Mike Shanahan: Wikis


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Mike Shanahan
Mike Shanahan and Bill Belichick talking at a New England Patriots training camp on August 4, 2009.
Date of birth August 24, 1952 (1952-08-24) (age 57)
Place of birth Oak Park, Illinois
Position(s) Head Coach
College Eastern Illinois
Career record 138-90-0 (Regular Season)
8-5 (Postseason)
146-95-0 (Overall)
Super Bowl
1998 Super Bowl XXXIII
1997 Super Bowl XXXII
1994 Super Bowl XXIX
(Offensive Coordinator)
1998 AFC Championship
1997 AFC Championship
1994 NFC Championship
(Offensive Coordinator)
1987 AFC Championship
(Offensive Coordinator)
1986 AFC Championship
(Offensive Coordinator)
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a coach/administrator











University of Oklahoma
(Offensive Assistant)
Northern Arizona University
(Running Backs Coach)
Eastern Illinois University
(Offensive Coordinator)
University of Minnesota
(Offensive Coordinator)
University of Florida
(Offensive Coordinator)
Denver Broncos
(Wide Receivers Coach)
Denver Broncos
(Offensive Coordinator)
Los Angeles Raiders
(Head Coach)
Denver Broncos
(Quarterbacks Coach)
San Francisco 49ers
(Offensive Coordinator)
Denver Broncos
(Head Coach)
Washington Redskins
(Head Coach)

Michael Edward Shanahan (born August 24, 1952) is the 28th and current head coach of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. Shanahan also holds the title of Vice President of Football Operations with the Redskins, giving him full control over player personnel with the team. Shanahan previously coached the Los Angeles Raiders and the Denver Broncos. He led the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl victories in 1997 and 1998. His son, Kyle Shanahan, is the Offensive Coordinator of the Redskins.


Early career

Shanahan played high school football at East Leyden High School, Franklin Park, Illinois where he played wishbone quarterback. He had the single-game rushing record until 1976 when it was broken by Dennis Cascio. The record is now held by Ricky Emery. Shanahan was an undersized quarterback at Eastern Illinois University in the 1970s before a hard hit on the practice field ruptured one of his kidneys, stopping his heart for thirty seconds and nearly killing him.

With his playing career abruptly ended, Shanahan entered coaching. After graduation, he served as an assistant coach at Northern Arizona University and the University of Oklahoma. He then returned to his alma mater as offensive coordinator and helped his school win the Division II football championship. Before making the jump to the NFL, Shanahan worked at the University of Minnesota for a year before heading to Florida in the early 1980s to help establish them as an offensive powerhouse.

NFL career

Shanahan served as a quarterbacks coach and later offensive coordinator for the Broncos under Dan Reeves in the 1980s and had a brief stint as the head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders in 1988–89. He went 8–12 with the Raiders in less than two seasons before being fired and returning to the Broncos as an offensive assistant again under Reeves. Shanahan was later fired by Reeves after finding himself in the middle of a growing feud between Reeves and quarterback John Elway.


San Francisco 49ers

In 1992, Shanahan was hired as offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers on George Seifert's staff, capping his rise with a victory in Super Bowl XXIX after the 1994 season. The 49ers offense that year has been hailed as one of the greatest of all time, with the likes of Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Brent Jones, John Taylor, William Floyd and Ricky Watters scoring points in flurries. His years under Seifert placed him in the Bill Walsh coaching tree.

Denver Broncos

Shanahan's success with the 49ers earned him a head coaching spot once more, this time back in Denver with the Broncos beginning in 1995. Shanahan led Elway and the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl championships in the 1997 and 1998 seasons, during which time the Broncos set a then-record for victories in two seasons. He was the last coach to win two consecutive titles until New England's Bill Belichick did it during the 2003 and 2004 NFL seasons. Between 1996-1998, the Broncos set the NFL record for victories by going 46–10 over a three-year span. The 1998 Broncos won their first 13 games on their way to a 14–2 mark. Shanahan, taking his cue from West Coast offense guru Bill Walsh, was well-known for scripting the first 15 offensive plays of the game, and helped the '98 Broncos set an NFL record for first quarter points scored in a season.

