Three years ago, Sean McVay became the youngest head coach ever in a Super Bowl. His Rams lost to the Patriots, 13-3, in that game.
On Sunday night, in Super Bowl 2022 at his team’s home venue, SoFi Stadium, McVay one-upped his own feat, becoming the youngest coach ever to win a Super Bowl after his team’s 23-20 comeback victory over the Bengals.
McVay, at age 36, is a Super Bowl champion, and a humble, likable one at that.
McVay went out of his way after the game to deflect credit and pushed it his players’ way.
“It feels outstanding,” he said. “You talk about a resilient team — coaches, players — I’m just so proud of this group. For the offense to find a way, and then Aaron [Donald, Rams defensive lineman,] to be able to finish it off, it’s poetic, man.”
McVay took the Rams head-coaching job in 2017 after serving as the offensive coordinator for Washington, and he helped turn the franchise from mediocre to elite. He won the NFL’s Coach of the Year award at the age of 32.
There was speculation swirling before Sunday night’s game that McVay may walk away from coaching if he won the Super Bowl. He’s engaged to be married and was quoted in an ESPN story wistfully talking about how he planned to be married in the next year and how much he wanted to raise a family.
Immediately, reports surfaced that network TV people would be interested and willing to pay him salary that equals what he can make as a head coach.
Before and after the game, McVay did his best to squash those reports, making it clear how much he loved this team he’s coaching. After what occurred Sunday night, it’s difficult to imagine a 36-year-old head coach with a stacked team that just won a Super Bowl walking away from all that.
Before Sunday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had been the youngest head coach to ever win a Super Bowl, winning Super Bowl XLIII at 36. McVay is currently 303 days younger than Tomlin was — 36 years and 30 days.
McVay, before the game, expressed reverence for Tomlin.
“Mike is one of the more impressive people I’ve ever met,” McVay said. “He’s been great to me. I couldn’t be more grateful, really. I got a chance to get to know him a little bit a few years ago through Raheem Morris (now the Rams defensive coordinator).
“I think one of the things that’s been great about Mike is he’s so willing to share, you know, really kind of put his arm around you and really help kind of, you know, be a mentor and answer any questions that you have. His leadership, his command, his mental toughness, how that really relates to the way that his teams play, the way they respond from the good and the bad. I think he’s one of the best leaders that this sport has to offer.”
McVay now joins that elite company.