The long anticipated move is finally official. Fresh off his former Atlanta Falcons team blowing a 25-point lead in Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots, Kyle Shanahan is now the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
The team announced the hiring on Monday, signing Shanahan to a six-year contract in the process.
Kyle Shanahan named head coach of the #49ers.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) February 7, 2017
“This is a very exciting day for the San Francisco 49ers and our fans,” 49ers CEO Jed York said in announcing the hiring. “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.”
Shanahan, the reigning NFL Assistant Coach of the Year, led the league’s top-scoring offense this past season and was one of the primary reasons Matt Ryan ascended to the ranks of the top quarterbacks in the game. Ryan himself was named MVP of the regular season the evening before his Falcons lost to New England in the big game.
For San Francisco, the hiring of Shanahan is a positive turn in what has been a horrendous past three years for the team. He will be the 49ers’ fourth head coach in as many years, starting with the ousting of Jim Harbaugh back in 2014.
But his credentials are right up there with the best head-coaching hirings in recent NFL history. Shanahan, 37, has led four top-10 offenses in the past five seasons. He’s been a coordinator and play-caller for four different teams over the past nine seasons. Both Ryan and Kirk Cousins improved a great deal under Shanahan’s watch as well.
It’s a change of direction for a 49ers team. In addition to bringing Shanahan in, this squad hired an inexperienced John Lynch as general manager. It also added former Denver Broncos top scout Adam Peters to work with both Shanahan and Lynch in the player personnel department.
We’re not sure how this entire thing is going to play out. Though, there’s more reason for optimism in San Francisco than at any other point following the departure of Jim Harbaugh. That’s most definitely good news.