Mike McCarthy (American football)
McCarthy as Packers head coach in 2007
|Born:||November 10, 1963|
|High school:||Bishop Boyle|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||125–77–2 (.618)|
|Coaching stats at PFR|
Michael John McCarthy (born November 10, 1963) is an American football coach. He was the head coach of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) from 2006 to 2018, leading them to a win in Super Bowl XLV over his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was previously the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints.
Early life and playing career
McCarthy was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father was a firefighter and Pittsburgh Police officer as well as a bar owner, who raised McCarthy as a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. McCarthy was a tight end at Scottsdale Community College before transferring to Baker University, an NAIA school located in Baldwin City, Kansas.
After serving as a graduate assistant at Fort Hays State from 1987 to 1988, McCarthy returned home to Pittsburgh and was hired in 1989 to work under Mike Gottfried and then later Paul Hackett at the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as a graduate assistant for three seasons before coaching wide receivers during the 1992 season. Initially during the off season he also worked on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to supplement his income.
In 1993, McCarthy was hired by the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs under head coach Marty Schottenheimer. After working two years as an offensive quality control assistant, McCarthy became quarterbacks coach, overseeing the work of Rich Gannon, Elvis Grbac, and Steve Bono. When Schottenheimer resigned after the 1998 season, McCarthy left Kansas City and became the Packers quarterbacks coach. In the 1999 season, Packers quarterback Brett Favre threw for 4,091 yards, the fourth-best total of his career.
After the Packers released the entire coaching staff following the 1999 season, McCarthy became the offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. He would remain in that position for five seasons and was selected as NFC Assistant Coach of the Year by USA Today in 2000. New Orleans would finish 10th, 13th, 3rd in 2002, 14th, and 14th in points scored during his tenure as offensive coordinator. In his first two years, running back Ricky Williams would run for 2,245 yards with 14 touchdowns.
In 2005, McCarthy served as offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers. His unit, beset by injuries and led by a rookie quarterback (top draft pick Alex Smith), finished the season ranked 30th in the NFL in points scored and dead last in yards gained. Despite this, running back Frank Gore would emerge to run for over 600 yards with a 4.8 YPC and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd had 733 yards receiving and five touchdowns.
Return to Green Bay
In 2006, the Packers started with a 4–8 record, but managed to win their last four games to finish the season 8–8, ending with a win against their archrival Chicago Bears, but missing the playoffs for the second straight year.
McCarthy guided the Packers to an 8–1 record in the first 9 games of the 2007 season. McCarthy recorded the best win-loss ratio to start the first 25 games of a career among active coaches, setting the record for the best coaching start in Packers' history (Vince Lombardi went 15–10) and tying Washington's Joe Gibbs at 16–9. McCarthy led the Packers to a 13–3 record and made it to the NFC Championship game, where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl-winning New York Giants in overtime. That year, he finished second in voting for The Associated Press Coach of the Year award, garnering 15 votes to Bill Belichick's 29 votes. He signed a five-year contract extension with the team on January 19, 2008, that raised his salary to $3.4 million a year.
In 2008, McCarthy became embroiled in a major controversy involving the future of their franchise quarterback, Brett Favre. The controversy started when Favre, after having announced his retirement, changed his mind, deciding to play again. Favre had assumed that he would be given the starting quarterback job again. McCarthy and Packers' general manager Ted Thompson had stated their desire to move forward with new starter Aaron Rodgers. Favre was offered the opportunity to be the back up to Rodgers, an offer which Favre refused. Favre was ultimately traded to the New York Jets for a conditional fourth-round draft pick.
The 2008 season was McCarthy's worst to date with the Packers. Despite a solid showing by Rodgers, who threw for over 4,000 yards and posted a 93.8 passer rating, the Packers started with a 5–5 record, proceeding to lose five consecutive close games until they ended the disappointing season with a 31–21 victory over the Detroit Lions. At 6–10, the Packers finished 3rd in the NFC North, only ahead of the Lions, and did not make the playoffs.
In 2009, the Packers showed some signs of improvement, but also had struggles. Rodgers improved on 2008's statistics, but was sacked 50 times, more than any other quarterback in the NFL. The Packers dominated teams with losing records, but were swept by their rival Minnesota Vikings, led by former Packers franchise quarterback Brett Favre. The Packers lost to the previously winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but then came back to beat the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys. They then began a five-game winning streak, and the Packers qualified for the playoffs with a Week 17 win over the Cardinals, finishing at 11–5, the second playoff berth in McCarthy's tenure. The Packers lost the Wild Card round to the Arizona Cardinals in overtime, 51–45.
