Woods replaces Jeff Hafley, who served as defensive backs coach for each of the previous three seasons (2016-18) with San Francisco and was named co-defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Ohio State University earlier this month.
“In addition to being a tremendous coach with a wealth of knowledge, Joe is a great person that we believe will help bring the best out of our players,” said Head Coach Kyle Shanahan. “Since we first worked together in Tampa, Joe has continued to gain invaluable experience in different schemes and coverages that will benefit our defense. Anybody who is familiar with Joe as a coach knows that he is passionate about the fundamentals of the game and we look forward to seeing the impact he has on our team.”
Woods, 48, joins the 49ers after spending the previous four seasons with the Denver Broncos as the team’s defensive coordinator (2017-18) and defensive backs coach (2015-16).
Prior to Denver, Woods spent 11 years as defensive backs coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2004-05), Minnesota Vikings (2006-13) and Oakland Raiders (2014). Before his time in the NFL, Woods served as defensive backs coach at Western Michigan University (2001-03), Hofstra University (1998-2000), Kent State University (1997) and Grand Valley State University (1994-96). He began his coaching career as defensive backs coach at Muskingum College in 1992, followed by one season as a graduate assistant at Eastern Michigan University (1993). He also spent the spring of 1994 as linebackers coach at Northwestern State University.
A native of North Vandergrift, PA, Woods played cornerback and safety at Illinois State University where he was a team captain as a senior in 1991 and earned First-Team All-Gateway Conference honors.