If you’re an NFL fan, you’ve probably heard the name “Shanahan” before.
And if you’re going to watch Sunday’s NFC Championship Game between the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers, you’ll be hearing it a lot.
Kyle Shanahan is the offensive coordinator for the high-flying Falcons, whose 33.8 points per game led the NFL in the regular season. They did even better in the Divisional Round game, putting up 36 on the Seahawks, who had the third-best scoring defense in the league this year.
Kyle is the son of Mike Shanahan, winner of two Super Bowls as the head coach of the Denver Broncos and another as a San Francisco 49ers assistant.
About those 49ers — it’s being reported the team will offer Kyle Shanahan their vacant head coaching job and he’s expected to accept. But NFL rules won’t allow the team and coach to officially agree on a contract until the Falcons’ season is over.
In the meantime, keep reading to learn more about Kyle Shanahan, his father and the rest of his family, including his wife and children:
1. Kyle Shanahan was Born in Minnesota, but Grew up in Colorado
With a father as a football coach, the Shanahans moved around the country quite often.
Kyle, 37, was born on December 14, 1979, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mike and Peggy Shanahan. At the time, Mike Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. He left for a stint at the University of Florida, then ended up with the Denver Broncos in 1984.
Kyle attended Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado. He accepted a scholarship to play football for Duke but transferred to Texas, where he was a wide receiver for the Longhorns.
He was on the Texas team in 2001 and 2002 and finished his career with 14 receptions for 127 yards (9.1 average). Teammates included future NFL running back Cedric Benson and wide receiver Roy Williams.
Shanahan graduated from UT in 2003 and soon found himself in the NFL — but not as a player.
2. He has Been Coaching in the NFL Since 2004
Shanahan wasn’t drafted, so playing wasn’t exactly an option. But as the saying goes, “like father, like son.”
The younger Shanahan went directly into coaching, serving as a graduate assistant for the UCLA Bruins. Yet he didn’t stay long.
The following season, Shanahan landed the offensive quality control coordinator position for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2004, 2005).
His next stop was the Houston Texans in 2006. He served one season as the wide receivers coach, the 2007 campaign as the quarterbacks coach, then Shanahan was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2008.
Shanahan has also been the coordinator for the Washington Redskins (2010-2013) and the Cleveland Browns (2014) before being hired for the same role with the Falcons.
Here’s a rundown of his coaching career: UCLA (2003 Graduate assistant); Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2004–2005 Offensive quality control coordinator); Houston Texans (2006 Wide receivers coach); Houston Texans (2007 Quarterbacks coach); Houston Texans (2008–2009 Offensive coordinator); Washington Redskins (2010–2013 Offensive coordinator); Cleveland Browns (2014 Offensive coordinator) Atlanta Falcons (2015–present Offensive coordinator)
The question now becomes: Is Shanahan moving to the Bay Area for the 49ers job?
3. Father Mike Shanahan Won Back-to-Back Super Bowls With the Broncos
You know what they say: “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
That’s definitely the case for the Shanahans. Kyle’s father, Mike Shanahan, is a former NFL head coach with the Los Angeles Raiders, Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins. He won three Super Bowls — one as the offensive coordinator of the San Francisco and two as the head coach of the Denver Broncos.
Mike Shanahan was at the helm for the 1997-98 and 1998-99 titles, the final two years of John Elway’s run as the Broncos quarterback.
Shanahan, though, never made it back to another Super Bowl and was fired by Denver after the 2008 season.
He stayed off the sidelines for the 2009 season, but was hired to be the head coach of the Washington Redskins on January 5, 2010. A few days later, he tabbed Kyle Shanahan to be the offensive coordinator.
Mike Shanahan went just 24-40 in four seasons, failing to win a playoff game. He was fired by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder at the end of the 2013 season.
Kyle Shanahan also left the team and joined the Cleveland Browns as their offensive coordinator, but that lasted just the 2014 season. He then joined the Falcons in 2015 in the same capacity. Kyle Shanahan’s Falcons were the highest-scoring team during the 2016-17 year.
4. Kyle’s Sister was a College Roommate of Jenna Bush
Shanahan has one sibling, a younger sister named Krystal.
Krystal attended the University of Texas, where she was a roommate with Jenna Bush Hager, the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush.
In fact, Mike Shanahan attended the wedding of Jenna Bush and Henry Chase Hager on May 10, 2008, at the Bush’s private ranch in Texas.
5. He is Married With 3 Children
Shanahan is married to the former Amanda O’Donnell. “Mandy” and Kyle have been together since they were teenagers, meeting when they were students at Cherry Hills High School in Colorado.
While Shanahan went on to play football in college, Mandy stayed in state, studying English Literature at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
The couple married on July 5, 2005, when Kyle was 25-years-old.
They now have three young children — two daughters (Stella and Lexi) and a son (Carter).