The San Francisco 49ers are expected to introduce Kyle Shanahan as their next head coach shortly after the Super Bowl. At that point, he can begin formally filling out his coaching staff. We have heard rumors of potential candidates, and who might not return. That will only grow in the coming week. In the meantime, John Lynch has begun the process of building out his front office, hiring Adam Peters from the Denver Broncos as Vice President of Player Personnel.
There could be an interesting name out there that has not yet been connected to the 49ers. Former Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak quit his job last month due to the toll it was taking on his health. Now, he is planning a return to football, albeit not as a head coach.
Kubiak told the Denver Post that he wants to do something, but he seems to be more focused on a personnel role than a coaching role.
“I’ve had some great conversations around the league with some people. Is that personnel? I don’t know. I talked to some colleges about various situations that are very interesting to me,” Kubiak said. “What I’m going to do is make sure I take a good break here — it’s only been a month — then I’m going to make a decision and go get after it. I’m hoping within the next couple of months I’ll decide on where I want to go next and what I want to do.
“My next stop is not going to be coaching, and I’m kind of excited about that because there are a lot of things about the game that I’ve always loved. I love evaluating, I love the draft, I love evaluating players and doing those types of things. I had some really interesting conversations with some colleges. So we’ll see.”
Kubiak has significant connections to both Lynch and Shanahan. Kubiak was the Broncos offensive coordinator when Lynch signed with the team in 2004. Lynch has been a color analyst for Broncos preseason games the past three years, which likely involved plenty of interaction with Kubiak.
Kubiak has plenty of connections to Kyle Shanahan. Kubiak was a backup quarterback for the Broncos when Mike Shanahan was offensive coordinator from 1984-1987. He worked as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for Shanahan when the latter was head coach of the Broncos. Kubiak then served as head coach of the Houston Texans from 2006 to 2013. When he joined Houston, Kubiak hired Kyle Shanahan as his wide receivers coach. Kyle served as WRs coach in 2006, quarterbacks coach in 2007, and offensive coordinator in 2008 and 2009.
All of this is to say, there are plenty of connections that would make this a sensible possibility. Kubiak said he is going to take a couple months to figure out what he will do next. Maybe he ends up as a senior personnel advisor, or some other generically titled job, serving as a consultant to Shanahan and Lynch. Nothing could happen, but given Kubiak’s interest in getting back, it certainly makes a world of sense.