Monday, September 25

Mike McDaniel, NFL Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins

McDaniel stands out among football coaching peers. A biracial coach who has served under Kyle Shanahan for 11 seasons, McDaniel boasts an impressive resume that includes stints as run game coordinator and offensive coordinator for the 49ers.

McDaniel has earned a reputation for making players better, but his greatest impact on the team comes through his role as a mentor. Whether it’s coaching younger assistants or leading the offense, McDaniel possesses an uncanny ability to inspire confidence and make his teams stronger.


Mike McDaniel parents, a Yale graduate, has been in the NFL since 2005 and has coached for teams such as the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins – most recently serving as head coach since 2022.

He is renowned for his running game. He also has the unique ability to put the right players in the right positions to succeed.

He believes in the strength of people, and has often said that being present is the most important thing a player can do for himself and his team.

His first year as run game coordinator and offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers saw Elijah Mitchell blossom into a star, while Tua Tagovailoa reached the NFL playoffs during his second season as a starter.

He also has a reputation for treating everyone with respect and humility, even those he’s just met. He says that he hasn’t had a drink in over a year and strives to improve his mental health every day.


Mike McDaniel didn’t follow a traditional path to earn his degree. He tried out for an internship at an investment banking firm during the summer, but football — his college career’s highlight — ultimately won out.

He interned with the Denver Broncos in 2005, working his way up from data entry and other odd jobs to become a video analyst – giving him access to game film. Kyle Shanahan quickly hired him as wide receivers coach, then quarterbacks coach, then offensive coordinator.

McDaniel has earned himself a place of honor with the 49ers by creating one of the NFL’s premier ground games. Additionally, he’s become a trusted leader within their line, encouraging players to reach their full potential without compromising discipline or execution.


Mike McDaniel has become something of a hero among some corners of NFL and Dolphins fandom due to his un-coachlike demeanor, insightful wisdom, and offensive prowess. With these attributes combined, McDaniel has quickly become one of the team’s fan favorites.

Under McDaniel’s direction, the San Francisco 49ers running game has seen phenomenal success. He’s an expert at molding undrafted rookies into valuable ‘who’s this guy?’ commodities – just what the Dolphins have been searching for.

He’s also adept at designing a run game that thrives when key players are injured. Injuries to running backs like Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida have necessitated him to rely on Jeff Wilson and JaMycal Hasty for extra work.

After an exhaustive coaching search that lasted over a month, McDaniel’s hiring was met with joyous celebration among San Francisco fans. It’s fair to say he’s one of the most sought-after head coaches in the league.


Mike McDaniel has made an immense impact in the NFL. He began as a coaching intern under Mike Shanahan with the Broncos and went on to hold positions with Washington, Houston, Sacramento, Cleveland, Atlanta and San Francisco.

McDaniel had a major role in elevating the offense at San Francisco. He served as run-game coordinator (2017-20) and offensive coordinator (2021).

He employed a dual-wide zone rushing/West Coast passing attack, which capitalizes on the playmaking ability of speedy receivers while necessitating quarterbacks to throw accurate, quick passes.

His success during the offseason elevated his profile and led to multiple head-coaching interviews. Ultimately, he was hired by the Dolphins.

McDaniel has had to contend with racial issues in the NFL as he is bi-racial and often asked which side of the racial divide he belongs on.

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