JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Bemidji State graduate Trent Baalke has been hired as general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team announced Thursday morning.
Baalke had previously been hired last February to serve as the Jaguars’ director of player personnel. He was named interim GM when the team fired Dave Caldwell in November.
Baalke, a veteran of more than 20 years in the NFL, spent 12 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (2005-16), including six seasons as general manager from 2011-16. From 2017-19, Baalke worked for the NFL as a football operations consultant.
The Rosendale, Wis., native graduated from BSU in 1987 after playing outside linebacker and earning All-Northern Sun Conference and All-Midwest Region honors.
In Baalke's six years as the 49ers’ GM, San Francisco compiled a 51-44 record and appeared in three straight NFC Championship Games from 2011-13, including an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII.
In 2011, Baalke was named NFL Executive of the Year, as selected by Pro Football Weekly and the Pro Football Writers of America, after a seven-win improvement saw the 49ers go 13-3 in his first season as GM.
"Trent Baalke has had success at virtually every level of football, notably so as a general manager who shrewdly and quickly built an NFL conference championship organization and team," Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement. "That experience inspired us to recruit Trent to Jacksonville a year ago to serve as our director of player personnel and is one of the many reasons why we are naming Trent as the new general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"Trent thoroughly knows the NFL and the dynamics of today's game, has an exceptional eye for talent, and I know will have excellent chemistry with head coach Urban Meyer as they begin their mission to bring a consistent winner to our fans in Jacksonville."
Baalke is eager to begin working with Meyer, who was hired as head coach last week.
"I would like to thank Shad Khan for the opportunity to continue with the Jacksonville Jaguars as the team's general manager," Baalke said in a statement. "I look forward to getting to work with coach Meyer and giving Jaguars fans everywhere the winner they deserve. I am confident that our shared vision will lead our team to success in 2021 and beyond."
Baalke joined the 49ers as a western region scout prior to being promoted to director of player personnel in 2008 and to vice president of player personnel in 2010. He spent four years with the Washington Football Team’s scouting staff where he served as the college scouting coordinator in his final season. From 2001-03, he served as Washington's national scout. Baalke started his NFL career as a personnel scout with the New York Jets from 1998-2000.
Prior to his NFL career, Baalke worked as a defensive line and strength and conditioning coach at South Dakota State from 1990-95 before working as the athletic director at Shanley High School in Fargo, N.D., in 1996 and 1997. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at North Dakota State in 1989, helping the team finish with a 14-0 record and an NCAA Division II national championship.
The Jaguars finished the 2020 season at 1-15 and own the No. 1 overall pick for this April’s NFL Draft.