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Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Dress to impress: Nolan, Del Rio get OK to wear suits

Associated Press

Mike Nolan and Jack Del Rio are ready to suit up.

The San Francisco coach and his Jacksonville counterpart have the NFL's permission to wear dress suits designed by Reebok during two games this season.

Mike Nolan
You might find this outfit at your local second-hand store. 49ers head coach Mike Nolan is shedding his old sideline gear in favor of a suit.

Nolan is expected to debut his old-school outfit -- a black suit, a white shirt and a red-and-gold-striped tie -- at the 49ers' home game against Seattle on Sunday. Del Rio also will wear a suit-and-tie ensemble in Monday night's home game against the Giants.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the 49ers coach has permission to "test-drive" the suit at two games this season.

"Working with Reebok, they were able to come up with something that should work for him," McCarthy said.

Nolan first broached the idea shortly after he was hired by the 49ers in 2005. He believes the ensemble will project an image of authority while also honoring his father, Dick, the 49ers' coach from 1968-75, and Hall of Fame coaches such as Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi.

But the NFL couldn't immediately give permission, citing its lucrative outfitting contract with Reebok. Nolan has worn pullovers and polo shirts during his tenure, but has worked with Reebok's designers to come up with the natty ensemble he's expected to show off Sunday.

Dan Reeves is thought to be the last NFL coach to wear a suit on the sideline. Coaches have been required to wear team-issued clothing since 1993.

Del Rio is expected to wear his suit again at the Jaguars' game against Indianapolis on Dec. 10, and Nolan will suit up again at a game still to be determined.