When Kyle Shanahan finished his fifth year as the 49ers’ head coach, he joined some elite company. In the 76-year history of the franchise, only five other men had ever served as head coach for at least five seasons. On today’s Oh, Hey There! Podcast Jason Aponte and Leo Luna compared the first five seasons of the last two people ever to do it: Shanahan and Steve Mariucci.
First, some context.
When Steve Mariucci took over the 49ers, they inherited a silver spoon. San Francisco had won at least 10 games for 14 straight seasons. They were led by a hall of fame quarterback and featured a roster stocked with stars. Mooch’s task was both simple and difficult: continue the legacy built by Bill Walsh and George Seifert and capture a sixth Lombardi trophy.
When Kyle Shanahan took over the 49ers, he inherited ashes. A once-mighty roster had eroded over the previous four seasons. The locker room was fractured, and the team was a national punchline that had almost as many head coaches (4) as Pro Bowlers (5) in that time frame. His task was simple and difficult: restore the 49ers to Bill Walsh and George Seifert glory days by capturing a sixth Lombardi trophy.
Mariucci’s first five seasons started great before falling off a cliff after the unexpected retirement of Steve Young knocked the 49ers into a different orbit. Ultimately the team went 47-33 with one division title, three playoff appearances, and one conference title game appearance. While the team did spend two years in quarterback purgatory, it should be noted that they did return to the light of the playoffs in Mooch’s fifth season.
As you all know, Kyle Shanahan’s tenure has been the opposite. Struggling out of the gate thanks to a bare-bones roster, the 49ers slowly stocked the cupboard to build one of the league’s best teams. Kyle is currently 39-42 with one division title, two playoff appearances, two NFC title games, and a Super Bowl appearance.
Ultimately, both coaching tenures will be defined by quarterbacks wearing number five. Jeff Garcia helped pull the team from perdition in 2001 to begin life after Steve Young. Despite some memorable games, Garcia was never going to be the long-term answer at the position. Now more than two decades later, Trey Lance will try and keep Kyle Shanahan around for at least five more years.
Other topics on today’s show
- Why is PFF doing the 49ers wrong again? (3:58)
- Who on the 2022 schedule has a better roster than the 49ers?
- Bears (5:40)
- Seahawks (5:46)
- Broncos (8:42)
- Rams (11:27)
- Panthers (15:51)
- Falcons (16:12)
- Chiefs (16:22)
- Chargers (19:25)
- How Leo tried to bait Keenan Allen into playing football against him (20:35)
- Saints (23:59)
- Dolphins (28:57)
- Buccaneers (31:55)
- Commanders (34:41)
- Raiders (34:46)
- Cardinals (38:21)
- Why Jason doesn’t care about Jerry Rice’s Trey Lance thoughts (38:54)
- Whose first five years would you rather have: Steve Mariucci or Kyle Shanahan? (44:42)