The wait is over. Kyle Shanahan will be the next head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. The team made the news official on Monday to hire the former offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.
Here are five things every 49ers Faithful should know about their new head coach.
- The man can coach some offense
In Shanahan's nine seasons as an offensive coordinator, he's produced a top-10 offense in six of them. The Falcons scored nearly 34 points per game in 2016 to lead the NFL. Matt Ryan flourished into the NFL's top MVP candidate with 4,944 passing yards and 38 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.
In the divisional round of the playoffs, Shanahan's offense carved up the vaunted Seattle Seahawks defense for 36 points and 422 total yards. The Falcons followed up that performance with 493 total yards in a 44-21 blowout of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. Shanahan is widely regarded as one of the top offensive minds in the NFL and was recently named the NFL's Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2016 season.
"I studied every potential X's and O's play and issue possible," Shanahan said back in 2006 to the Denver Post. "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."
- He's been a surging coach for a decade
Shanahan is becoming a first-time head coach at 37-years-old, but he's carried a "boy wonder" tag for a while. Back in 2006, Shanahan became the league's youngest position coach at age 26 as the wide receivers coach for the Houston Texans. Two years later in 2008, the Texans promoted Shanahan to OC to make him the NFL's youngest coordinator at 28.
He's since been the offensive coordinator for Washington from 2010-13, the Cleveland Browns in 2014 and then for the Falcons for two seasons beginning in 2015. Before helping Ryan turn into an MVP-caliber quarterback, Shanahan is credited with turning Matt Schaub into a Pro Bowler and Robert Griffin III into the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
- Football is family
Kyle's father, Mike Shanahan, hoisted two Lombardi Trophies as the head coach of the Denver Broncos. The two worked together in Washington for four years with Mike as the head coach and Kyle as his OC.
Mike also has a connection to the Bay Area as he served as the 49ers offensive coordinator from 1992-94.
It's impressive lineage, and there's no doubt that Kyle is eager to build his own legacy in San Francisco.
- He's learned from the best
Beyond his father, Kyle Shanahan has served as an understudy to two other Super Bowl-winning head coaches. He worked for Jon Gruden as an offensive quality control coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before joining forces with Gary Kubiak in Houston. Gruden and Kubiak are two of the most well respected coaches of the past two decades. Although Shanahan didn't win a ring at either stop, he knows what it's like to be a part of a championship culture.
- He played Division I football
Shanahan walked on at Duke as a wide receiver in 1998 before transferring to Texas. From 2001-02, Shanahan caught 14 passes for 127 yards with the Longhorns. He immediately began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for UCLA in 2003. Shanahan only spent one year in the college ranks before making the jump to the NFL with the Bucs in 2004.