JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser offers five things to know about new Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke …
1.Balke isn't new to the Jaguars.While Baalke was named the permanent general manager on Tuesday, he's not new to the Jaguars' organization. Baalke, 56, was hired as the team's director of player personnel on February 4, 2020. He spent more than nine months in that role, and was promoted to interim general manager on November 29 when the Jaguars dismissed former General Manager David Caldwell. Baalke had spent the previous three seasons – 2017-2019 – as a football operations consultant with the National Football League.
2.Baalke will work closely with new Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer.Baalke will be part of a similar organizational structure to what the Jaguars had in place for the past 13 months. Baalke and Urban Meyer – hired as head coach on Thursday – will both report to Jaguars Owner Shad Khan, with Khan having final say over personnel. Khan said the Jaguars moved to the organizational structure in December 2019 upon the dismissal of former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin. "That way you have the transparency and the needs and concerns of both parties without really getting filters or having a chain of command," Khan said recently.
3.He spent much of his career with the 49ers.Baalke, a native of Rosendale, Wis., played linebacker at Bemidji State (Minn.) and earned All-Northern Sun Conference and All-Midwest Region honors. He served as a graduate assistant at North Dakota State from 1989-1990, worked as a defensive line/strength-and-conditioning coach at South Dakota State from 1990-1995 and was the athletics director at Fargo (N.D.) Shanley High School in 1996 and 1997. He was a personnel scout with the New York Jets from 1998-2000 and worked as a national scout with the Washington Football Team from 2001-2003 before being Washington's Scouting Coordinator in 2004. Baalke then moved to the San Francisco 49ers, where he spent 2004-2016.
4.Baalke has won at a high level – and been honored for it.Baalke spent 2004-2006 as a Western Regional Scout with the 49ers, and was their director of player personnel from 2007-2009. He was promoted to vice president of player personnel in 2010 and spent 2011-2016 as the 49ers' general manager. The 49ers improved from 6-10 to 13-3 in his first season as general manager, and Baalke was named NFL Executive of the Year by Pro Football Weekly and the Pro Football Writers of America that year (2011). The 49ers made the postseason from 2011-2013 and won the NFC West in 2011 and 2012. They won the NFC title following the 2012 season and played in the NFC Championship game following the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons.
5.Baalke has selected a slew of Pro Bowl players.The 49ers went 51-44-1 during his six seasons as general manager, producing 24 All-Pro selections and 35 Pro Bowl selections while he oversaw player acquisitions from 2010-2016. Among the Pro Bowl selections selected by San Francisco during that span: linebacker Navarro Bowman, defensive end Aldon Smith, safety Eric Reid and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. San Francisco in 2012 tied with New England for the league's most Pro Bowlers with eight,