The last time Dan Snyder went looking for a coach, he used a whole month, exhausted his entire list of candidates and settled for a novice who yielded little power, didn't always receive his due respect and went 12-20.
The franchise's major overhaul after a troubled season will take another step Wednesday when Shanahan is introduced as coach at a 2 p.m. ET news conference that will be streamed live on NFL.com and also air on NFL Network. Shanahan signed his contact Tuesday, according to the team's Web site.
Shanahan received a five-year contract, a source with knowledge of the situation told NFL Network's Jason La Canfora. The hire came less than 48 hours after the Redskins fired Jim Zorn and less than three weeks after front-office chief Vinny Cerrato resigned and quickly was replaced by general manager Bruce Allen.
In less than a month, the Redskins have gone from an organization that revolved primarily around Snyder and yes-man Cerrato to one that includes two established decision-makers.
Citing a league source, La Canfora reports that Shanahan will hire his son, Kyle, away from the Houston Texans to be the Redskins' offensive coordinator. The Redskins also are prepared to interview Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer for the same position should his team lose at home to the New York Jets in an AFC wild-card playoff game Saturday, according to a league source.
The Redskins are 82-99 since Snyder bought the team, missing the playoffs in eight of 11 seasons. Shanahan will be Washington's seventh coach since Snyder came along in 1999 -- a stretch that has included just two playoff victories for a team that proudly displays three shiny Super Bowl championship trophies in the lobby of its practice facility.
The toll of mediocre records and accompanying fan unrest left Snyder little choice but to hire established names and put them in charge. The messy 2009 season managed to spill over into yet another day Tuesday, when quarterback Jason Campbell and running Clinton Portis traded barbs about leadership in separate interviews on the radio and the Internet.
Portis bluntly speaks his mind
Shanahan made the playoffs in half of his seasons in Denver and had just two losing seasons -- 6-10 in 1999 and 7-9 in 2007. His greatest successes came early, winning consecutive Super Bowls after the 1997 and '98 seasons with a team led by quarterback John Elway.
Zorn lost 18 of his last 24 games after a 6-2 start in 2008. Some Redskins players spoke Monday -- the day the first-time head coach was let go with a year left on his contract -- about a lack of discipline this season and preferential treatment given to some players.
Now there's someone with a solid track record in charge -- and players didn't have to wait a month for him to arrive.
"You always wonder what's going to be happen. You don't want to be on pins and needles," defensive end Andre Carter said. "When we had the team meeting with Bruce Allen, he told us something would happen hastily. He wasn't joking when he said that."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.