Mike McDaniel

American football coach (born 1983)

American football player
Mike McDaniel
refer to caption
McDaniel in 2015
Miami Dolphins
Position:Head coach
Personal information
Born: (1983-03-06) March 6, 1983 (age 41)
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.
Height:5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight:180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school:Smoky Hill (Aurora, Colorado)
College:Yale (2001–2004)
Career history
As a coach:
  • Denver Broncos (2005)
    Coaching intern
  • Houston Texans (2006–2008)
    Offensive assistant
  • California Redwoods / Sacramento Mountain Lions (2009–2010)
    Running backs coach
  • Washington Redskins (2011–2012)
    Offensive assistant
  • Washington Redskins (2013)
    Wide receivers coach
  • Cleveland Browns (2014)
    Wide receivers coach
  • Atlanta Falcons (2015–2016)
    Offensive assistant
  • San Francisco 49ers (20172020)
    Run game coordinator
  • San Francisco 49ers (2021)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Miami Dolphins (2022–present)
    Head coach
Head coaching record
Regular season:20–14 (.588)
Postseason:0–2 (.000)
Career:20–16 (.556)
Coaching stats at PFR

Michael Lee McDaniel (born March 6, 1983) is an American football coach who is the head coach for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). A former long-time assistant and descendant of the Shanahan coaching tree, McDaniel began his NFL coaching career as an intern for the Denver Broncos in 2005. McDaniel served as an assistant coach for the Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons, and San Francisco 49ers from 2017 to 2021, holding his first offensive coordinator position in 2021. McDaniel has appeared in Super Bowl LI with the Falcons in 2017, and Super Bowl LIV with the 49ers in 2020 as an assistant coach alongside Kyle Shanahan.

McDaniel spent five seasons with the 49ers, mostly as the run game coordinator. His tenure concluded with their second NFC Championship Game appearance in three seasons; McDaniel served as the offensive coordinator the season before he left to become the Dolphins' head coach.

Early life and playing career

McDaniel was born in Aurora, Colorado, in 1983. He graduated from Smoky Hill High School in 2001.[1] He played college football as a wide receiver at Yale, where he graduated with a degree in history.[2][3]

Coaching career

Denver Broncos

McDaniel was hired in 2005 at the age of 22 by his hometown Denver Broncos as a coaching intern under head coach Mike Shanahan.[4] The Broncos in 2005 finished with what was at the time their best record since John Elway's retirement six years earlier, at 13–3. In the postseason, they defeated the defending back-to-back Super Bowl champion New England Patriots 27–13 in the Divisional Round before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers 34–17 in the AFC Championship Game.[5]

Houston Texans

In 2006, McDaniel was hired by the Houston Texans as an offensive assistant under head coach Gary Kubiak, whom McDaniel worked alongside at the Denver Broncos a season earlier.[6] During his tenure in Houston, McDaniel assisted three different offensive coordinators and future head coaches; Troy Calhoun, Mike Sherman, and Kyle Shanahan.

California Redwoods / Sacramento Mountain Lions

In 2009, McDaniel was hired by the California Redwoods, a team from the now-defunct United Football League as a running backs coach under former Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green.[7] In McDaniel's second year, the team relocated to Sacramento and was renamed the Sacramento Mountain Lions.

Washington Redskins

In 2011, McDaniel was hired by the Washington Redskins as an offensive assistant, reuniting with Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, who was McDaniel's mentor six seasons earlier on the Denver Broncos.[8] It was there where McDaniel worked alongside three other future head coaches: Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, and Matt LaFleur. In 2013, McDaniel was promoted to wide receivers coach following the departure of Ike Hilliard, who left to join the Buffalo Bills in the same position.[9] McDaniel would not be retained under new head coach Jay Gruden.

Cleveland Browns

McDaniel was hired in 2014 by the Cleveland Browns as their wide receivers coach under new head coach Mike Pettine.[10]

Atlanta Falcons

McDaniel was hired by the Atlanta Falcons as an offensive assistant coach under new head coach Dan Quinn in 2015.[11]

San Francisco 49ers

In 2017, McDaniel was hired by the San Francisco 49ers as their run game coordinator under his long-time associate and new head coach Kyle Shanahan, whom he worked alongside for a total of nine seasons on the Texans, Redskins, Browns, and Falcons.[12][13] During the 2019 season, McDaniel and the Niners appeared in Super Bowl LIV, where they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 31–20.[14] On January 18, 2021, McDaniel was promoted to offensive coordinator, following the departure of passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur, who left to become the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets.[15]

Miami Dolphins

2022 season

The Miami Dolphins hired McDaniel as their fourteenth head coach on February 6, 2022.[16] On September 11, 2022, McDaniel made his regular season head coaching debut against the New England Patriots and led the Dolphins to a 20–7 victory, marking McDaniel's first victory as a head coach.[17] McDaniel became the first Dolphins head coach since Nick Saban in 2005 to win his first game as Miami's head coach, and the first in franchise history to win a season opener as a rookie head coach.[18] McDaniel also helped the Dolphins defeat the Bills for the first time since the 2018 season.[19]

McDaniel led the Dolphins to a 9–8 record, giving Miami their first playoff berth since 2016.[20][21] The Dolphins fell to the Bills 34–31 despite a late rally in the fourth quarter of the Wild Card Round.[22]

