The San Francisco 49ers will hire either Chip Kelly or Mike Shanahan to be their next head coach, and probably within the next 24 hours according to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
49ers expected to choose between Chip Kelly and Mike Shanahan for their next HC, per league sources. Decision likely within next 24 hours.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2016
Whomever San Francisco hires will replace Jim Tomsula, the team’s former defensive line coach who succeeded Jim Harbaugh in 2015 and went just 5-11 in a forgettable season that saw quarterback Colin Kaepernick placed on injured reserve in November.
Either Kelly or Shanahan is an intriguing hire for the Niners. Kelly, 52, was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles just before the close of the regular season after his first year with full control of the roster went up in flames. Philadelphia finished 7-9, and Kelly did not even coach the final regular season game.
Just the same, Kelly’s ties to the west coast cannot be denied, his having coached Oregon for four seasons, and his unique spread offense could jump-start the Niners and get them back into contention in the NFC West.
Then, there’s Shanahan, who has been out of the coaching game since burning all bridges with the Washington Redskins after finishing 3-13 in 2013. Like Kelly, Shanahan is offense-oriented, but has an advantage in that he has ties to the actual 49ers organization. He was the team’s offensive coordinator for three years and was on the staff of the team that won Super Bowl XXIX.
But Shanahan is also on the older side at age 63, and will be 64 by the time the 2016 season starts. Moreover, he butted heads with team management in Washington and knowing San Francisco GM Trent Baalke, that may not sit well.
Stay tuned to Campus Sports for further updates out of the Bay Area!
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports