It took several weeks to happen, but it is finally officially official. The San Francisco 49ers announced on Monday afternoon that Kyle Shanahan will be their next head coach. It was the worst kept secret the past two weeks that Shanahan would get the job, and the two sides finalized the deal following the Super Bowl.
Shanahan is the 21st coach in 49ers history, if we’re counting Jim Tomsula’s one-game interim status back in 2010. He is the fourth coach in as many years for a franchise that has been struggling mightily for just as long. After Jim Harbaugh was mutually parted after the 2014 season, the team promoted defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. He was fired a year later following a 5-11 season, and replaced by Chip Kelly. After a 2-14 season, Jed York decided to again fire his head coach, while also firing general manager Trent Baalke.
Shanahan will be joined by new general manager John Lynch. The 49ers hired Lynch entirely out of the blue a week ago, surprising pretty much everybody. Lynch called Shanahan to discuss the job, and things quickly developed from there. The team did not provide a specific timeline for who would be hired first, but it eventually developed into formally hiring the GM after the coach had been decided.
Shanahan is expected to have control of the team’s 53-man roster, while Lynch will control the 90-man roster. Lynch will handle free agency, the draft, and trades, while Shanahan will handle roster cuts. However, given the split of duties, teamwork will be critical to get the roster back into some semblance of shape. Teamwork is always important, but given how badly the past few years have gone, splitting up the duties will hopefully result in a solid partnership.