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Mike Shanahan

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Title: Mike Shanahan  
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Collection: 1952 Births, American Football Quarterbacks, American People of Irish Descent, American Roman Catholics, Denver Broncos Head Coaches, East Leyden High School Alumni, Eastern Illinois Panthers Football Coaches, Eastern Illinois Panthers Football Players, Florida Gators Football Coaches, Living People, Los Angeles Raiders Head Coaches, Minnesota Golden Gophers Football Coaches, National Football League Offensive Coordinators, Northern Arizona Lumberjacks Football Coaches, Oklahoma Sooners Football Coaches, San Francisco 49Ers Coaches, Washington Redskins Executives, Washington Redskins Head Coaches
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Mike Shanahan

Mike Shanahan
Shanahan at Redskins training camp in 2011
Personal information
Date of birth (1952-08-24) August 24, 1952
Place of birth Oak Park, Illinois
Career information
College Eastern Illinois
Head coaching record
Regular season 169–137–0 (.552)
Postseason 8–6 (.571)
Career record 177–143–0 (.553)
Super Bowl wins 1998 XXXIII
1997 XXXII
1994 XXIX^
^ As offensive coordinator
Championships won

AFC 1998, 1997, 1987^, 1986^

NFC 1994^
^ As offensive coordinator
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1975 University of Oklahoma
(Offensive Assistant)
1976–1977 Northern Arizona University
(Running Backs Coach)
1978 Eastern Illinois University
(Offensive Coordinator)
1979 University of Minnesota
(Offensive Coordinator)
1980–1983 University of Florida
(Offensive Coordinator)
1984–1987 Denver Broncos
(Offensive Coordinator)
1988–1989 Los Angeles Raiders
(Head Coach)
1990–1991 Denver Broncos
(Offensive Assistant)
1992–1994 San Francisco 49ers
(Offensive Coordinator)
1995–2008 Denver Broncos
(Head coach)
2010–2013 Washington Redskins
(Head Coach)

Michael Edward "Mike" Shanahan (born August 24, 1952) is an American football coach, who has been the head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders, Denver Broncos, and Washington Redskins. He led the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl victories in 1998 and 1999.


  • Early career 1
  • NFL career 2
    • Assistant coaching stints 2.1
    • Los Angeles Raiders 2.2
    • San Francisco 49ers 2.3
    • Denver Broncos 2.4
    • Washington Redskins 2.5
  • Head coaching record 3
  • Accomplishments 4
  • Coaching tree 5
  • Personal 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early career

Shanahan played high school football at East Leyden High School, Franklin Park, Illinois, where he played wishbone quarterback for legendary Eagles coach Jack Leese's 1968 and 1969 teams. He held the single-game rushing record of 260 yards on 15 carries (which was set in a 32–8 win over Hinsdale South on September 20, 1969) until it was broken in 1976 by Dennis Cascio. He graduated from high school in June 1970.

He was a quarterback at Eastern Illinois University, where he joined Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. In 1972, a piercingly hard hit on the practice field ruptured one of his kidneys, which caused his heart to stop for thirty seconds and nearly killed him. A priest was summoned to administer the last rites to Shanahan, a devout Roman Catholic.[1][2]

With his playing career abruptly ended, Shanahan entered coaching. After graduation, he served as an assistant coach at Northern Arizona University and the University of Oklahoma. He then returned to his alma mater as offensive coordinator and helped his school win the Division II football championship. Shanahan worked as the offensive coordinator for the University of Minnesota for a single season, before accepting the same position at the University of Florida under head coach Charley Pell in 1980. Shanahan stayed with the Gators through 1983.

NFL career

Assistant coaching stints

Shanahan first served as a quarterbacks coach and later offensive coordinator for the Broncos under Dan Reeves in the 1980s. It was his skill as an offensive mind that garnered Shanahan the attention of maverick Los Angeles Raiders owner Al Davis. After Shanahan and the Raiders parted ways in 1989, Shanahan returned to the Broncos as an assistant. He was fired several years later by Reeves after finding himself in the middle of a growing feud between Reeves and quarterback John Elway.[3]

Los Angeles Raiders

Shanahan was hired by the Raiders in 1988 to replace longtime Raiders coach

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Rod Dowhower
Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Chan Gailey
Preceded by
Chan Gailey
Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
George Henshaw
Preceded by
Mike Holmgren
San Francisco 49ers Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Marc Trestman
Awards and achievements
  • Pro Football Reference profile
  • Database Football profile

