San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan met wife Mandy Shanahan in high school
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has found success on and off the football field since marrying Mandy Shanahan in 2005.
The couple first met and started dating in high school during the late ‘90s in Colorado while Kyle’s father Mike Shanahan was the head coach for the Denver Broncos. They briefly split up before reconnecting in college, where tragedy brought them closer together.
While in college, Mandy’s mother, Nancy O’Donnell, was diagnosed with Stage 4 gallbladder cancer, which she later died from in 2002. Once Kyle found out about Nancy's diagnosis, he flew from his college in Texas to Colorado regularly to see Mandy, and he fell in love with her while watching how she dealt with her mother’s illness.
“There are very few times in life you get to see someone for who they genuinely are,” Kyle told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2017. “Mandy going through that — it was as bad as anything you could go through — it showed me who she was. There was no B.S. to her. I saw who she was. And that was the person I fell in love with.”
Kyle and Mandy have welcomed three children together in their nearly two decades of marriage: Their daughter Stella was born in 2007, followed by son Carter in 2008 and daughter Lexi in 2012.
The family of five has stuck together throughout Kyle's football journey as well. Most recently, his family joined him on the field to celebrate the 49ers' NFC Championship win over the Detroit Lions in January 2024, securing the team's place in the Super Bowl on Feb. 11, where the Kansas City Chiefs ultimately beat Kyle's team.
So, who is Kyle Shanahan’s wife? Here’s everything to know about Mandy Shanahan and her relationship with the San Francisco 49ers head coach.
She and Kyle met in high school
Kyle and Mandy’s relationship began at Cherry Creek High School in Colorado in the late ‘90s. After high school, Kyle — who is one year older than Mandy — went to the University of Texas to play wide receiver for their football team, while Mandy went to the University of Colorado to study English literature.
The two split up after high school before reconnecting in college.
They became closer through tragedy
While reconnecting by communicating from afar in college, Mandy received devastating news that her mother had been diagnosed with Stage 4 gallbladder cancer. Mandy shared the news with Kyle, who immediately showed his support by writing letters to Mandy’s mother and even flying home to visit Mandy on weekends.
“He completely stunned me,” Mandy told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2017. “Kyle, hands down, got me through that. After going through that with him, I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else.”
They got married in 2005
Kyle and Mandy wed in 2005 after having known each other for nearly a decade. Kyle never thought he would be married young, but the two knew they’d found something special shortly after graduating college.
“I never planned on getting married at a young age,” Kyle admitted to the San Francisco Chronicle. “But then I understood ‘Okay, you don’t necessarily get to pick when you get married. You get married when you find the right person.’ And I found her. So I changed my plans.”
She has been her husband’s biggest supporter
In 2017, Kyle was an offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, who had just been defeated by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots during the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. Following the Falcons' defeat, Kyle was hired for his first head coaching job by the San Francisco 49ers — and some NFL analysts questioned if he would be successful in his new role.
Mandy supported him through this transition and did not doubt that he had what it took to be a successful head coach in the NFL. While Mandy likes to keep her personal life private, she doesn’t hesitate to support her husband vocally.
“You hear that he’s hard to reach, or he’s arrogant,” Mandy told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Kyle’s been one of the most sensitive people I’ve ever been around, in a good way. He’s so in tune with people’s emotions and how people feel. And that’s what makes him such a gifted father and supporting husband.”
Mandy is a 49ers fan
Mandy has undoubtedly become a big 49ers fan since Kyle joined the franchise in 2017 and is heavily invested in the outcome of their games.
“I would like to change my outfit up. My wife will not let me,” Kyle joked to ESPN in 2020. “I wore a red hat earlier in the year and now she’s so superstitious that if I take the hat off and we lose, it will only be because of that according to her. So, I’m usually going with my red hat and my white shirt.”
Kyle has given Mandy a lot to cheer about while leading the 49ers to Super Bowl appearances in 2020 and 2024. They were led there in 2020 by then-49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who Mandy expressed her admiration for amid questions of when his 49ers debut would be during the 2017 NFL season.
“I know everyone is very excited and wants to see him play,” Kyle said to SFGate in 2017. “Including myself. Including our coaches and players. Including my wife.”
Garoppolo was happy to hear he had a fan in Mandy upon learning of her excitement for his 49ers debut. “I haven’t had a chance to meet her yet,” Garoppolo told NBC at the time. “It’s always a good thing to hear.”
They have three kids together
Kyle and Mandy have three kids together: Stella, Lexi and Carter.
Lil Wayne’s real name is Dwayne Carter, and he has released five albums in his Tha Carter series. This includes 2008’s multi-platinum Tha Carter III, which was released the same year Kyle and Mandy welcomed their son.
The story gained so much traction that Lil Wayne eventually heard about it. Lil Wayne sent Kyle and Carter autographed posters with personalized messages and an autographed Tha Carter III CD to show his appreciation.
In 2018, Kyle admitted to ESPN that despite all the admiration, Lil Wayne was not necessarily the sole reason for his son’s name.
“If I told you it was 100 percent that, my wife would kill me,” Kyle said. “Tha Carter I started it, and I was just always into that. And when my wife told me she liked the name Carter, it was easy for me because I was pretty obsessed at the time.”
She and Kyle hosted "driveway parties" for their family every Friday afternoon
With the demanding schedule of coaching an NFL season, Kyle has had to go to great lengths to spend quality time with his family. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Kyle established a four-hour “driveway party” every Friday afternoon where he, Mandy, and the kids rode bikes and shot hoops.
“There’s really two things that are important to me,” Kyle said. “And that’s my family and that’s football. And that’s really all the things I think about.”
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