Kyle Shanahan was named the 20th head coach of the San Francisco 49ers on February 6, 2017, after spending the previous two seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.
In his first season as head coach, Shanahan led the team to a 6-10 record, which was a four game improvement from the previous year. After a difficult stretch to start the season, the 49ers won six of their final seven games, including victories in five-straight games to close out the season. With six wins on the season, San Francisco set the NFL record for the most wins by a team in NFL history that started 0-9. The 49ers closed the season as one of the hottest teams in the NFL, posting a perfect 5-0 record in December. San Francisco was the only team in the league to have a perfect record over the last month of the regular season as Shanahan became the fourth rookie NFL head coach in franchise history (Buck Shaw – 1950; Frankie Albert – 1956 & George Seifert – 1989), and the first in the NFL since Tony Sparano in 2008, to go undefeated in the month of December.
Robert Saleh (SAH-lah) is in his 14th NFL season and second as the 49ers defensive coordinator.
In 2017, Saleh led a 49ers defensive unit that allowed 5.28 yards per play, which was a 0.62 yards per play improvement from 2016 and the third-largest improvement in the NFL from 2016-17 (Cle. - 0.76 yards per play; NYJ - 0.72 yards per play). The defense also finished the season holding their opponents under 100 yards rushing seven times. From Weeks 12-16, the 49ers streak of holding each of the five opponents under 100 yards rushing was tied for the longest streak in the NFL over that span (Arizona). It also marked the first time the 49ers held five straight opponents to under 100 yards rushing since Weeks 11-15 of the 2012 season. The 49ers defense was among the league leaders at getting into the opponent’s backfield on running plays, finishing ranked tied for fifth in the NFL by forcing 53 rushes for negative yardage.
Special Teams Coordinator
Richard Hightower is in his 12th season in the NFL and second season as the 49ers special teams coordinator. He returned to San Francisco in 2017 after previously serving as assistant special teams coach with the team in 2015.
In 2017, the 49ers special teams units excelled under Hightower’s guidance. In his first season with the 49ers, veteran K Robbie Gould had a career year, leading the NFL with a career-high 39 made field goals and finishing third in the NFL with a career-high 145 points. Gould’s 39 made field goals were the second-most in a single-season in franchise history (K David Akers – 44 made field goals in 2011) and tied for the third-most in a single-season in NFL history. P Bradley Pinion set a career high with a 41.3 net punting average and the punt coverage unit ranked second in the NFL, allowing 4.2 yards per return.
Tight Ends/Assistant Head Coach
Jon Embree is in his second season as the 49ers assistant head coach/tight ends coach.
Last season, the 49ers tight ends combined for 66 receptions for 866 yards and six touchdowns. Rookie TE George Kittle led the tight end group with 43 receptions for 515 yards and two touchdowns. His 515 receiving yards ranked second in the NFL among rookie tight ends and were the most by a 49ers rookie tight end since the merger in 1970. Additionally, TE Garrett Celek set a new single-season career high with four touchdown receptions.