Mike Shanahan, one of the most accomplished head coaches in the history of the National Football League is finished his last season as Redskins’ Executive Vice President/Head Coach in 2013. The two Super Bowl championships on his résumé make him one of 13 head coaches in league history to guide a club to a pair of Super Bowl victories and one of only six to accomplish the feat in consecutive years.
Shanahan’s 175 combined regular season and postseason wins in his NFL head coaching career are the 11th most in NFL history. With eight more wins, Shanahan will enter the Top 10 on the NFL’s all-time combined wins list.
During his NFL coaching career, Shanahan has been a part of teams that have played in 10 AFC or NFC Championship Games. He has coached in six Super Bowls - five with Denver and Super Bowl XXIX with San Francisco.
In his nine seasons coaching at the collegiate level, Shanahan’s teams participated in eight bowl games and won two national championships (Oklahoma - 1975 and Eastern Illinois - 1978).
Shanahan engineered the fourth five-win turnaround in team history in 2012, taking the Redskins from 5-11 in 2011 to 10-6 in 2012, culminating with the team’s first NFC East title since 1999. Shanahan and his staff oversaw an offense that became the first in NFL history to pass for 3,400 yards and rush for 2,700 yards in a single season. Washington rushed for a team record 2,709 yards, earning the Redskins their first NFL team rushing crown since 1933.
In 2011, Shanahan oversaw the continued development of a young roster that featured 12 draft picks from the 2011 NFL Draft. Eleven of the 12 picks spent time on the team’s active roster during the 2011 season, the most among all NFL teams.
Shanahan became the 28th head coach in Redskins history on January 6, 2010. In his first season in Washington, Shanahan guided the Redskins to a two-win improvement over the 2009 campaign. The 2010 Redskins registered a touchdown pass in 15 consecutive games for the first time in club history and led the NFL with nine completions of at least 50 yards.
Defensively, the unit placed linebackers London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo and cornerback DeAngelo Hall on the NFC Pro Bowl team.
In his tenure with the Broncos, Shanahan guided the franchise to two Super Bowl victories, three conference championship game appearances, seven postseason berths and nine winning seasons. He joined Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Jimmy Johnson and Belichick as one of six coaches with back-to-back Super Bowl championships.
Shanahan led Denver to 138 regular-season victories in 14 seasons in Denver. Among the nine coaches who have more wins with one club than Shanahan, all eight who are eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame have been honored with membership. In the spring of 2010, Shanahan was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
Shanahan arrived as head coach in Denver in 1995 from the World Champion San Francisco 49ers, where he served as offensive coordinator for three seasons (1992-94). The 49ers offense reached unprecedented levels under his leadership. San Francisco’s three-year offensive averages under Shanahan’s direction were the most productive in the history of pro football.
His three-year averages included being No. 1 in the NFL in total points (an average of 469.7 per year), total touchdowns (60.3), rushing touchdowns (23.7), passing touchdowns (31.7), third-down efficiency (48.5%), total offense (6,230 yds.) and average yards per play (6.2).
San Francisco quarterback Steve Young re-wrote many NFL passing records and was named the NFL Most Valuable Player twice in his three years under Shanahan’s guidance. In addition, Young threw for a record six touchdowns on his way to earning Super Bowl XXIX Most Valuable Player honors. Shanahan was on the Broncos coaching staff for all three of their Super Bowl appearances in the 1980s (following the 1986, 1987 and 1989 seasons).
He first went to Denver in 1984 as the club’s wide receivers coach.
He was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1985 and would serve the next three seasons in that capacity. Shanahan returned to Denver as quarterbacks coach on October 16, 1989, after serving as head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders in 1988 and through the first four games of the 1989 campaign.
Shanahan began his coaching career as an offensive assistant for Oklahoma in 1975-76, and the school won the national championship in his first year on its staff. In 1977, at the age of 24, he was hired as Northern Arizona’s backfield coach and the Lumberjacks averaged a school-record 391.1 yards per game that season. A year later, Shanahan returned to his alma mater,
Eastern Illinois, as offensive coordinator and helped guide the Panthers to the Division II national title. The year before Shanahan’s arrival, the team was 1-10. In 1979, he served as offensive coordinator at Minnesota, where he implemented the run-and-shoot offense to help the Golden Gophers set 40 school offensive records.
Shanahan moved on to Florida the following year, inheriting the poorest offense in Division I football as well as a team record of 0-10-1.
In Shanahan’s four years at Florida, the team broke many offensive school records and went to four consecutive bowl games. During his stint as a college coach, his teams had a combined record of 78-29-2 (.725), won two national championships, and appeared in eight bowl games and four playoff contests.
He received a scholarship to Eastern Illinois University, where he played quarterback and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
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