McDaniel, a Yale graduate with 15 years of coaching experience, is known for his innovative run game concepts and bright offensive mind. While he's been coaching for a decade and a half, his rise to a head coaching role has come quickly after serving just one season as offensive coordinator in San Francisco.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan first worked with McDaniel in 2006 and took the young assistant with him at every coaching stop. The 38-year-old McDaniel spent the 2017-20 seasons as the run game coordinator for the 49ers before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2021.
San Francisco finished the campaign with the seventh-ranked offense in the NFL. McDaniel had a hand in orchestrating the 49ers' aggressive rushing offense and also helped Deebo Samuel compile an All-Pro campaign with 1,770 yards from scrimmage and 14 total touchdowns.
McDaniel got his start as an intern with the Denver Broncos in 2005. The following year, he served as an offensive assistant with the Houston Texans. He got his first positional job coaching the wide receivers for Washington in 2013 and made a lateral move to the Cleveland Browns the next season. He also spent 2015-16 with the Atlanta Falcons as an offensive assistant before joining the 49ers.
McDaniel is also the first minority hire of this coaching cycle as he is biracial. Because of the Rooney Rule, the 49ers will receive two third-round compensatory picks for developing McDaniel as a minority assistant coach, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
With the Dolphins making their decision, the only open jobs that remain are the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints.