The San Francisco 49ers finished the regular season with a 12-5 record, earning them the No. 1 seed in the NFC as they prepare for a playoff run.
It was a successful year for the 49ers, who saw quarterback Brock Purdy emerge in the MVP conversation for portions of the season, running back Christian McCaffrey arguably have the best year of his career, and many other players reach elite-level heights.
Additionally, it seemed to be head coach Kyle Shanahan’s best year of his coaching career, leading one to presume that he should be in the conversation for Coach of the Year.
In our latest podcast episode, we handed out awards for the 49ers’ 2023 season, while discussing whether Shanahan should be the Coach of the Year, or even the best coach on his team this year.
The video for the show is embedded above, while the audio is available below.
Reflecting on his career with the 49ers, it’s intriguing that Kyle Shanahan has never won a Coach of the Year award with San Francisco, despite reaching the NFC Championship game four times over the last five years.
In 2019, when the 49ers jumped from a 4-12 record to 13-3 and first place in the NFC, Shanahan was second to Baltimore’s John Harbaugh, as the Ravens went 14-2 during the regular season.
In 2021, the 49ers significantly struggled to begin the season, starting off 2-4 before pulling off a wildcard appearance with a 10-7 record. Shanahan was not considered for the award that year.
Then, in 2022, Shanahan led the 49ers to a 13-4 record and the No. 2 seed in the NFC, but the prominent head coach was No. 2 again in Coach of the Year voting to New York’s Brian Daboll, who led the Giants to their first winning record since 2016.
Now in 2023, Shanahan is once again in the race, but isn’t in the Top 3, odds-wise, as Kevin Stefanski is the current leader, while DeMeco Ryans and Dan Campbell have the second and third-best odds to win the award.
Unfortunately, it seems that it’ll be yet another year without an award for Kyle Shanahan, despite arguably his most successful year as a head coach.