Mike McDaniel was named the 11th head coach in team history on Feb. 7, 2022. The 2022 season was McDaniel's 16th in the NFL and first as a head coach.
McDaniel became the fifth coach in Dolphins history to lead his team to the playoffs in his first season and just the sixth to post a winning record (9-8) in his first year at the helm. Under his leadership, multiple players reached new career milestones, including four players earning Pro Bowl selections – tackle Terron Armstead, linebacker Bradley Chubb, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and cornerback Xavien Howard. It was the team's most Pro Bowl selections since 2016.
As the offensive play-caller, McDaniel helped the Dolphins offense finish in the top 10 for the first time since 1995. Miami averaged 364.5 yards per game, which ranked sixth in the league, and 6.14 yards per play, which was second. The Dolphins finished 11th in scoring offense (23.4 points per game), the team's best finish since 2014.
Several players had the best seasons of their career in their first year in McDaniel's offense. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa led the NFL in passer rating (105.5), becoming the youngest NFL quarterback to do that since Dan Marino in 1984. He also led the league in red zone passer rating (112.2), third-down passer rating (130.1) and yards per attempt (8.9). Tagovailoa's 3,548 passing yards and 25 passing touchdowns were both career highs.
Hill broke an NFL record for most receiving yards in a player's first season with a new team with 1,710. That mark also broke Miami's single-season franchise record that stood for nearly 40 years (Mark Clayton, 1,389 yards in 1984). Hill's 119 receptions were also a Dolphins record and those two totals ranked second in the NFL in 2022. Hill earned his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl selection despite playing with three different quarterbacks making multiple starts.
Another player who thrived in McDaniel's offense was wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. In his second NFL season, Waddle caught 75 passes for 1,356 yards and eight touchdowns, leading the league in yards per reception (18.1). His 1,356 receiving yards were third in single-season team history behind Hill and Clayton.
Hill and Waddle combined for 3,066 receiving yards, which was the third-most by a pair of teammates in a season in NFL history and more than two entire teams had in 2022.
Defensively, Miami ranked fourth in run defense, limiting opponents to 103.0 rushing yards per game. Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins played a big role in that as he totaled a career-high 98 tackles. His 98 stops were the most by an NFL defensive lineman in a season since 1994. Linebacker Elandon Roberts (104) and defensive tackle Zach Sieler (70) also set career highs in tackles.
Prior to Miami, McDaniel spent five seasons (2017-21) with the San Francisco 49ers where he was the team's run game specialist in 2017 before being promoted to run game coordinator in 2018 and again to offensive coordinator in 2021.
In McDaniel's first season as offensive coordinator, the 49ers finished seventh in the NFL in total offense (375.7 yards per game) and 13th in scoring offense (25.1 points per game) while advancing to the NFC Championship game. San Francisco's offense was balanced, ranking seventh in rushing (127.4) and 12th in passing (248.3). Wide receiver Deebo Samuel recorded 1,405 receiving yards, the most by a 49er since wide receiver Terrell Owens in 2001, and fifth-most in the NFL that season. Samuel's 1,770 scrimmage yards were the most by a 49er since running back Frank Gore in 2006. The San Francisco offense had four players earn Pro Bowl selections – Samuel, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, tight end George Kittle and tackle Trent Williams. Williams also earned All-Pro honors.
McDaniel served as San Francisco's run game coordinator from 2018-20. During that time, the 49ers were fifth in the NFL in rushing, averaging 127.0 yards per game, despite having a different leading rusher in all three seasons.
In 2020, San Francisco had several injuries at the running back position and still finished in the top half of the league with 118.1 rushing yards per game. Running back Jeff Wilson Jr. led the team with 600 yards on the ground despite starting just three games and missing some time on injured reserve. Running back Raheem Mostert had 521 rushing yards in just eight games. Juszczyk and Williams earned Pro Bowl selections and Williams was also named All-Pro.