2023 season

McDaniel led the Dolphins to a historic 70–20 victory over the Denver Broncos in Week 3 of the 2023 season, the first time a team scored 70 or more points in the Super Bowl era.[23] The team recorded an NFL-record 726 offensive yards, the first to record 700 or more yards since 1951.[24]

Personal life

McDaniel is biracial. His mother is white and his father is black.[25] McDaniel grew up close friends with comedian Dan Soder in Aurora, Colorado.[26] McDaniel's relationship to the NFL began when, as a child seeking autographs at the Broncos' training camp at the University of Northern Colorado, he lost his Charlotte Hornets ball cap. After Broncos staffer Gary McCune bought him a replacement, McCune met and married McDaniel's mother.[27]

McDaniel has spoken of struggles with alcohol dependency and depression during his adult life. He has been sober since 2016.[28]

McDaniel and his wife Katie have one daughter.[29]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
MIA 2022 9 8 0 .529 2nd in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Buffalo Bills in AFC Wild Card Game
MIA 2023 11 6 0 .647 2nd in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Kansas City Chiefs in AFC Wild Card Game
Total 20 14 0 .588 0 2 .000

See also

  • iconAmerican Football portal
  • flagUnited States portal
  • Biography portal


  1. ^ Sickafoose, Quinten (February 6, 2022). "Smoky Hill grad Mike McDaniel hired as Dolphins head coach". 9news.com. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  2. ^ Conn, Steve (February 7, 2022). "McDaniel '05 Named Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins". Yale Bulldogs. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  3. ^ "McDaniel '05 Promoted to 49ers Offensive Coordinator". Yale Bulldogs. January 22, 2021. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  4. ^ Klis, Mike (March 3, 2022). "Mike Shanahan's 2005 Broncos had great impact on new Dolphins' coach Mike McDaniel". KUSA.com. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  5. ^ "2005 Denver Broncos Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  6. ^ Dubow, Josh (February 7, 2022). "Dolphins hire ex-Texans assistant Mike McDaniel as head coach". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  7. ^ O'Halloran, Ryan (January 11, 2023). "Mike McDaniel leans on 'walks of life' experiences to lead Dolphins". Buffalo News. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  8. ^ Pompei, Dan (August 8, 2022). "Why new Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel is 'not like any other head coach I've worked with'". The Athletic. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  9. ^ Motley III, King W. (February 7, 2022). "Mike McDaniel is now fourth head coach from Washington's notorious staff". Yardbarker. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  10. ^ "Meet wide receivers coach Mike McDaniel". Cleveland Browns. August 13, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  11. ^ Pelissero, Tom (February 2, 2017). "Falcons' brotherhood helped assistant Mike McDaniel through alcohol issue". USA TODAY. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  12. ^ Madson, Kyle (February 6, 2022). "Dolphins hire 49ers OC Mike McDaniel as head coach, 49ers get 2 3rd-round picks". Niners Wire. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  13. ^ Cannizzaro, Mark (December 4, 2022). "Dolphins' offensive scheme will look familiar to 49ers in showdown". New York Post. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  14. ^ "Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs - February 2nd, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  15. ^ "49ers Announce Coaching Promotions". 49ers.com. January 18, 2021. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  16. ^ @MiamiDolphins (February 6, 2022). "We have agreed to terms with Mike McDaniel. Welcome to Miami, Coach!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  17. ^ Neville, Scott (September 11, 2022). "How Mike McDaniel Reacted To First Win Coming Against Bill Belichick". NESN.com. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  18. ^ Miller, Brian (September 11, 2022). "Mike McDaniel is first Dolphins HC to notch debut win since Saban". FanSided.com. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  19. ^ "All Matchups, Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  20. ^ "2022 Miami Dolphins Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees, Injury Reports". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  21. ^ Louis-Jacques, Marcel (January 8, 2023). "Dolphins hang on, earn 1st playoff spot since '16". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  22. ^ "Wild Card - Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills - January 15th, 2023". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  23. ^ Furones, David (September 24, 2023). "70 points! Dolphins set multiple franchise records in dominant 70-20 win over Broncos". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  24. ^ Kerr, Jeff (September 24, 2023). "Dolphins score 70 points in rout of Broncos, record most yards ever in game in NFL history". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  25. ^ Maiocco, Matt (March 3, 2021). "Why football is more than just a sport to 49ers OC McDaniel". RSN. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
  26. ^ Shooshtry, Safa (February 2, 2021). "SF 49ers: 3 things to know about new OC Mike McDaniel". Niner Noise. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  27. ^ Gange, Scotty (February 11, 2022). "Colorado's Mike McDaniel: How the drop of a hat in Greeley led to becoming the Dolphins' head coach". 9NEWS. Retrieved October 10, 2023.
  28. ^ Dan, Pompei (August 8, 2022). "Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel: Particular, present, putting it all out there". theathletic.com. Retrieved September 17, 2023.
  29. ^ Schad, Joe (February 10, 2022). "Schad: In Mike McDaniel, Dolphins clearly hired a unique person and coach". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved February 15, 2022.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mike McDaniel.
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Miami Dolphins head coaches

# denotes interim head coach