External links

  1. ^ a b Fatsis, Stefan (July 1, 2008). "Inside the Mind of Mike Shanahan". The Wall Street Journal. 
  2. ^ Jenkins, Sally (August 23, 2010). "Albert Haynesworth has failed every test issued by Mike Shanahan". The Washington Post. 
  3. ^ Freeman, Mike (January 24, 1999). "SUPER BOWL XXXIII: A Rivalry Beyond the Game; Rift Makes Reeves and Shanahan More Competitive". New York Times. 
  4. ^ Lieber, Jill (October 23, 1989). "Dreams Do Come True". Sports Illustrated. 
  5. ^ Elvis Grbac: Mike Shanahan Ordered Me to Throw a Football at Al Davis’ Head. Larry Brown Sports (October 10, 2011). Retrieved on December 30, 2013.
  6. ^ "Broncos fire Shanahan after 14 seasons as head coach". December 31, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Sources: Mike Shanahan Turned Down Redskins Coaching Job". NFL Fanhouse. October 19, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Sources: Bills contact Shanahan". November 29, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Shanahan to coach Redskins". Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Shanahan to receive five-year deal with Redskins". Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  11. ^ Maese, Rick "Redskins owner Dan Snyder concedes the stage to Mike Shanahan", The Washington Post, January 7, 2010
  12. ^ "Kyle Shanahan: Offensive Coordinator". Washington Redskins. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Brown, Clifton (January 6, 2013). "Redskins vs. Seahawks: When it comes to RG3, short-term gain not worth risk of long-term pain". 
  14. ^ a b Durante, Tom (January 7, 2013). "Fan outrage after Redskins coach allows injured Robert Griffin III in playoff game before star quarterback suffers damaged knee in horror fall". MailOnline and Associated Press. 
  15. ^ Maske, Mark " Redskins weighing possible contract extension for Mike Shanahan", The Washington Post, December 31, 2012
  16. ^ Redskins coach Mike Shanahan blows off questions he wanted to quit. (December 8, 2013). Retrieved on December 30, 2013.
  17. ^ Starkey, JP (January 9, 2013) RGIII injury update: ACL surgery completed for Redskins QB.
  18. ^ Mike Shanahan’s fear of playing Robert Griffin III in preseason leaves him at odds with star QB. NY Daily News. August 17, 2013.
  19. ^ Shanahan confirms RG3 will start Week 1. Fox News (September 3, 2013). Retrieved on December 30, 2013.
  20. ^ Maske, Mark; Jones, Mike (December 30, 2013). "Redskins fire Mike Shanahan after four years as coach".  
  21. ^ Mike Shanahan Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks. (August 24, 1952). Retrieved on December 30, 2013.
  22. ^ Mike Shanahan Background – DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG. Retrieved on December 30, 2013.
  23. ^ "Mike Shanahan Background". My Fox DC. January 4, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Article: Shanahan says he's not interested in Notre Dame position". HighBeam Research. December 10, 2004. 
  25. ^ "Jenna Bush Weds Henry Hager at President's Ranch". Fox News. May 11, 2008. 
  26. ^ "President Bush to play father of bride Saturday; Broncos' Shanahan to attend". 9 News Colorado. May 10, 2008. 


See also

In May 2008, Shanahan attended the wedding of Jenna Bush, who was the former college roommate of Shanahan's daughter.[25][26]

Shanahan is a Roman Catholic.[1][23][24] He and his wife, Peggy, have two children — a son, Kyle, a graduate of the University of Texas and the current Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator, and a daughter, Krystal, also a graduate of the University of Texas. Shanahan is also a Brother in the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity.


Assistant coaches under Mike Shanahan who became NCAA head coaches:

Assistant coaches under Mike Shanahan who became NFL head coaches:

NFL head coaches under whom Mike Shanahan has served:

