The San Francisco 49ers hired Kyle Shanahan as franchise head coach in 2017, but the Niners almost added a pair of Shanahans in 2015.
In an interview on The Athletic’s “The TK Show” podcast on Friday, 49ers CEO Jed York admitted that in an interview with former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan following the Mutual split with Jim Harbaugh, York floated the idea of hiring the Shanahans as a father-son duo with Kyle taking over from Mike after four years.
“Mike was clearly the most talented guy we spoke to,” York said. “But in part, and I think his experience with Kyle in Washington was a great father-son experience, but they obviously had issues with the media and it didn’t end well for them.
“When you talk about longevity, I was hoping for something that could have a coaching relationship of 10, 20, 25 years, which probably wasn’t going to be the case with Mike Shanahan at this point in his career. And a part of the conversations were about Kyle and was Kyle someone you want to take with you and then maybe take over in four years? Is there anyone else in your coaching tree? And that’s kind of where things didn’t materialize.
York and the 49ers decided to hire defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, who failed terribly in his only season as the team’s head coach. Tomsula went 5-11 and was replaced by Chip Kelly, who was also fired after a year with the franchise.
The Niners, of course, then cleaned house and hired Kyle Shanahan just two years after they floated the idea of hiring him and his dad. York and the 49ers are probably very happy with how things have gone.