Kyle Shanahan Joins Exclusive Club of Longhorns as NFL Head Coaches

Kyle Shanahan is joining exclusive company as a former Texas Longhorns Football player to become an NFL head coach.

Before Kyle Shanahan, the only other former Longhorn to be an NFL head coach was Tom Landry, according to the Texas Athletics Department.

Landry played football for Texas in the late 1940s after serving in World War II. Included was a terrific performance in the 1949 Orange Bowl when Texas beat Georgia 41-28. Landry rushed for 107 yards and one TD in the game.

After playing pro football in the 1950s, Landry became an NFL assistant coach. He then became head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 1960. Landry patrolled the sidelines for nearly 30 years from 1960 to 1988.

During that stretch, Tom Landry won two Super Bowls and coached in three more. Two of those losses were against the dreaded Pittsburgh Steelers.

Kyle Shanahan With Big Shoes To Fill

Kyle Shanahan is walking into a tough position with the San Francisco 49ers, who need to be completely rebuilt. Included is a tough decision on the 49ers’ permanent QB.

When Tom Landry took over the Cowboys in 1960, the team went 0-11-1. But, Landry pushed on and built a legacy as one of the all-time great NFL coaches. Shanahan will start with just trying to make the 49ers more competitive after going 2-14 in the 2016 season.

Shanahan, 37, is young enough to have the type of career that Landry had in Dallas. But now, he can only dream of winning one Super Bowl.

Shanahan nearly got his first Super Bowl as offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 on Sunday. But, as he told people after the game, he “blew it” with his fourth quarter play-calling.

Shanahan can’t blow it in San Francisco, where he is the fourth head coach in four years. But, based on Shanahan’s family history as the son of Mike Shanahan and his Texas Longhorns background, expect him to do great things. It will take a long time to see if that adds up to Tom Landry, though.

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