Coaching tree

  • Posted the most wins in National Football League history during a three-year period (46 in 1996–98).[22]
  • Won the most postseason games in history over a two-year period (seven, 1997–98).
  • Been undefeated and untied for three consecutive regular seasons (1996–98) at home, just the second team ever to be undefeated and untied at home in three consecutive years. The Miami Dolphins posted three consecutive seasons of untied undefeated home records from 1972 to 1974. Including playoff games, the Dolphins had won 31 consecutive home games from 1971 to 1974. Oddly enough, in 1999 on the opening Monday Night Football game, the Miami Dolphins ended the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos streak with a 38–21 win in Denver.
  • In 2004, he joined the exclusive club of head coaches to post 100 wins in his first 10 seasons with one club, finishing the campaign and decade tied for fourth on this list of 12 coaches, six of whom are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Has the second most victories against the Raiders with a record of 21–7. Only Marty Schottenheimer has a better W–L record against the Raiders (27–6).
  • Joins Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Jimmy Johnson and Bill Belichick as the only six coaches to win back-to-back Super Bowls.
  • He is the second coach in history to win two Super Bowl titles in his first four years coaching a team (Shula did it first with the Miami Dolphins in 1972 and 1973).
  • Highest winning percentage in Denver history (.646) and most wins in Denver history (138).
  • Shanahan is among nine coaches in pro football history to post four wins in one postseason along with Tom Flores, Joe Gibbs, Brian Billick, Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Tom Coughlin (twice) and Mike McCarthy and most recently, John Harbaugh.
  • The all-time high of 636 points in a season came from the 1994 Super Bowl Champion San Francisco 49ers, for whom Shanahan was the offensive coordinator. This was eclipsed during the 2007 season when the New England Patriots scored 589 points in the regular season and 66 points in the postseason for a total of 655 points. Ironically, that record was again broken in the 2013-2014 season when Shanahan's former team, the Denver Broncos, scored 606 points in the regular season and 58 in the postseason for a total of 664 points.
  • During his NFL career, Shanahan has been a part of teams that have played in 10 Conference Championship Games, in addition to his three Super Bowl appearances, two with Denver and Super Bowl XXIX with San Francisco.


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
LAR 1988 7 9 0 .438 3rd in AFC West
LAR 1989 1 3 0 .250 3rd in AFC West
LAR Total 8 12 0 .400 - - -
DEN 1995 8 8 0 .500 3rd in AFC West
DEN 1996 13 3 0 .813 1st in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Jacksonville Jaguars in AFC Divisional Game.
DEN 1997 12 4 0 .750 2nd in AFC West 4 0 1.000 Super Bowl XXXII Champions.
DEN 1998 14 2 0 .875 1st in AFC West 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl XXXIII Champions.
DEN 1999 6 10 0 .375 5th in AFC West
DEN 2000 11 5 0 .688 2nd in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Baltimore Ravens in AFC Wild-Card Game.
DEN 2001 8 8 0 .500 3rd in AFC West
DEN 2002 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC West
DEN 2003 10 6 0 .625 2nd in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Indianapolis Colts in AFC Wild-Card Game.
DEN 2004 10 6 0 .625 2nd in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Indianapolis Colts in AFC Wild-Card Game.
DEN 2005 13 3 0 .813 1st in AFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Championship Game.
DEN 2006 9 7 0 .563 3rd in AFC West
DEN 2007 7 9 0 .438 2nd in AFC West
DEN 2008 8 8 0 .500 2nd in AFC West
DEN Total 138 86 0 .616 8 5 .615
WAS 2010 6 10 0 .375 4th in NFC East
WAS 2011 5 11 0 .313 4th in NFC East
WAS 2012 10 6 0 .625 1st in NFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Seattle Seahawks in NFC Wild-Card Game
WAS 2013 3 13 0 .188 4th in NFC East
WAS Total 24 40 0 .375 0 1 .000
Total[21] 170 138 0 .552 8 6 .571

Head coaching record

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder fired Shanahan on December 30, 2013. The team finished 3–13 in the 2013 season, and was in last place in the NFC East division 3 of 4 seasons. Shanahan would have had a $7M salary for 2014, what would have been his last year on his contract. If Shanahan is able to find another coaching job, the new salary is deducted from his $7M, the difference is paid by the Redskins.[20]

Griffin underwent reconstructive surgery of his knee on January 9 and returned as the starter for the beginning of the 2013–2014 season, though Shanahan held him out of the preseason to protect him from further injury.[17][18][19] The team continued to struggle in 2013. With the final three games of the regular season, Shanahan decided to make Griffin inactive for the rest of the season because Shanahan thought it was best for both Griffin's and the Redskins' future.

