Youngest NFL Coaches – Who Is The Youngest NFL Coach Ever?

youngest-nfl-coaches-ever

5 minutes

Last Updated: February 27, 2024

Scott Kostov

The list of the youngest NFL coaches is consistently getting updated. If you’re looking for an experienced NFL coach with a lot of wins, you’re in tough luck. Even this offseason, Bill Belichek and Pette Carrol,  2 entries worthy of entering that glorified air, sailed into the sunset of retirement.

So the NFL head coaching role is naturally getting a lot younger. But who are those people becoming the youngest NFL coaches? How does the NFL salary cap play into this equation?

The “McVay” effect feels like a league-wide trend right now, and for good reason. In this piece, we’ll be going over NFL coaches by age and deciphering who is the youngest NFL coach at the moment.

Who is The Youngest NFL Coach Right Now?

The title of the youngest NFL coach is currently held by newly-hired Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald. Born on June 26, 1987, Macdonald was just 36 years of age when he replaced Pete Carrol as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks on January 31, 2024.

Prior to the Seattle Seahawks announcing the Macdonald hiring, the youngest NFL coach was Jerod Mayo, the new head coach for the New England Patriots. Unfortunately, he only held that title for just 19 days before Mike Macdonald overtook him.

Mayo’s signing was announced on January 12, 2024, exactly 7 years after Sean McVay became the head coach for the LA Rams. McVay held that title for that period until Jerod Mayo dethroned him.

youngest-nfl-coaches-mike

Youngest NFL Coach Ever

Hired at the age of 30 years, and 11 months, Sean McVay became the youngest NFL coach in the history of the league in 2017. He held the title of the youngest NFL coach up until the current 2024 NFL offseason, where 2 hires beat him out.

McVay has helped completely transform the LA Rams, ushering in the “Sean McVay” effect. Prior to his appointment, the LA Rams hadn’t had a winning record since 2003 and their last postseason appearance was in 2004.

Under his guidance, the Rams have made the playoffs in four out of his six seasons. The 2022 LA Rams finished with a 5-12 record, which was the first losing season in McVay’s career after kicking it off with five consecutive seasons with double-digit wins.

This success has also translated into the postseason, where the Rams have also made it to the big game twice under McVay. His Rams lost to the Tom Brady and Bill Belichek NE Patriots in Super Bowl 53 before beating the Bengals in Super Bowl 56. 

Sean McVay

Before becoming the youngest NFL head coach in history, Sean McVay came from a football family. While his father played professionally as a defensive back, his grandfather used to work as a general manager for the San Francisco 49ers during the Montana and Rice era.

McVay played 4 years of college football as a wide receiver before landing a job as the wideout coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008 under head coach John Gruden. Sean spent the next year working with his brother Jay Gruden before becoming the assistant tight ends coach for the Washington Redskins under head coach Mike Shanahan in 2010.

Within 2 years, McVay became the offensive coordinator for the Washington franchise. His creative play calling helped quarterback Kirk Cousins become a Pro Bowler and enjoy his most productive seasons up to that point. 

The league noticed his meteoric rise, and by 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. This effectively made him the youngest NFL head coach to date.

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Youngest NFL Coach to Win Super Bowl

Sean McVay is the youngest NFL coach to win the Super Bowl, after leading the LA Rams to a close 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 56. At just 36 years of age, the win made Sean McVay the youngest NFL head coach to win the Super Bowl.

McVay had also previously become the youngest NFL coach to make the Super Bowl. During the 2018 NFL season, in just the second season of his career, McVay helped the Rams to a 13-3 record before ultimately losing to the Tom Brady-led Patriots.

The LA Rams followed up a shaky 2021 NFL season, in which they finished with a 12-5 regular season record, with another Super Bowl run. After trading for quarterback Matthew Stafford and signing wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr during the offseason, the LA Rams had assembled a super team.

With the NFL salary cap preventing them from having another shot with this core of players, this postseason run was make or break for the Rams. The Rams blew out the Arizona Cardinals before narrowly squeaking past the defending champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led by Tom Brady.

In the NFC Championship game, the Rams faced off against their NFC West rival the San Francisco 49ers. They managed to scrape by with a 3-point win before advancing to the Super Bowl, where they would go on to claim the championship with a field goal. 

NFL Coaches by Age

Youngest NFL Coaches 2024

  1. Mike Macdonald, Seattle Seahawks: 36 (June 26, 1987)
  2. Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots: 37 (Feb. 23, 1986)
  3. Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams: 38 (Jan. 24, 1986)
  4. Kevin O’Connell, Minnesota Vikings: 38 (May 25, 1985)
  5. Shane Steichen, Indianapolis Colts: 38 (May 11, 1985)
  6. DeMeco Ryans, Houston Texans: 39 (July 28, 1984)
  7. Brian Callahan, Tennessee Titans: 39 (June 10, 1984)
  8. Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals: 40 (May 10, 1983)
  9. Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins: 40 (March 6, 1983)
  10. Jonathan Gannon, Arizona Cardinals: 41 (Jan. 4, 1983)
  11. Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns: 41 (May 8, 1982)
  12. Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles: 42 (June 15, 1981)
  13. Dave Canales, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 42 (May 7, 1981)
  14. Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers: 44 (Dec. 14, 1979)
  15. Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers: 44 (Nov. 3, 1979)
  16. Robert Saleh, New York Jets: 45 (Jan. 31, 1979)
  17. Antonio Pierce, Las Vegas Raiders: 45 (Oct. 26, 1978)
  18. Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions: 47 (April 13, 1976)
  19. Brian Daboll, New York Giants: 48 (April 15, 1975)
  20. Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills: 49 (March 21, 1974)
  21. Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints: 51 (Sept. 22, 1972)
  22. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers: 51 (March 15, 1972)
  23. Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears: 53 (May 17, 1970)
  24. Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars: 56 (Jan. 31, 1968)
  25. Sean Payton, Denver Broncos: 60 (Dec. 29, 1963)
  26. Jim Harbaugh, Los Angeles Chargers: 60 (Dec. 23, 1963)
  27. Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 60 (Nov. 18, 1963)
  28. Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys: 60 (Nov. 10, 1963)
  29. John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens: 61 (Sept. 23, 1962)
  30. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs: 65 (March 19, 1958)

Oldest NFL Coaches 2024

  1. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs: 65
  2. John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens: 61
  3. Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys: 60
  4. Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 60
  5. Sean Payton, Denver Broncos: 59
  6. Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars: 55
  7. Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears: 53
  8. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers: 51
  9. Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints: 51
  10. Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills: 49
  11. Brian Daboll, Detroit Lions: 48
  12. Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions: 47
  13. Robert Saleh, New York Jets: 44
  14. Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers: 44
  15. Kyle Shanahan: San Francisco 49ers: 43
  16. Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles: 42
  17. Kevan Stefanski, Cleveland Browns: 41
  18. Jonathan Gannon, Arizona Cardinals: 40
  19. Mike McDaniel, Miami Dolphins: 40
  20. Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals: 40
  21. DeMeco Ryans, Houston Texans: 39
  22. Shane Steichen, Indianapolis Colts: 38
  23. Kevin O’Connell, Minnesota Vikings: 38
  24. Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams: 37
  25. Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots: 37

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