Is 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan related to Mike Shanahan?

  • Mike Shanahan is one of the NFL's most accomplished coaches
  • His son, Kyle, has become one of the winning coaches of the current era of NFL football
  • Before becoming a head coach Kyle worked under his dad in Washington

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers
NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

When Mike Shanahan becamee an NFL head coach for the first time in 1988, Kyle Shanahan was nine years old. When Mike won his first Super Bowl in 1997, Kyle was just entering adulthood.

The two accomplished NFL head coaches share a last name and, for a long time, shared a home, too!

Yes, Mike and Kyle Shanahan are, indeed, related. Here's exactly how, but first, a quick primer on who the elder Shanahan is.

Mike Shanahan's NFL coaching success

Mike Shanahan coached the Denver Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl wins in the 1997 and 1998 seasons, and over the years coaching the Raiders, Broncos, and Redskins, accumulated a 170-138 win-loss record.

Shanahan is 24th in NFL history in NFL Playoff victories as a head coach, with an 8-3 record overall.

How are Mike and Kyle Shanahan related?

Kyle is one of Mike Shanahan's two children. Kyle also has a sister, Krystal.

Mike and his wife Peggy had Kyle when he was offensive coordinator at the University of Minnesota, but his more formative years were spent in Northern California when his dad was a coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, the franchise Kyle has now become a respected head coach in his own right for.

Kyle has been vocal about his father's influence on his life and coaching style and has undoubtedly learned plenty from him along the way. Here's what he had to say in the days leading up to this year's Super Bowl against the Chiefs:

"Being a coach's son, just very fortunate to be around it so much. Especially at the NFL level," Shanahan told reporters on Tuesday. "My dad went to the NFL when I was 4 years old, so just being around it my whole life. You don't realize how much it helps you 'til you get in it and you realize a lot of the stuff that you've been around and it makes it a little easier. I think, not only the son of a coach, but my dad's the best coach I've ever been around. So to be around that good of one I think also was a huge advantage for me.

While the head coaching influence clearly helped Kyle absorb some of the necessary qualities to perform this job at the highest level, he has made a name for himself, which is exactly why some fans ask this question in the first place despite the striking resemblance and shared name.

Did Kyle Shanahan ever work for his dad, Mike?

Yes, Kyle Shanahan's third NFL job was working under his dad, Mike, for the Washington NFL franchise (then called the Redskins). Kyle was the offensive coordinator, and unfortunately for both Mike and Kyle, the experience was not a good one. Both wound up fired after a few seasons in D.C. after a relatively tumultuous ride. Shanahan has since said one of the only things he liked about his experience in D.C. was working with his dad. Fair enough.

Kyle caught plenty of criticism for the schemes and system he implemented in Washington, which also brought up critiques about his hire in the first place and questions of whether he was the beneficiary of a nepotism hire.

Shanahan has since gone on to find success -- though a Super Bowl eludes him -- first as an OC of the Falcons, a role he parlayed into the head coaching gig he has now with the Niners. He is 64-51 as coach of the Niners and he's taken the team to the Conference Championship or further three times since he came aboard in 2017.