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McVay with the Redskins in 2014
McVay with the Redskins in 2014

Sean McVay (born January 24, 1986) is an American football coach who serves as the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). Upon his hiring in 2017 at the age of 30, he became the youngest head coach in modern NFL history. He was the offensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins from 2014 to 2016. He was named the AP NFL Coach of the Year in his first year of coaching, becoming the youngest person ever to win the award. After the Los Angeles Rams' appearance in Super Bowl LIII, McVay became the youngest head coach ever to coach in a Super Bowl game.[1]

Early life

Sean McVay was born in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Tim and Cindy McVay,[2] and raised Roman Catholic.[3] Sean's father, Tim, played football as a defensive back[4] at Indiana University. His family lived in Dayton until Sean was six years old.[5] His grandfather, John McVay, is a former San Francisco 49ers general manager, who was involved in constructing the five Super Bowl winning seasons for the team.[6] John McVay was the head football coach at the University of Dayton from 1965–1972.[7]

McVay graduated from Marist School in Brookhaven, Georgia in 2004. He was a four-year starter at Marist as a quarterback and defensive back for the War Eagles high school football team. He was the first player in school history to amass 1,000 yards rushing and passing in consecutive seasons. He totaled 2,600 yards rushing and 40 rushing touchdowns during his career and also passed for 2,500 yards and 18 touchdowns, leading the War Eagles to a 26–3 record, including a 14–1 record and state championship his senior year, when he was also named the Georgia 4A Offensive Player of the Year.[2]

College football playing career

McVay attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he played college football as a wide receiver from 2004 to 2007, earning Miami's Scholar-Athlete Award in 2007.[2] He recorded 39 receptions for 312 yards for the RedHawks in his college career.[8] He graduated from Miami in 2008.[5]

Coaching career

McVay began his coaching career as an assistant wide receivers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008 under head coach Jon Gruden.[9] The following year, he was the quality control/wide receivers coach for the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League (UFL).[10][11]

In 2010, McVay was hired as the assistant tight ends coach for the Washington Redskins under head coach Mike Shanahan.[12] In 2011, he was promoted to tight ends coach, a position he held through the 2013 season.[13][14]

On January 14, 2014, McVay was promoted to offensive coordinator by new Redskins head coach Jay Gruden.[15] In his first year as offensive coordinator, he turned the team's offense into the 12th-ranked pass offense in the NFL—averaging 268.4 passing yards per game with third-year quarterback, Kirk Cousins—the 17th-ranked rush offense, with 97.9 rushing yards per game, and the 10th ranked total offense in the NFL (a year after the team's offense finished ranked 25th in total offense), averaging 24.3 points per game and 353.8 total yards per game.[16] In 2016, the passing offense ranked third best in the NFL with 297.4 yards per game, while the rushing offense ranked 20th, averaging 106.0 rushing yards per game. The 2016 offense finished 3rd overall in total yards and 11th in points, averaging 403.4 total yards per game and 24.8 points per game.[17]

On January 12, 2017, McVay was hired to become the 28th head coach of the Los Angeles Rams at the age of 30 years, 354 days. The hiring made him the youngest head coach since the start of the NFL's modern era, surpassing Lane Kiffin, who was 31 years, 259 days old when hired by the Oakland Raiders in 2007,[18] and the youngest in NFL history since the Rams hired 27-year-old Art Lewis in 1938.[19]

On February 8, 2017, Matt LaFleur joined the Los Angeles Rams coaching staff as the offensive coordinator, working under McVay. LaFleur had previously worked under McVay in Washington, though McVay called the offensive plays for the 2017 season.[20]