Shanahan is known for a run-heavy variation of the West Coast offense he coached in San Francisco. He has often found unheralded running backs from later rounds of the annual NFL Draft and then turned them into league-leading rushers behind small-but-powerful offensive lines. Examples of this phenomenon are Terrell Davis, Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, Clinton Portis, Reuben Droughns and Tatum Bell, all of whom have had at least one 1,000-yard season in a Denver uniform over the past 10 years.

Shanahan faced criticism for not delivering a playoff victory since Elway's retirement and Davis' career-ending injuries. The playoff drought ended on January 14, 2006 when the Broncos defeated the two-time defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs at Invesco Field at Mile High.

In 1999, with the assistance of writer Adam Schefter, Shanahan penned Think Like a Champion, a motivational book about leadership. It was published by Harper Collins. In 2006, he cooperated with Stefan Fatsis's endeavor to spend a year as a Broncos place-kicker, and much of the resulting book A Few Seconds of Panic (2008) covers Shanahan's coaching from the player's point of view.

On December 30, 2008, Shanahan was fired after the Broncos failed to make the playoffs during the 2008 NFL season.[1] It was the third consecutive year in which Denver didn't make the playoffs and the Broncos had spent most of the season well ahead of their division, but injuries (e.g. going through seven starting running backs) caused Denver to lose the last three games (winning any of which would have guaranteed a playoff spot) and finishing with an 8-8 record. Shanahan had a coaching record of 24-24 over those three seasons. Former Broncos Kicker Jason Elam speaks about the firing of his longtime coach, "He’s a tremendous coach. I respect him a lot. He’s done a lot for that city and that organization. I was very surprised. I think most people were.”[2]

In the early 2009 NFL Season, it was reported that the Washington Redskins were after Shanahan for their head coach, replacing Jim Zorn. Although this was reported by several media outlets, the Washington Redskins Vice President of Football Operations, Vinny Ceratto, stated that a coaching change would not be considered until the end of the season.[3] On November 18, 2009 ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Buffalo Bills had contacted Shanahan about their head coaching vacancy after the team parted ways with former coach Dick Jauron.[4] The Redskins rumor resurfaced following the firing of Jim Zorn on January 4, 2010.

Washington Redskins

On January 5, 2010, Shanahan was hired as head coach and Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Washington Redskins. He will have the final say in football matters, thus making him one of three coaches who also have the title or powers of general manager (along with New England's Bill Belichick and Philadelphia's Andy Reid.[5] Shanahan was signed to a five-year, $35 million contract.[6]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
LAR 1988 7 9 0 .438 3rd in AFC West - - - -
LAR 1989 1 3 0 .250 3rd in AFC West - - - -
LAR Total 8 12 0 .400 - - -
DEN 1995 8 8 0 .500 3rd in AFC West - - - -
DEN 1996 13 3 0 .813 1st in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Jacksonville Jaguars in AFC Divisional Game.
DEN 1997 12 4 0 .750 2nd in AFC West 4 0 1.000 Super Bowl XXXII Champions.
DEN 1998 14 2 0 .875 1st in AFC West 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl XXXIII Champions.
DEN 1999 6 10 0 .375 5th in AFC West - - - -
DEN 2000 11 5 0 .688 2nd in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Baltimore Ravens in AFC Wild-Card Game.
DEN 2001 8 8 0 .500 3rd in AFC West - - - -
DEN 2002 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC West - - - -
DEN 2003 10 6 0 .625 2nd in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Indianapolis Colts in AFC Wild-Card Game.
DEN 2004 10 6 0 .625 2nd in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Indianapolis Colts in AFC Wild-Card Game.
DEN 2005 13 3 0 .813 1st in AFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Championship Game.
DEN 2006 9 7 0 .563 3rd in AFC West - - - -
DEN 2007 7 9 0 .438 2nd in AFC West - - - -
DEN 2008 8 8 0 .500 2nd in AFC West - - - -
DEN Total 138 86 0 .616 8 5 .615
WAS 2010                  
WAS Total 0 0 0 .000   0 0 .000
Total[7] 146 98 0 .598 8 5 .615


