Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports



Former Los Angeles Raiders, Denver Broncos, and Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan was on hand for the San Francisco 49ers' practice on Wednesday. Shanahan is the father of current 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.


Prior to the hiring of Shanahan or general manager John Lynch, the eldest Shanahan was linked to the 49ers' front office via rumors and speculation. In late January, Kyle Shanahan told Yahoo! Sports' Charles Robinson that his father would not be joining the 49ers in any official capacity but that he would still lean on him for advice during his first head coaching job.

Mike Shanahan was involved in the 49ers' search for a head coach last year, but the team ultimately decided to hire Chip Kelly. The previous year, the 49ers met with Shanahan for six hours before deciding to hire Jim Tomsula as their head coach. Shortly after news surfaced that Jim Harbaugh would be fired following the 2014 season, there was a report that general manager Trent Baalke had reached out to Shanahan. However, it is unknown how far those talks went.

Kyle Shanahan has indicated that his father might be present at some team practices in a bit of an unofficial advisor role to him. The new 49ers head coach has already had an opportunity to work with his father during his time as Washington's offensive coordinator. Mike Shanahan was the head coach in Washington at the time.

"If my dad had ever passed away and I had never coached with him before, that's something that would have been real hard on me because that's something I wanted to do my whole life," Kyle Shanahan told Peter King of TheMMQB in January. "I got that opportunity. I wish it could have gone a little bit better. But I think it was something I needed to do. Even though it was hard, it made me stronger and I wouldn't take it back for anything. My dad and I have always been close and that was the first time I really got to see him as a coach, being a coach, and he's a hell of a coach. I don't regret anything there."

Mike Shanahan served as the 49ers offensive coordinator from 1992 until 1994 and helped the team win Super Bowl XXIX. He went on to win two more Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos.