Hours after Super Bowl loss, Shanahan joins 49ers

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Kyle Shanahan is joining the San Francisco 49ers as coach, leaving the role of the Atlanta Falcons's offensive coordinator (AFP Photo/Tim Warner)
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San Francisco (AFP) - Hours after his team lost Super Bowl 51, Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was named as the new coach of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.

Shanahan, who masterminded the league's most prolific scoring attack this season, watched the Falcons seize a 25-point lead only to watch the New England Patriots make the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history for a 34-28 overtime victory.

At 37, Shanahan becomes the NFL's second-youngest head coach after his Los Angeles Rams counterpart, Sean McVay.

Shanahan, the son of long-time NFL coach Mike Shanahan, is the 20th coach in 49ers history but their third in three seasons, replacing the fired Chip Kelly after a dismal 2-14 campaign.

"It is truly an honor to be named head coach of the San Francisco 49ers," Shanahan said.

"As this team begins the task of reestablishing that standard, I could not ask for a better partner than (general manager) John Lynch. I look forward to establishing a strong culture that will serve as our foundation for constructing this team."

Shanahan's Falcons averaged an NFL-best 33.8 points a game this season, his second in the post with Atlanta after one season in the same job with Cleveland and three seasons as Washington's offensive coordinator.

But he takes over an offensive unit that finished next-to-last in the NFL in yards per game this past season.