Sean McVay will lead the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, Feb. 3. It is just his second year as an NFL head coach. McVay is just 33 years old, the youngest head coach ever to walk the sidelines in a Super Bowl. It is quite an accomplishment for such a young coach, but reaching football’s ultimate game was something that a young McVay was destined for.
Friday Night Lights McVay attended Marist School, an elite private institution in Brookhaven, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta. At barely 5-feet-10 inches tall, McVay became a four-year starter in football at Marist at both quarterback and defensive back. Marist ran the triple option on offense and McVay eventually became the catalyst that made it go.
As a senior in the fall of 2003, McVay and Marist were in the Georgia 4A playoffs. In the third round of the postseason, McVay’s troops squared off with Shaw, another power from the southwest part of the state. Trailing by four points in the fourth quarter, Marist faced a 3rd-and-long. It was such a crucial juncture of the game that Marist head coach Alan Chadwick called a timeout.
McVay came to the sideline and told his coach to run a play called Wham Naked. “Trust me, it’s there,” said the Marist quarterback. As if Chadwick had a choice, Marist ran Wham Naked. All 11 Shaw defenders swarmed to the Marist running back that appeared to have the ball. What they forgot was McVay who had faked the handoff and ran into the end zone untouched for the winning score.
McVay vs. Megatron McVay’s high school team would go on to win the Georgia 4A state championship and after leading Marist to a 14-1 record, McVay was named the state’s Player of the Year. In the process, he beat out one Calvin Johnson – yes, that Calvin Johnson – for the honors. Johnson would go on to star at Georgia Tech, then in the NFL with the Detroit Lions, and he will one day be inducted into the Hall of Fame … but he was not the Georgia high school player of the year in 2003.
McVay finished his high school career with 2,600 yards rushing and 2,500 more passing. He ran for 40 touchdowns and threw for 18. When it was all said and done, McVay went 26-3 as a starting quarterback at Marist. The legend was born.
Coach McVay McVay went on to play college football at Miami (OH) but injuries cut his career short. The grandson of John McVay, the former 49ers GM that oversaw five Super Bowls, the younger McVay took a job right out of college with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. By 2014, he was the offensive coordinator in Washington. In his first season, he took the Redskins from 25th in total offense to 10th. His 2016 offense was third best in the NFL averaging over 403 yards a game.
At just 31 years of age, McVay was hired to turn around the Rams franchise. He’s doing a pretty good job of it so far. McVay’s Rams are 24-8 in two regular seasons and have captured two NFC West Division titles. On Sunday, the Rams will play for a Super Bowl championship. They will be led by McVay who graduated from high school just 15 years ago. His legend will continue to grow.