49ers floated idea of Shanahan father-son takeover in 2015 interview originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The father-son duo of Mike and Kyle Shanahan could have made its way to the 49ers in 2015.
Kyle eventually would be named San Francisco's head coach in 2017, but there might have been an opportunity for him to coach for the 49ers sooner than he did.
49ers owner Jed York joined The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on the latest episode of "The TK Show" podcast, where he reflected on interviewing Mike Shanahan for the head coaching position after the team parted ways with Jim Harbaugh.
York was impressed with Shanahan, but wanted longevity out of his next coach, which wouldn't have been the case for a then-62-year-old Shanahan. In the interview, York recalls the idea of possibly bringing on both of the Shanahans, with the goal of Kyle eventually taking over for his father.
"Mike was clearly the most talented guy that we talked to, but part of it, and I think his experience with Kyle in Washington was a great father-son experience, but they obviously had some issues with the media and that didn't end well for them," York said.
"When you talk about longevity, I was hoping for something that can have a 10, 20, 25-year coaching relationship, which was probably not going to be the case with Mike Shanahan at that point in his career. And part of the conversations was about Kyle and was Kyle somebody that you'd want to bring with you and then maybe take over in four years? Is there somebody else from your coaching tree? And that's kind of where things didn't materialize."
The 49ers ultimately went with a Shanahan ... just two years later. Throughout the hiring process again in 2017, York was fixated on re-establishing the "49ers way," something that he noticed was passed down to both Shanahan and general manager John Lynch through mutual connections of their own.
"When I think about the 49er way, when I think about what my uncle and Bill Walsh and John McVay built in the 80s and lasted for a long, long time, that influences Mike Shanahan who influences Kyle Shanahan," York added ..."When you look at John Lynch, he played for Dennis Green then Bill Walsh then Sam Wyche and Tony Dungy, guys that had a Bill Walsh experience and then had time with Kyle Shanahan.
"I think our philosophies on how to build an organization and what constitutes success and how you work together, I think we came from a shared background and shared experience, but it was all unique to the three of us."
Fast forward to this summer, and Kyle Shanahan is preparing for his sixth season as head coach of the 49ers.
Although San Francisco ended up with just one Shanahan, Kyle's father, Mike, continues to make annual appearances at practices and at games, as well as the constant communication he was with his son.
The 49ers still are searching for their sixth Lombardi trophy, but with Super Bowl LIV and an NFC Championship Game appearance in two of the last three seasons, they're heading in the right direction with a Shanahan leading the way.