Mike Shanahan said he was gearing up to return as the Broncos’ coach before the 2018 season, but that it “didn’t work out.”
Shanahan was watching son Kyle Shanahan, the current 49ers coach, play against the Broncos during Saturday’s joint practice when he made the surprise revelation.
“I was close, I was close,” Shanahan said, via ESPN.com. “One thing that has to happen is you all have to be on the same page. One thing you’ve got to make sure of when you are a head football coach that the owner, the GM, the quarterback are all on the same page. And if it doesn’t happen the chances of you winning the Super Bowl aren’t very good. … I had a great conversation with John as everybody knows, it didn’t work out, sometimes it works out for the right reasons.”
Shanahan was the coach of the Broncos from 1995-2008, where he led the team to 146-91 record in the regular and postseason. In 1997 and ’98, he pushed Denver to two Super Bowl wins.
After his time in Denver came to an end, Shanahan coached the Redskins from 2010-13, but hasn’t coached since he was fired at the end of the 2013 season after posting a 3-13 record.
Shanahan said he does miss coaching, but is content watching from the sideline now and rooting on his son, Kyle.
“You always miss coaching, but it’s been five years,” Shanahan said. “I made the decision a long time ago, right when I got fired (by the Redskins), I said if I didn’t get the right job right away, where you had a chance to win a Super Bowl, that I was probably going to do what I’m doing, being a dad, kind of following your son, the organization, being a part of it.”
Despite Shanahan being fired by the Broncos after the 2008 season, general manager John Elway — who Shanahan coached in the mid-90s — said Shanahan will always be a member of the Broncos.
“Mike’s always been a big part of this organization,” Elway said. “And it’s nice to get him back out, in my mind it was never really closed, but it was nice to get the communication back — I’ve played some golf with Mike … it’s always good to see him out here because I always enjoy talking football with him … glad he was able to come back and know that this is home to him.”