On Sunday, Los Angeles Rams' coach Sean McVay will lead his team to the 2019 Super Bowl, versus the New England Patriots.
McVay, who is more than 30 years younger than Patriot's coach Bill Belichick, will make history as the youngest head coach to ever coach at the big game.
At just 33 years old, McVay is also the youngest coach in the league. According to ESPN, he is the youngest person to become a head coach in the NFL since 1938, when Art "Pappy" Lewis of the Cleveland Rams became a head coach at 27.
For McVay, entering the game of football has been something of a family business. According to the Los Angeles Times, his grandfather, John McVay, was a coach for the New York Giants before becoming a front-office executive for the San Francisco 49ers. His father, Tim McVay, played as a defensive back at Indiana University, and his uncle played at Miami University.
McVay grew up near Atlanta, Georgia, and played football in high school and later at Miami University, his uncle's alma mater. Former Miami coach Shane Montgomery tells The Washington Post that McVay, who played quarterback in high school and became a wide receiver in college, "understood everything" about the game.
"He understood the whole offense and he was a great leader," said Montgomery.
But McVay's dad, Tim, tells The Washington Post that his son was not always clear on whether or not he actually wanted to coach. "He was like any college kid, wondering, 'What the heck am I going to do when I get out of college?'"
After graduating in 2008, McVay connected with long-time family friend Jon Gruden, at the time the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He offered McVay an entry-level job with the team as a gopher.
"How many kids are able to get hired right in the NFL right out of college?" Tim said. "Not many. All of a sudden, boom, he's right in, working as an assistant to Jon. He embraced it."
When Gruden was fired from his position in 2010, McVay scored an interview with then-Washington Redskins' head coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan was looking for an assistant tight end coach, and tells The Washington Post that immediately after his interview with McVay he knew he was right for the job.
He says McVay worked hard to understand the game even better, "quizzing other coaches about blitzes, protection schemes and secondary alignments."
"He'd ask questions at a young age that most people wouldn't ask," Shanahan said. "He wanted to know the whys behind everything."
That same year, Washington's tight end coach Jon Embree left his position, and Shanahan promoted McVay, who was just shy of his 25th birthday, to the role.
"In the first month or so, I thought he was a little savant boy or genius boy," former Washington tight end Chris Cooley said of McVay. But after working with the young coach for a few months, Cooley says he quickly learned that "he's an outlier in the football community."
McVay spent three years coaching Washington's offense before he stepped into his current role as head coach of the Los Angeles Rams in 2017. At the time, he just was just 30 years old, more than three decades younger than the league's oldest head coach, Pete Carroll, who once worked with McVay's grandfather.
In his short time as head coach, McVay has turned the once 4 -12 Rams into a winning team that is now on its way to a Super Bowl championship.
Though his age may be a surprise to many, McVay's players say it's his no non-sense approach that makes their team work so well.
"He [knows] when to be about business," cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman tells ESPN, "and he [knows] when it's time to play."
This is an updated version of a post that previously appeared on January 20, 2019.
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