  • Posted the most wins in pro football history during a three-year period (46 in 1996–98).
  • Won the most postseason games in history over a two-year period (seven, 1997–98).
  • Been undefeated and untied for three consecutive regular seasons (1996–98) at home, just the second team ever to be undefeated and untied at home in three consecutive years. The Miami Dolphins posted three consecutive seasons of untied undefeated home records from 1972 to 1974. Including playoff games, the Dolphins had won 31 consecutive home games from 1971 to 1974. Oddly enough, in 1999 on the opening Monday Night Football game, the Miami Dolphins ended the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos streak with a 38–21 win in Denver.
  • In 2004, he joined the exclusive club of head coaches to post 100 wins in his first 10 seasons with one club, finishing the campaign and decade tied for fourth on this list of 12 coaches, six of whom are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Has the second most victories against the Oakland Raiders with a record of 21–7. Only Marty Schottenheimer has a better W–L record with a 27–6 record against the Raiders.
  • Joins Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Jimmy Johnson and Bill Belichick as the only six coaches to win back-to-back Super Bowls.
  • He is the second coach in history to win two Super Bowl titles in his first four years coaching a team (Shula did it first with the Miami Dolphins in 1972 and 1973 and Belichick did it later, winning two Super Bowls in his first four seasons in New England in 2001 and 2003).
  • Highest winning percentage in Denver history (.646).
  • Shanahan is among seven coaches in pro football history to post four wins in one postseason along with Tom Flores, Joe Gibbs, Brian Billick, Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy and Tom Coughlin.
  • The all-time high of 636 points in a season came from the 1994 Super Bowl Champion San Francisco 49ers, for whom Shanahan was the offensive coordinator. This was eclipsed during the 2007 season when the New England Patriots scored 589 points in the regular season and 66 points in the postseason for a total of 655 points.
  • During his NFL career, Shanahan has been a part of teams that have played in 10 Conference Championship Games, in addition to his six Super Bowl appearances, five with Denver and Super Bowl XXIX with San Francisco.


Shanahan is a practicing Roman Catholic.[8][9] He and his wife, Peggy, have two children — a son, Kyle, a graduate of the University of Texas and currently the Washington Redskins’ offensive coordinator, and a daughter, Krystal, also a graduate of the University of Texas. Shanahan is also a Brother in the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity.

In May 2008, Shanahan attended the wedding of George W. Bush's daughter Jenna Bush, who was the former college roommate of Shanahan's daughter.[10][11]


  1. ^ Broncos fire Shanahan after 14 seasons as head coach
  2. ^ Falcons Notebook: Michael Turner racking up awards
  3. ^ http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2009/10/19/sources-mike-shanahan-turned-down-redskins-coaching-job
  4. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4667849
  5. ^ "Shanahan to coach Redskins". http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4799532. Retrieved 6 January 2010.  
  6. ^ "Shanahan to receive five-year deal with Redskins". http://blogs.nfl.com/2010/01/05/shanahan-will-receive-five-year-deal-to-coach-redskins/. Retrieved 6 January 2010.  
  7. ^ Mike Shanahan Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks - Pro-Football-Reference.com
  8. ^ http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/sports/mike-shanahan-background-010410
  9. ^ http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-126025266.html
  10. ^ Jenna Bush Weds Henry Hager at President's Ranch
  11. ^ President Bush to play father of bride Saturday; Broncos' Shanahan to attend

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Wade Phillips
Denver Broncos Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Josh McDaniels
Preceded by
Mike Holmgren
San Francisco 49ers Offensive Coordinators
Succeeded by
Marc Trestman
Preceded by
Chan Gailey
Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinators
Succeeded by
George Henshaw
Preceded by
Tom Flores
Oakland Raiders Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Art Shell
Preceded by
Rod Dowhower
Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinators
Succeeded by
Chan Gailey
Preceded by
Jim Zorn
Washington Redskins Head Coaches
Succeeded by
Current coach
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mike Holmgren
Super Bowl Winning Head Coaches
Super Bowl XXXII, 1998
Super Bowl XXXIII, 1999
Succeeded by
Dick Vermeil


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