Running back Frank Gore officially retired from football in June 2022. He was known for a great many things during his playing days. Chief among those would probably be his staying power and durability.
Gore racked up a mind-boggling 16,000 rushing yards, good for third-most all-time, in his 16-year playing career. He eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards in nine separate seasons, eight of which were for the San Francisco 49ers — the team he is now headed back to in a different form.
Frank Gore Headed Back to San Francisco
Now, just a little over a year after he signed a one-day contract to retire with the franchise he’s most synonymous with, Gore will be making a return to the 49ers.
No, the 40-year-old won’t be suiting up again. Well, probably not, anyway. Instead, Gore will be working in the 49ers’ front office alongside general manager John Lynch and his staff as a football advisor, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
The team revealed Gore’s impending return on Saturday, and Lynch shared a little bit about the legendary running back’s new responsibilities.
“He’ll go out on the road with some of our road scouts to make school calls,” Lynch said in a statement regarding Gore’s role, per ESPN. “He is a smart football mind, and we want to tap into it and he wants to learn from us, so it’s a good thing for everyone involved.”
Gore’s scouting acumen is admittedly something of a question mark right now. It’s often said that the best players don’t always make for the best scouts, coaches, etc. But Gore obviously has more than a few transferrable skills.
If anyone knows the game, it’s a man who thrived at a physically grueling position for over a decade and a half. Gore knows how to train, condition, eat, rest, and recover like a pro because it’s ingrained in his lifestyle.
Any wisdom Gore can impart to members of San Fran’s roster holds more weight by the sheer virtue of his name. He’s a walking legend, a future Hall of Famer, and someone whose career accolades would make 99% of pros blush.
In addition to that, one can safely surmise that after a lifetime spent around the game, Gore might’ve developed something of an eye for talent. After all, he played with and against top-tier talent for most of his adult life.
In fact, in an appearance on the “SFNiners” podcast back in April 2022, Gore spoke about how he believed his skills would easily transfer to a scouting role.
“I love evaluating talent, and I love ball,” Gore told the podcast. “And they know that I know football players [and] what it’s supposed to take to be a football player.”
Gore has shared locker rooms with top-tier players like Isaac Bruce, Joe Staley, Andrew Luck, Andre Johnson, Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes, Justin Smith, etc. He’s seen highly regarded prospects like Alex Smith and Vernon Davis struggle and then thrive.
Similarly, Gore’s seen firsthand how even a physical specimen like Aldon Smith can flame out well before their peak due to behavioral issues. He’s seen the work ethic it takes to thrive at the highest level and the many pitfalls that can prevent even the greatest of talents from reaching their potential.
It’s no certainty at this early stage, but if Gore is even half as good in his new position as he was in the backfield, one reckons he might have another couple of decades of pigskin in him yet.