In a move that was expected since the Atlanta Falcons bye week during the wild card round, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan accepted the reigns of the San Francisco 49ers as the head coach.
The announcement was made Monday following the Falcons’ epic 25-point collapse in Super Bowl LI to the New England Patriots. Shanahan’s contract is expected to be for six years, equal in length to John Lynch’s deal as the new general manager of the Niners.
Shanahan will become San Fran’s fourth head coach in 4 years, after the terminations of Chip Kelly, Jim Tomsula and Jim Harbaugh. The Niners were not able to hire Shanahan until after the completion of the Dirty Birds’ season. Shanahan was one of the most sought after options at coach this offseason, interviewing with both the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars while postponing an interview with the Rams due to weather conditions.
Shanahan, 37, will be the NFL’s second youngest head coach only behind the 31 year-old Rams coach Sean McVay. John Lynch elaborated on the hiring of Shanahan on Monday.
“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,” Lynch said. “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.”
Kyle’s father Mike served as the offensive coordinator of the 49ers from 1992-1994 which resulted in a Super Bowl victory in ’94 before he became the head coach of the Broncos and would eventually lead Denver to consecutive Super Bowl victories in ’97 and ’98.
Kyle was the mind behind Atlanta’s offensive powerhouse that led the league with 540 points in scoring and produced the regular season MVP in quarterback Matt Ryan.
CEO of the Niners Jed York touched on the direction of the franchise in the wake of Kyle’s hiring.
“I hate the term rebuilding because it gives people a built-in excuse,” York said. “What we’re trying to do is re-establish our culture, and we want to be at a championship level. John Lynch brings that. You can certainly guess as to who the new head coach is going to be, but we certainly believe that the new head coach will bring a legacy of the 49ers, a legacy of great football knowledge, and those two should be able to work together in a way that we should have a long run of success.”