Willie Brown, who handled the defensive secondary for Long Beach State last season, has been hired as head coach of the 49ers, succeeding the late George Allen.

Brown, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a defensive back in 1984, signed a three-year contract with Long Beach State in accepting his first-ever head coaching job.He was handpicked by Allen to be an assistant coach when Allen came out of retirement at age 72 to guide the 49ers to a 6-5 record last season.

Allen died at his home in nearby Rancho Palos Verdes on Dec. 31.