On September 10, 2017, McVay made his regular-season head coaching debut against the Indianapolis Colts, and led the Rams to an impressive blowout 46–9 victory in a home game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.[21] Following a 27–20 loss to McVay's former team, the Washington Redskins, the Rams pulled off a close 41–39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football and turned a 16–24 deficit into a 35–30 upset victory over the Dallas Cowboys, but the Rams eventually recorded another loss to NFC West division rival Seattle Seahawks at home. Regardless, in just five games, the Rams offense scored a total of 142 (later 151) points, a league leader and a franchise high. The Rams went on to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road and the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL International Series game for the team's first shutout win since 2014, as well as raising their record to 5–2 for the first time since 2004 (the last time the team made the playoffs)[22] and a first-place lead in the NFC West. McVay coached the Rams to a blowout against the New York Giants in their highest-scoring game, a 51–17 victory, raising the Rams' record to 6–2. The Rams would win another home game against the Houston Texans by a score of 33-7 to raise their record to 7–2, which was their best record of the season since 2001. In Weeks 11 and 12, the Rams lost to the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 24-7 but won at home against the New Orleans Saints 26–20 to raise their record to 8–3. In Week 13, on the road the Rams faced the Cardinals and won 32–16 for their first winning season since 2003.[23] The next weeks: Week 14, Week 15, and Week 16, McVay had two victories over the Seattle Seahawks in a 42–7 blowout game and the Tennessee Titans in a close 27–23 win although he still lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 43–35. McVay's first season with the Rams has seen them dramatically improve their record from the 2016 season and the team's first winning season and division title since 2003 and its first playoff berth since 2004. In the process, the Rams became the first team to have the top scoring offense in the league a year after finishing with the lowest the previous year.[24]

McVay made his playoff head coaching debut against the Atlanta Falcons, but the Rams lost in the Wild Card Round by a score of 26–13. [25]

On January 19, 2018, McVay was named NFL Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America.[26]

Offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur left his position with the Rams on January 30 to take the same position with the Tennessee Titans, where he would have the opportunity of calling the plays for the Titans – essentially a promotion from his former position as offensive coordinator for the Rams.[27] As in the 2017 season, McVay continued calling the offensive plays for the 2018 season, this time without an offensive coordinator.[28][29]

The Rams started the season 8–0, their best start to a season since 1969,[30] but they lost in New Orleans to the New Orleans Saints in Week 9 by a score of 45–35 to fall to 8–1. After defeating the Seattle Seahawks 36–31 in Week 10, the Rams beat the Kansas City Chiefs 54–51 in Week 11 on Monday Night Football in a highly-anticipated matchup that was originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City, but was shifted to Los Angeles due to poor field conditions.[31][32]

Following a bye week, the Rams traveled to Detroit and defeated the Detroit Lions 30–16 to clinch their second straight NFC West title.[33] McVay then endured his first losing streak as a head coach as the Rams stumbled in back-to-back losses to the Chicago Bears (15–6) and the Philadelphia Eagles (30–23), both on NBC Sunday Night Football.[34] Los Angeles bounced back to defeat the Arizona Cardinals 31–9 and San Francisco 49ers 48–32 in the final two weeks to finish the regular season with a 13–3 record, tied for the second-most wins in franchise history.

In the Divisional Round, the Rams defeated the Dallas Cowboys in Los Angeles on January 12, 30–22. The following week in the controversial NFC Championship Game, the Rams beat the Saints 26–23 in overtime on a game-winning field goal by Greg Zuerlein in overtime to send the Rams to Super Bowl LIII, their first NFL championship appearance since Super Bowl XXXVI. At age 33, McVay became the youngest head coach to lead his team to the Super Bowl,[19] though the Rams lost to the New England Patriots by a score of 13–3.[35]

Coaching tree

NFL head coaches under whom Sean McVay has served:

Assistant coaches under McVay who became NFL head coaches:

Personal life

McVay resides in Los Angeles with his girlfriend, Veronika Khomyn. They were engaged on June 22, 2019 while vacationing in Cannes, France.[36][37] Chris Shula, the Rams assistant linebackers coach, is also his housemate.[37] McVay's grandfather, John, was also an NFL head coach, having coached the New York Giants from 1976 to 1978 before going on to serve as an executive for the San Francisco 49ers from 1980 to 1996.

References and notes

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