached at

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