Shanahan had a combined 11–21 record in his first two seasons as Redskins coach, followed by a 3–6 start to the 2012 season, but ended the year with a seven-game winning streak on the way to the team's first NFC East title and home playoff game since the 1999 season. During this season Shanahan also continued his trend of developing unheralded draft picks into 1000-yard rushers, with the 6th-rounder Alfred Morris. The Redskins lost in the Wild Card round of the 2012 NFL Playoffs to the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 14–24, during which his quarterback Robert Griffin III sustained a tear of his LCL and a damaged ACL to his previously injured knee.[13][14] Shanahan came under criticism for his handling of the injury, both in bringing Griffin back to play after the initial injury on Dec 9 and keeping him in the game against the Seahawks after reinjuring the knee.[13][14] While there were reports in December 2012 that the Redskins were considering negotiating a contract extension with Shanahan in the 2013 offseason, this did not happen and there were later reports that Shanahan had considered resigning after the end of the year.[15][16]

Shanahan's son, Kyle Shanahan, became the offensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins on January 20, 2010.[12]

On January 5, 2010, Shanahan was formally introduced as the Redskins' 24th full-time head coach. As part of the deal, he was also named vice president of football operations, with the final say on football matters. He was one of several coaches who also had the title or powers of general manager, along with New England's Bill Belichick and others.[9] Shanahan was signed to a five-year, $35 million contract.[10] Several months earlier, Bruce Allen was named the team's general manager. Shanahan and Allen split the duties held by a general manager, with Shanahan having the final say.[11] This model is similar to how Belichick and Scott Pioli worked during their eight years in New England.

In the early part of the 2009 season, it was reported that the Washington Redskins were interested in naming Shanahan their head coach, replacing Jim Zorn. Although this was reported by several media outlets, the Redskins' Vice President of Football Operations, Vinny Cerrato, stated that a coaching change would not be considered until the end of the season.[7] On November 18, 2009 ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Buffalo Bills had contacted Shanahan about their head coaching vacancy after the team parted ways with former coach Dick Jauron.[8]

Shanahan August 5, 2010 at Redskins Park
Mike Shanahan at an Open Practice on August 5, 2010 at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA

Washington Redskins

In 1999, with the assistance of writer Adam Schefter, Shanahan penned Think Like a Champion, a motivational book about leadership. It was published by Harper Collins. In 2006, he cooperated with Stefan Fatsis's endeavor to spend a year as a Broncos place-kicker, and much of the resulting book A Few Seconds of Panic (2008) covers Shanahan's coaching from the player's point of view. On December 30, 2008, Shanahan was fired after the Broncos failed to make the playoffs during the 2008 NFL season.[6] It was the third consecutive year in which Denver didn't make the playoffs and the Broncos had spent most of the season well ahead of their division.

After Elway's retirement and Davis' career-ending injuries, Shanahan went seven years without a playoff win (including three seasons when the Broncos didn't even make the playoffs), a drought which caused some criticism from fans. The playoff drought ended on January 14, 2006 when the Broncos defeated the two-time defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs at Invesco Field at Mile High.

Shanahan is known for a run-heavy variation of the West Coast offense he coached in San Francisco. He has often found unheralded running backs from later rounds of the annual NFL Draft and then turned them into league-leading rushers behind small-but-powerful offensive lines. Examples of this phenomenon are Terrell Davis, Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, Clinton Portis, Reuben Droughns and Tatum Bell, all of whom have had at least one 1,000-yard season in a Denver uniform over the past 10 years.

Between 1996–1998, the Broncos set the NFL record for victories by going 46–10 over a three-year span. The 1998 Broncos won their first 13 games on their way to a 14–2 mark. Shanahan, taking his cue from West Coast offense guru Bill Walsh, was well known for scripting the first 15 offensive plays of the game, and helped the 1998 Broncos set an NFL record for first quarter points scored in a season. In 2005, he passed Dan Reeves as the winningest coach in franchise history.

Shanahan's success with the 49ers earned him a head coaching spot once more, this time back in Denver with the Broncos beginning in 1995. He led the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl championships in the 1997 and 1998 seasons, during which time the Broncos set a then-record for victories in two seasons.

Denver Broncos

Mike Shanahan at a 2014 press conference

In 1992, Shanahan was hired as offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl XXIX after the 1994 season. His years under Seifert placed him in the Bill Walsh coaching tree. In 1994 while coaching for the 49ers, Shanahan added to the ongoing feud between him and Raiders owner Al Davis when he had then QB Elvis Grbac throw a football at Davis' head.[5]

San Francisco 49ers

Shanahan's final Raiders record was 8–12 in less than two seasons, going 2–7 after a 6–5 start. [4]

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