Kyle Shanahan

American football coach (born 1979)

American football player
  • Duke (1998)
  • Texas (1999–2002)
Career history As a coach:
  • UCLA (2003)
    Graduate assistant
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2004–2005)
    Offensive quality control coach
  • Houston Texans (2006)
    Wide receivers coach
  • Houston Texans (2007)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • Houston Texans (2008–2009)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Washington Redskins (2010–2013)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Cleveland Browns (2014)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Atlanta Falcons (2015–2016)
    Offensive coordinator
  • San Francisco 49ers (2017–present)
    Head coach
Career highlights and awards Head coaching recordRegular season:64–51 (.557)Postseason:8–4 (.667)Career:72–55 (.567)Coaching stats at PFR

Kyle Michael Shanahan[1] (born December 14, 1979) is an American football coach who is the head coach for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He came to prominence as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, whose offense in 2016 led the league in points scored and helped the team reach Super Bowl LI. Shanahan became the head coach of the 49ers the following season, whom he has led to three division titles, four postseason appearances, four NFC Championship Game appearances, and two Super Bowl appearances (LIV and LVIII).

Early life

Shanahan was born in Minneapolis, while his father, Mike Shanahan, coached at the University of Minnesota.[2] He attended Saratoga High School in Saratoga, California, in 1994, while his father worked as offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.[3] He later attended Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado, while his father served as head coach of the Denver Broncos.[4] Shanahan accepted a scholarship offer by Carl Franks of Duke University, but chose to transfer as a redshirt freshman to the University of Texas at Austin where he started out as a walk-on.[5] Shanahan played wide receiver on a Longhorn team that featured future college coach Major Applewhite, future NFL assistant coach Richard Hightower (who worked with him in San Francisco) as well as future NFL players Roy Williams, Cedric Benson, Bo Scaife, Mike Williams, Quentin Jammer, and Chris Simms.[6] Shanahan caught 14 passes for 127 yards in his career for the University of Texas at Austin.[7]

Coaching career

College career

I studied every potential Xs and Os play and issue possible. I spent my whole life working on that. My goal was that any question a player could have about anything on the field, I'd be able to answer it.

— Kyle Shanahan, 2006[8]

Soon after he graduated from Texas in 2003, Shanahan became graduate assistant to Karl Dorrell at UCLA.[9][10]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Shanahan was hired as assistant coach for offensive quality control under head coach Jon Gruden with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004.[11]

Houston Texans

In 2006, Shanahan was hired by Gary Kubiak to serve as wide receivers coach for the Houston Texans.[12] Kubiak had previously served as offensive coordinator under Mike Shanahan with the Broncos. At the time, Kyle Shanahan was the youngest position coach in the NFL. A season later, Shanahan received another promotion to become the Texans quarterback coach.[13] In 2007, he had also been offered to become offensive coordinator at the University of Minnesota, where former Broncos assistant Tim Brewster just became head coach. Shanahan declined, citing his decision to be an NFL coach.[14] Shanahan was immediately considered the frontrunner for the vacant offensive coordinator position after Mike Sherman had left the Texans to take over as head coach at Texas A&M University.[15]

On January 11, 2008, Shanahan was officially promoted, becoming the youngest coordinator in the NFL, being more than three years younger than Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots.[16]

Washington Redskins

In 2010, Shanahan left the Texans to join his father, Mike Shanahan, with the Washington Redskins. The Washington Redskins' performance during his tenure led some to question whether Shanahan's hiring was an example of unearned nepotism.[17] In 2012, Shanahan was fined $25,000 for insulting the replacement officials and confronting one after a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.[18] On December 30, 2013, Kyle, along with his father and some of the coaching staff, were fired from the Redskins.[19]

Cleveland Browns

On February 1, 2014, it was reported by media outlets that Shanahan was hired as offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.[20] Prior to his hiring by the Browns, Shanahan interviewed for the vacant offensive coordinator jobs held by the Miami Dolphins[21] and Baltimore Ravens.[22] On January 8, 2015, Shanahan resigned from his offensive coordinator position due to friction with head coach Mike Pettine and possibly how the front office was run.[23]

Atlanta Falcons

Shanahan at Falcons training camp in 2016

On January 18, 2015, the Atlanta Falcons hired Shanahan as their new offensive coordinator.[24][25] After going 8–8 in 2015, the Falcons' offense under Shanahan was the highest-scoring offense in the league in 2016 and earned an 11–5 record, a division title, and a Super Bowl LI berth against the New England Patriots.[26] Shanahan was named the NFL Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2016 season.[27] He was also named Coordinator of the Year by Sporting News and Assistant Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America.[28]

During Super Bowl LI, the Falcons held a 28–3 lead over the Patriots, in part thanks to Shanahan's play-calling and the Falcons' execution of those plays. However, Shanahan was criticized for being too aggressive by not using a ball-control running attack late in the game, a decision considered by many to have contributed to the Falcons losing their 25 point lead, as they dropped the game in overtime by a score of 34–28.[29][30]

San Francisco 49ers

On February 6, 2017, one day after the Super Bowl, Shanahan was officially hired as the next head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, signing a six-year deal.[31][32][33] Shanahan won his first preseason game 27–17 against the Kansas City Chiefs on August 11, 2017.[34] However, the 49ers began the season with nine consecutive losses.[35] On November 12, 2017, Shanahan won his first regular-season game, against the New York Giants by a score of 31–21.[36] Three weeks later, the 49ers pulled out a 15–14 victory over the Chicago Bears, which marked the first start for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as a 49er.[37] On December 31, 2017, the last day of the 2017 NFL regular season, Shanahan and the 49ers defeated the Los Angeles Rams 34–13, ending the season on a five-game win streak, and winning six out of the last seven games, to finish 6-10. The prior year they had won only two games.[38][39]

