So, in case you didn’t hear, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have signed new contract extensions through 2027. Considering that Shanahan had to essentially rebuild the team after his predecessors mismanaged roster after roster, and turned it into a Super Bowl contender (as well as multiple NFC Championship game appearances) it was a good move. Shanahan’s contract goes through 2027 and should he make it all the way through, he has a chance to pass Bill Walsh for longest tenured coach in 49ers history.
Obviously, he’s got to get to 2027 first. Everyone knows it’s rare for an NFL head coach to ride off into the sunset in a lame duck year and call it a career. It’s either resigning early or getting canned. Barring total disaster (like the 49ers trading 10 first rounders to draft a tight end bust at No. 2), Shanahan is someone that could get to 2027 and pass Walsh’ s 10 years.
The reason I bring this up is for two reasons. One, it’s another attempt to talk about Kyle Shanahan and Bill Walsh in the same post. Two, it’s a good time to remind everyone of the York Family’s hires. Before Shanahan, the longest-tenured coach with the team under York ownership was Steve Mariucci. If you want to get technical, the Yorks took over from Eddie DeBartolo in 2001, which would be Mariucci's final two years. \
In that stretch the longest tenured coach who spent their entire time with the Yorks as owners? Jim Harbaugh who made it four years. Right behind Harbaugh in length of time was Mike Nolan who made it roughly three and a half years before getting fired.
This was a knock on the Yorks since they took over: they couldn’t get out of their own way and made hires everyone knew wouldn’t last.
There was Dennis Erickson whose abilities included making the 49ers bad enough to pick first in the 2005 NFL Draft (which was the Alex Smith pick). Jim Tomsula who was an absolute disaster, but in hindsight the leading candidate was Adam Gase, so no matter what, the 49ers got someone who could screw up a cup of coffee. And then Chip Kelly. The latter two both got a single season before getting shown the door.
Honorable mention goes to Mike Singletary who may have wanted another year or two to find the winners he wanted.
Man, this was a rough time to be a 49ers fan. Mariucci showed promise but that didn’t last. The 49ers looked like they got the culture and leadership they needed with Jim Harbaugh, but we know how that turned out. And the other coaches? Even the ones who made it past the first year it was hard to really take them seriously.
Thank goodness we haven’t had to deal with this for the last six years with Shanahan, who is the longest hire for the Yorks and will probably be sticking around for the foreseeable future.
Not one part of me looks at the revolving door of head coaches and says, “Oh yes, two-three year deals. Yes, let’s go back to that.”