College Sports

Former Volunteers, Browns running back joins Charlotte 49ers football coaching staff

New Charlotte 49ers football coach Will Healy has added Montario Hardesty to his staff as wide receivers coach, a source confirmed to the Observer on Monday.

Hardesty, a former running back at Tennessee who was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, was most recently the offensive quality control coordinator at Tennessee. He briefly went to Western Kentucky as running backs coach after last season before going to Charlotte.

Hardesty, who is from New Bern, began his coaching career as an assistant at Chowan in 2014. He has also been at Norfolk State as special teams coordinator and running backs coach and Florida International as offensive quality control coordinator.

Hardesty gained more than 1,000 yards during his senior season at Tennessee. Drafted in the second round of the NFL draft by the Browns, his pro career was cut short by a knee injury.

Healy has nearly completed his staff, with nickel backs and tight ends coaches still to be hired.

The 49ers also received a commitment over the weekend from quarterback Brett Kean, a graduate transfer from South Florida. Kean was a backup during his career with the Bulls, completing 15-or-34 passes for 140 yards and one touchdown in three games last season.

Kean will have at least one season of eligibility remaining (the 49ers are asking for a waiver from the NCAA that would grant him one more). He will compete for Charlotte’s starting quarterback spot next season with sophomore Chris Reynolds and senior Evan Shirreffs (both of whom started at times last season) and redshirt freshmen Brady Pope and Dylan Ratliff.