The 49ers won only four games in 2018.[40] The team was impacted by an early season-ending torn ACL to starting quarterback Garoppolo.[41] Garoppolo's injury was immediately viewed as ruining the 49ers hopes for the season, despite Shanahan's optimistic outlook on Garoppolo's replacement, C. J. Beathard.[42]

Shanahan in a game against his former team, the Washington Redskins

The 49ers won their first eight games of the 2019 season, making Shanahan only the third coach, along with Tom Landry and Marvin Lewis to begin 8–0 after an earlier 0–8 season start.[35] The 49ers finished the regular season with a 13–3 record, winning the NFC West division title and securing the #1 seed which gave the team home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.[43][44] The 49ers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 27–10 in the Divisional Round[45] and advanced to the NFC Championship, where they beat the Green Bay Packers 37–20[46] to advance to the Super Bowl. Despite taking a 20-10 lead, the Niners lost in the Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 31–20.[47] For his part, Shanahan won the Sporting News NFL Coach of the Year award and the runner-up for the AP NFL Coach of the Year, losing to John Harbaugh.

On June 15, 2020, the 49ers signed Shanahan to a new six-year contract extension through the 2025 season.[48][49] Shanahan was fined $100,000 by the NFL for not properly wearing a face mask, as required for coaches during the COVID-19 pandemic, during a Week 2 game in the 2020 NFL season on September 21, 2020.[50] The 49ers suffered multiple injuries to key starters throughout the season and missed the playoffs, finishing the season with a 6–10 record.[51][52][53]

Shanahan was fined $50,000 by the NFL on July 1, 2021, for violating practice rules during organized team activities.[54] After starting the season 3–5, the 49ers won seven of their last nine games to finish 10–7 and enter the postseason as a wild card team.[55][56] The 49ers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 23–17 in the Wild Card Round[57] and defeated the Green Bay Packers 13–10 in the Divisional Round,[58] before losing 20–17 in the NFC Championship to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams.[59]

In the 2022 season, Shanahan led the 49ers to a 13–4 regular season mark, which earned the team the NFC West title and the #2 seed in the NFC for the postseason.[60][61] The 49ers accomplished their regular season success in spite of injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. The emergence of rookie Brock Purdy as the team's starting quarterback in the latter part of the season contributed to the team's success, as well as providing a terrific narrative, as Purdy had been the last man drafted that year, earning that year's tongue-in-cheek title of Mr. Irrelevant.[62][63] Shanahan helped lead the 49ers to a third NFC Championship appearance in four seasons following victories over the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card Round and the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Round.[64][65] In the NFC Championship against the Philadelphia Eagles, the 49ers were forced to substitute Josh Johnson in for an injured Purdy. Johnson suffered a concussion and was forced to leave the game as well. Purdy then returned to finish the game, but was ineffective due to his injury, virtually unable to throw. The Eagles won 31–7.[66] For the season, he again came in second place in voting for the AP Coach of the year award, this time behind Brian Daboll of the Giants.[67]

Prior to the 2023 season, Shanahan signed a contract extension through 2027.[68]

In 2023, he led the 49ers to a 12–5 record, winning the NFC West for the second straight season and being named a finalist for the AP Coach of the Year award.[67][69] He led the team to victories over the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round and the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship, where they stormed back from a 24–7 halftime deficit against Detroit, en route to Super Bowl LVIII, where San Francisco would face the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of Super Bowl LIV.[70][71]

Like the initial matchup between the two teams four years earlier, the 49ers would open up a 10-point lead before Kansas City would rally and eventually emerge victorious yet again, this time by a score of 25–22.[72] It was just the second overtime game in Super Bowl history, the first being Super Bowl LI in which Shanahan had served as offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons. Shanahan received backlash for electing to receive possession first in overtime after winning the coin toss, rather than allow the Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs offense to see the field first, which would have allowed the 49ers to gameplan based on the result of Kansas City’s drive due to both offenses getting an opportunity in the extra period, regardless of whether a touchdown was scored or not, after new postseason overtime rules were implemented following the 2021-22 NFL playoffs.[73] He was also criticized after some San Francisco players claimed that they were not aware of the updated overtime rules.[74]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
SF 2017 6 10 0 .375 4th in NFC West
SF 2018 4 12 0 .250 3rd in NFC West
SF 2019 13 3 0 .813 1st in NFC West 2 1 .667 Lost to Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV
SF 2020 6 10 0 .375 4th in NFC West
SF 2021 10 7 0 .588 3rd in NFC West 2 1 .667 Lost to Los Angeles Rams in NFC Championship Game
SF 2022 13 4 0 .765 1st in NFC West 2 1 .667 Lost to Philadelphia Eagles in NFC Championship Game
SF 2023 12 5 0 .706 1st in NFC West 2 1 .667 Lost to Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII
Total 64 51 0 .557 8 4 .667

Coaching tree

Shanahan has served under six head coaches:

Four of Shanahan's assistants have been hired as head coaches in the NFL or NCAA:[81]

Personal life

Shanahan and his wife have three children.[86][87]

References

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External links

  • San Francisco 49ers bio
  • Media related to Kyle Shanahan at Wikimedia Commons
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*Serves the role under another title or interim
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San Francisco 49ers head coaches

# denotes interim head coach

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