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Kyle Shanahan Named Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers

Posted Feb 6, 2017

The San Francisco 49ers have made it official. Former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator has been named the team's new head coach.


The San Francisco 49ers announced on Monday that the team has agreed to terms with Kyle Shanahan to become the 20th head coach in franchise history.

Shanahan will be formally introduced as head coach during a press conference later this week at Levi’s Stadium. Details regarding the press conference will be distributed at a later time.

“This is a very exciting day for the San Francisco 49ers and our fans,” said 49ers CEO Jed York. “Throughout this process, we learned many things about Kyle that convinced us he is the perfect coach to lead this team. Over the years, he has proven to be one of the brightest minds in the game of football and his recent success speaks for itself. Kyle’s leadership has brought the best out of his players at every phase of his career and we look forward to watching him build a talented staff to accomplish the same with our players.

“Kyle and John are top-tier, football men with outstanding pedigrees who join the organization with a tremendous amount of respect for each other. The future of this franchise will be constructed from their vision, and we look forward to watching them work together for years to come as they instill the culture necessary to consistently compete for championships.”

“The San Francisco 49ers are very fortunate to be able to bring in a coach of the caliber of Kyle Shanahan,” said 49ers General Manager John Lynch. “As an offensive mind, I think he stands alone in the National Football League, as evidenced by the explosive and record-setting offense in Atlanta. Though he grew up around coaching, what has most impressed me about Kyle is that he’s become his own man in the profession. Our philosophies on football and our visions for leading the 49ers back to being a championship team align in every way. I am thrilled to have Kyle Shanahan on board.”

“It is truly an honor to be named head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, one of the marquee franchises in all of sports,” said 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan. “I must thank Jed and the York family for entrusting me with this great privilege and tremendous opportunity. I would also like to express my gratitude to Arthur Blank, Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons organization for their support and the experience of a lifetime.

“As a young man, I had the unique benefit of being exposed to the storied history of the San Francisco 49ers firsthand. From that exposure, I developed great respect for those who created a world-class, championship standard. As this team begins the task of reestablishing that standard, I could not ask for a better partner than John Lynch. He is a man who certainly has personal knowledge of what championship organizations look like. John and I look forward to establishing a strong culture that will serve as our foundation for constructing this team.

“I am very excited to dedicate myself to the process that lies ahead. The first step in that process is identifying talented individuals who love the game of football as much as John and I do – coaches, players and staff. We are looking for individuals who work hard and are dedicated to doing things the right way, always in the best interest of the team. Most importantly, we want to give our fans a team they can be proud of on and off the field.”

Shanahan has 13 seasons of coaching experience at the NFL level, including the past nine as an offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons (2015-16), Cleveland Browns (2014), Washington Redskins (2010-13) and Houston Texans (2008-09). In six of his nine seasons as an offensive coordinator (2008-09, 2012-13 and 2015-16), Shanahan has guided an offense that ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in yards gained.

Following the 2016 season, Shanahan was named Associated Press Assistant Coach of the Year, Coordinator of the Year by The Sporting News and Assistant Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America after a record-setting performance by the Falcons offense en route to capturing the NFC South division title and an appearance in Super Bowl LI. Under Shanahan, the 2016 Falcons set franchise records in yards per game (415.8), points scored (540), net passing yards per game (295.3) and average yards per play (6.7). Atlanta QB Matt Ryan, who was named Associated Press Most Valuable Player, Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player/Offensive Player of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America and FedEx Air Player of the Year, threw for a single-season franchise record and career-high 4,944 passing yards and 38 touchdowns, ranking second in the NFL in both categories. He led the NFL with a passer rating of 117.1 on the season and threw a career-low seven interceptions. WR Julio Jones recorded 83 receptions for 1,409 yards (17.0 average) and six touchdowns in 14 games played. His 1,409 receiving yards were the second-most in the NFL this past season. Both Jones and Ryan earned Associated Press First-Team All-Pro and 2017 Pro Bowl honors.

