Every San Francisco 49ers head coach in franchise history: Full list

From Buck Shaw, where it all started, to present day... we have them all.
San Francisco 49ers, Bill Walsh
San Francisco 49ers, Bill Walsh / Focus On Sport/GettyImages

All the way back in 1946, the San Francisco 49ers were birthed.

The franchise is the 10th-oldest in the NFL and has won five Super Bowls led by some of the league's greatest players of all time. Just take a look at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and it won't be long to realize the truth to that statement.

Whether we're talking Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, or another Niners legend, this team has seen plenty of elite players come through over the years.

But, let's not forget those legends won championships under the leadership of some superb head coaches.

How about we take a gander back in time and run through every head coach the 49ers have seen at the helm, over the years.

Name (Record with SF)

Tenure with SF

Buck Shaw (71-39-4)


Red Strader (4-8)


Frankie Albert (19-16-1)


Red Hickey (27-27-1)


Jack Christiansen (26-38-3)


Dick Nolan (54-53-5)


Monte Clark (8-6)


Ken Meyer (5-9)


Pete McCulley (1-8)


Fred O'Connor (1-6)


Bill Walsh (92-59-1)


George Seifert (98-30)


Steve Mariucci (57-39)


Dennis Erickson (9-23)


Mike Nolan (18-37)


Mike Singletary (18-22)


Jim Tomsula (6-12)

2010 (Interim), 2015

Jim Harbaugh (44-19-1)


Chip Kelly (2-14)


Kyle Shanahan (64-51)


Breaking down some fun facts about many 49ers head coaches

Buck Shaw

Back in 1918, Buck Shaw attended Creighton University, where he played football. However, that season was cut short after just one game due to the flu epidemic. Shaw played offensive tackle, where he went on to be an All American at Notre Dame. Believe it or not, although he played offensive line, Shaw also kicked for the Fighting Irish.

As the 49ers' coach, Shaw was present for just one losing season out of a total of nine years spent at his position.

Dick Nolan

One of Dick Nolan's claims to fame, as a head coach, was the fact that he wore suits on the sideline for game day. Eventually, the league put a rule in place against coaches wearing suits because of the inevitable partnerships with brands like Reebok and Nike.

Three of Nolan's winning seasons with the 49ers ended with a loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the postseason, with San Francisco losing in the NFC Championship game in both 1970 and 1971, and then in the Divisional Round in 1972.

Bill Walsh

As the most decorated head coach in 49ers history, Bill Walsh's list of accomplishments is a mouthful:

  • 3-time Super Bowl Champion (1981, 1984, 1988 seasons)
  • NFL Coach of the Year (1981)
  • San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Postseason winning percentage of .714

Walsh is also known for his vastly-talented coaching tree. Here are some notable coaches came from beneath his tree:

  • Dennis Green
  • Mike Holmgren
  • Bill Callahan
  • Steve Mariucci
  • Jeff Fisher
  • Brian Billick
  • Gary Kubiak
  • Jon Gruden
  • Tony Dungy
  • Mike McCarthy
  • John Fox
  • Sean Payton
  • John Harbaugh
  • Dick LeBeau
  • Mike Sherman
  • Andy Reid
  • Several others

George Seifert

Four days after his birthday and coaching beneath Walsh for the 1988 Super Bowl season, George Seifert was promoted to head coach when Walsh entered the front office. Seifert led the 49ers to a pair of Super Bowl victories following the 1989 and 1994 seasons, continuing a rich tradition of winning.

Jim Harbaugh

No matter where he's coached, Jim Harbaugh has always been a winner, whether it be in college or the pros. That's one of the reasons he returned to the league after a stint with the Michigan Wolverines.

With San Francisco, Harbaugh won the NFL's Coach of the Year in 2011 and followed that up with a Super Bowl appearance versus the Baltimore Ravens the following season.

The coach also played quarterback in the NFL from 1987 through 2001.

Kyle Shanahan

As one of the most innovative offensive minds of his time, Kyle Shanahan was always destined to be a top coach in the league. Back in 2006 when he was a wide receivers coach with the Houston Texans, Shanahan described his background:

"I studied every potential Xs and Os play and issue possible. I spent my whole life working on that. My goal was that any question a player could have about anything on the field, I'd be able to answer it."

Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for four different franchise before he got the opportunity as a head coach in San Francisco.

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