Kyle Shanahan, coach of the Super Bowl-contending San Francisco 49ers, isn’t thinking about his wealth and income this week – not when there’s a National Football League championship to be won.
But the young coaching firebrand may soon see his net wealth rise to greater heights, as he joins the burgeoning list of promising young NFL coaches destined to leave their stamp on the game and earn gridiron glory – along with adding millions of dollars to their bank account in the process.
Not that he's hurting now. Even after Shanahan’s 49ers fell in Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs, he can roll into the offseason secure in the knowledge that he and his family are financially secure. According to his contract, Shanahan earns well over $3 million a year and is reported to have a current net worth of over $4 million.
That’s more than okay for a 40-year-old NFL head coach going into the biggest game of his life.
Kyle Shanahan was born into the football life on December 14, 1979, in Minneapolis, Minn.
He’s the son of Peggy and Mike Shanahan, who is a former NFL coach with Super Bowl wins with the Denver Broncos in 1997 and 1998.
The Shanahan family moved to northern California in the early 1990s, with football a definite factor.
During his father’s tenure as an assistant coach with the powerful San Francisco 49ers, Kyle Shanahan attended Saratoga High School, near Santa Clara, Calif. with a pedigree of producing top athletes, some of whom would go on to careers in professional sports and in the Olympic Games. It also served as a breeding ground for Hollywood titans, as Steven Spielberg attended school there, as well.
The Shanahans didn’t last long in Saratoga, as Mike Shanahan accepted a head coach’s post with the Denver Broncos in 1995 (where he would coach until 2008. With stability in Denver, Kyle Shanahan was able to focus on football and high school, graduating from Cherry Creek High School in 1997, and accepting a scholarship offer to play college football at the University of Texas, a perennial NCAA powerhouse at the time. Before attending Texas, Shanahan had spent a year attending Duke University, but opted to shift to Austin, Texas, as a red-shirt freshman in 1999.
His tenure at Texas was a valuable one in terms of learning from a football experience. On a loaded Longhorn squad at the time were future NFL players Major Applewhite, Roy Williams, Cedric Benson, Mike Williams, Bo Scaife, Mike Williams, and Chris Simms (another son of football royalty – his father was Super Bowl champion quarterback Phil Simms.)
Shanahan played sparingly, snagging 14 catches during his college career but has said his eyes weren’t necessarily on playing football – he saw his future coaching it.
“I studied every potential X’s and O’s scenario and issue possible,” he said in 2006. “I spent my whole life working on that. My goal was that any question a player could have about anything on the field, I'd be able to answer it.”
After a brief stint as an assistant football coach at UCLA, Kyle Shanahan accepted an invitation from Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden to become an assistant offensive coordinator in 2004.
He moved on in 2006 to become wide receivers coach with the Houston Texans under head coach Gary Kubiak, making Shanahan the youngest position coach in the league. In two years Shanahan became offensive coordinator with the Texans, once again crossing a new threshold as the youngest coordinator in the NFL.
In a brief stint with the Washington, where Shanahan coached under his father Mike, the entire staff was fired after a down year in 2013, and Shanahan wasn’t pleased about the experience.
Asked what his most favorite and least favorite parts about coaching in Washington, Shanahan said, “The best part was working with my dad. The worst part was everything else.”
Eventually, Kyle Shanahan was hired by the Atlanta Falcons, a role where he became most famous for mishandling the offensive play calling when the Falcons had a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots in the second half of Super Bowl LI – a game the Patriots eventually won 34-28.
The Super Bowl was also notable for Shanahan losing his backpack, with $30,000 in game tickets and cash, along with the Falcons game plan for 90 minutes. The backpack was recovered but not before Shanahan admitted that he had a “panic attack” over the backpack being lost.
On to San Francisco
Shanahan survived the Super Bowl setbacks, and was named head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in February, 2017.
The 49ers started slowly, but under Shanahan’s guidance they won six of their last seven games that year, but only won four games in 2018, primarily because of a serious knee injury that ended the season quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
2019 was a different story altogether, with the 49ers jumping out to an 8-0 record and winning 13 games altogether. That was enough to clinch a No. 1 seed in the National Football Conference playoffs, where the 49ers moved on to the Super Bowl after knocking off two stalwarts, the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers.
Kyle Shanahan’s coaching prowess impressed a lot of football gurus, but none more so than Mike Shanahan, who gave his son the nod as the best coach in the Shanahan family.
“He's so much further ahead than I was at the same age, it's not even close,” Shanahan said. “He's been around me, and he's been on the field. He's run routes against NFL defensive backs since he was a junior in high school. He's been in the locker room during the offseason program. The first time I was on a pro practice field was when I was 31 years old."
Shanahan's 49ers team played as well as they possibly could for three and a half quarters in Super Bowl LIV, running the ball effectively against the Chiefs defense and defensively stifling the normally potent Chiefs offense. With that 4th quarter about halfway through, the 49ers had a 20-10 lead. But the offense faltered and the defense suddenly struggled to contain Patrick Mahomes, Damien Williams and the rest of the Chiefs offense. When time expired, that 20-10 lead had become a 31-20 loss.
Kyle Shanahan has been married to his high school sweetheart Amanda “Mandy” O’Donnell since 2005. The couple has three children and reside in the Santa Clara, Ca. area.
Shanahan isn’t a big spender and prefers to stay out of the non-football limelight. His claim to fame in politics actually belongs to his sister Krystal, who was the college roommate of Jenna Bush, daughter of former President George W. Bush.
Based on Shanahan's success on the gridiron, money isn’t an issue for the Shanahan family due to his six-year contract worth $21 million to coach the 49ers, averaging $3.5 million per year.
Only 40-years-old, Shanahan is a sure bet to sign a new contract or two, for a lot more cash, and most likely with the 49ers – who know a winner when they see one.