On the ground, Atlanta averaged 120.5 rushing yards per game and tallied 20 rushing touchdowns in 2016. RB Devonta Freeman registered 227 carries for a career-high 1,079 yards and 11 touchdowns, on his way to earning his second-consecutive Pro Bowl appearance.

In Shanahan’s first year in Atlanta, the Falcons offense ranked seventh in the NFL, averaging 374.1 yards per game, ranked sixth with a 273.7 passing yards per game average and led the league in time of possession (32:19) in 2015. Julio Jones led the NFL with a career-high 1,871 receiving yards, while notching a career-high 136 receptions to share the League high with the Steelers Antonio Brown. Jones’ receiving yards marked the second-highest total in a single season in NFL history, behind WR Calvin Johnson’s 1,964-yard performance in 2012.

Shanahan joined the Falcons after spending 2014 as offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns. That year, his offense averaged 324.6 total yards and 108.0 rushing yards per game. Under Shanahan’s direction, RBs Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West combined to rush for 1,280 yards on 319 carries (4.0 average), while WR Andrew Hawkins posted career highs in receptions (63) and receiving yards (824).

Prior to his stint in Cleveland, Shanahan spent four seasons (2010-13) as offensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins. In 2013, the Redskins finished ninth in the NFL in total offense (369.7) and fifth in rushing yards per game (135.3). Second-year QB Robert Griffin III threw for 16 touchdowns and a career-high 3,203 passing yards, while WR Pierre Garcon set a franchise record and led the NFL with 113 receptions for a career-high 1,346 yards. RB Alfred Morris also rushed for 1,200-or-more yards for the second-consecutive season (1,275).

The 2012 Redskins won the NFC East division championship as Washington became the first team in NFL history to register 3,400-or-more passing yards (3,422) and 2,700-or-more rushing yards (2,709) in the same season. Washington led the NFL, averaging 169.3 rushing yards per game and finished second in rushing touchdowns (22). Griffin won the 2012 Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year Award after setting NFL rookie records in passer rating (102.4), interception percentage (1.27), and rushing yards by a rookie quarterback (815). He completed 258 of his 393 passes (65.6 completion percentage) for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns. Fellow rookie Alfred Morris ranked second in the NFL with a single-season, franchise-record 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns. 

In 2011, Shanahan worked with QB Rex Grossman, who finished with the second-best statistical season of his career, having thrown for 3,151 yards, 16 touchdowns and a career-high 57.9 completion percentage. WR Santana Moss also had his best professional season in 2010 under Shanahan, notching a career-high 93 receptions for 1,115 yards and six touchdowns.

Before joining Washington, Shanahan spent four seasons (2006-09) with the Houston Texans, including the final two as the team’s offensive coordinator. In 2009, he worked with QB Matt Schaub, who registered career highs in completions (396), completion percentage (67.9), passing yards (4,770), touchdowns (29) and passer rating (98.6). His completions and passing yard totals led the NFL that season. Additionally, WR Andre Johnson led the NFL in receiving yards in both 2008 (1,575) and 2009 (1,569) and led the NFL with 115 receptions in 2008. TE Owen Daniels registered career highs in both receptions (70) and receiving yards (862) with Houston in 2008. Shanahan spent his first season with Houston (2006) as the team’s wide receivers coach and moved to coach the quarterbacks in 2007 prior to his promotion to offensive coordinator in 2008. He broke into the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004 where he served as an offensive quality control coach for two seasons (2004-05). His first coaching experience came as a graduate assistant at UCLA in 2003.

Born December 14, 1979 in Minneapolis, MN, Shanahan played wide receiver at Duke University before transferring to the University of Texas in 2000, where he spent two seasons. He and his wife, Mandy, have three children. Shanahan’s father, Mike, who served as the 49ers offensive coordinator from 1992-94, was the head coach of the Denver Broncos (1995-2008) and the Washington Redskins (2010-13), where he accumulated an overall win total of 178 victories (eight postseason), including victories in Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII.


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