McDaniel helped the 49ers have one of the league's most effective rushing attacks in 2019 as San Francisco went 13-3, winning the NFC and advancing to Super Bowl LIV. The 49ers had the NFL's second- ranked rushing offense, averaging 144.1 yards per game. Three different running backs rushed for more than 500 yards – Mostert (772), Matt Breida (623) and Tevin Coleman (544). Juszczyk was named to the Pro Bowl at the end of the season.
In 2018, the 49ers had four different backs rush for at least 200 yards. Breida led the way with a career-high 814 rushing yards just a year after he was an undrafted college free agent. His 5.32 yards per carry ranked fourth among all NFL players that season. The 49ers finished 13th in the league in rushing (118.9). Juszczyk was named to the Pro Bowl at the end of the season.
As run game specialist in 2017, McDaniel helped the 49ers rush for 1,662 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns in a season where they were forced to use three different starting quarterbacks due to injury. Running back Carlos Hyde led the way with 938 yards and a career-high eight rushing touchdowns. Juszczyk and tackle Joe Staley earned Pro Bowl selections.
Prior to San Francisco, McDaniel spent two seasons (2015-16) as an offensive assistant with the Atlanta Falcons. During his tenure, the Falcons had the second-best total offense (394.9) and third-best scoring offense (27.5) in the NFL. Atlanta's passing attack ranked second (284.5).
In 2016, Atlanta led the NFL in scoring, averaging 33.8 points per game, en route to finishing 11-5 and winning the NFC to advance to Super Bowl LI. The Falcons had the second-best total offense (415.8), third- best passing offense (295.3) and fifth-best rushing offense (120.5). Quarterback Matt Ryan passed for a franchise-record 4,944 yards, which was second in the NFL that season. Wide receiver Julio Jones was second in the league with 1,409 receiving yards. Four different Falcons earned Pro Bowl selections – Ryan, Jones, running back Devonta Freeman and center Alex Mack. Ryan, Jones and Mack also earned All-Pro honors.
The 2015 Falcons offense ranked sixth in passing (273.7) and seventh in total offense (374.1). Jones led the NFL with 1,871 receiving yards, a Falcons franchise record. In his first season as starting running back, Freeman topped 1,000 yards. Freeman, Jones and fullback Patrick DiMarco all earned Pro Bowl selections and All-Pro honors.
McDaniel spent the 2014 season as wide receivers coach for the Cleveland Browns. In his lone season there, wide receiver Andrew Hawkins had a career-high 824 yards. Undrafted rookie Taylor Gabriel had 621 receiving yards, which wound up being the second-highest total in his six-year NFL career. His receiver unit helped quarterback Brian Hoyer post the only 3,000-yard passing season of his career.
McDaniel's first NFL position coach job came in 2013 with Washington when he was promoted to wide receivers. Wide receiver Pierre Garçon had the best season of his 11-year NFL career, leading the NFL with 113 receptions. He totaled career highs in receptions (113) and receiving yards (1,346).
McDaniel spent the 2011-12 seasons with Washington as an offensive assistant. On those staffs, McDaniel worked with current NFL head coaches Matt LaFleur (Green Bay), Sean McVay (L.A. Rams) and Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco).
In 2012, Washington led the league in rushing (169.3) and finished 10-6, winning the NFC East. The team was fourth in scoring offense (27.3) and fifth in total offense (383.2). Running back Alfred Morris rushed for 1,613 yards as a rookie selected in the sixth round. It was the third-highest rushing total by a rookie in NFL history and he earned second-team All-Pro honors.
From 2009-10, McDaniel served as running backs coach for the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League, where he worked for former NFL head coach, Dennis Green.
McDaniel was an offensive assistant for the Houston Texans from 2006-08 where he worked under three different offensive coordinators in three seasons – Troy Calhoun (2006), Mike Sherman (2007) and Kyle Shanahan (2008).
His first NFL coaching position came as a coaching intern with the Denver Broncos in 2005.
A native of Greeley, Colorado, McDaniel played wide receiver at Yale, where he graduated with a degree in history. He and his wife, Katie, have one daughter.