In 2010, McCarthy led the Packers to a 10–6 finish, never losing by more than four points and never trailing by more than 7 throughout the entire season. This record was good for 2nd in the NFC North, behind the arch-rival Chicago Bears, with whom they split victories in the regular season. They finished as the sixth seed in the NFC. The Packers went on to defeat the number three-seeded Philadelphia Eagles and then the number one-seeded Atlanta Falcons. In the NFC Championship game they played the second-seeded Chicago Bears for the third time that season. They won 21–14 and advanced to Super Bowl XLV where they played the Pittsburgh Steelers. Super Bowl XLV was the first time these two storied franchises played each other in the postseason. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31–25 to win their fourth Super Bowl and 13th NFL title overall.
With a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 16 of the 2014 season, McCarthy notched his 99th win passing Hall of Famer Vince Lombardi (98) for second on the Packers' all-time wins list, behind only Hall of Famer Curly Lambeau (212).
In November 2014, McCarthy signed a contract extension through 2018.
On January 18, 2015, McCarthy was criticized after making several play-calls during the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks that were "conservative". At the start of the game, he went for two field goals at the 1-yard, and was criticized in an article by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for "not going for it". During the last five minutes of the game, McCarthy called three run plays to Eddie Lacy with 3:52 minutes left, as the Packers punted a play later. The Packers went on to lose 22-28 in overtime, and McCarthy was criticized after the game for "not giving Aaron Rodgers a chance" to win the game. A day after the loss, McCarthy stated that he is "not questioning his play-calling", as well as stating that he "came to run the ball".
In February 2015, McCarthy relinquished play calling duties to long-time assistant Tom Clements. Clements was promoted to associate head coach, offense, while wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett was promoted to offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt will also act as wide receivers coach. In week 14, though, coach McCarthy once again assumed control over the offensive play calling, at least duration of the game in which the Packers won over the Dallas Cowboys 28–7.
On January 2, 2018, it was announced that McCarthy had signed a one-year contract extension with the Green Bay Packers.
On September 23, 2018, during a game against the Washington Redskins, McCarthy was seen yelling at the referees after Clay Matthews was called for a "questionable" roughing-the-passer penalty. The Packers went on to lose 17-31.
After McCarthy was fired as Packers head coach, he expressed plans to interview with the New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, and the Cleveland Browns. However, McCarthy declined to interview with Arizona. McCarthy was expected to interview with the Browns on Thursday, January 3, but was moved to a week later. McCarthy declined the job, and the Browns hired Freddie Kitchens. On January 5, 2019, McCarthy interviewed with the Jets for their head coach search. However, McCarthy didn't get the job as the Jets hired Adam Gase. On January 9, 2019, McCarthy announced that he intended to sit out for the 2019 season with hopes to coach in 2020. On April 3, 2019, McCarthy had his first interview since being fired by the Packers.
Head coaching record
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|GB||2006||8||8||0||.500||2nd in NFC North||—||—||—||—|
|GB||2007||13||3||0||.813||1st in NFC North||1||1||.500||Lost to New York Giants in NFC Championship Game|
|GB||2008||6||10||0||.375||3rd in NFC North||—||—||—||—|
|GB||2009||11||5||0||.688||2nd in NFC North||0||1||.000||Lost to Arizona Cardinals in NFC Wild-Card Game|
|GB||2010||10||6||0||.625||2nd in NFC North||4||0||1.000||Super Bowl XLV champions|
|GB||2011||15||1||0||.938||1st in NFC North||0||1||.000||Lost to New York Giants in NFC Divisional Game|
|GB||2012||11||5||0||.688||1st in NFC North||1||1||.500||Lost to San Francisco 49ers in NFC Divisional Game|
|GB||2013||8||7||1||.531||1st in NFC North||0||1||.000||Lost to San Francisco 49ers in NFC Wild-Card Game|
|GB||2014||12||4||0||.750||1st in NFC North||1||1||.500||Lost to Seattle Seahawks in NFC Championship Game|
|GB||2015||10||6||0||.625||2nd in NFC North||1||1||.500||Lost to Arizona Cardinals in NFC Divisional Game|
|GB||2016||10||6||0||.625||1st in NFC North||2||1||.667||Lost to Atlanta Falcons in NFC Championship Game|
|GB||2017||7||9||0||.438||3rd in NFC North||—||—||—||—|
Coaching record vs. other teams
How the Packers have fared in games with McCarthy as head coach:
|Kansas City Chiefs||2||1||0|
|New England Patriots||1||3||0|
|New Orleans Saints||2||4||0|
|New York Giants||5||4||0|
|New York Jets||2||1||0|
|Los Angeles Rams||5||2||0|
|Los Angeles Chargers||3||0||0|
|San Francisco 49ers||5||4||0|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||2||0|
- See coaching tree for more information
NFL head coaches under whom Mike McCarthy has served:
- Marty Schottenheimer, Kansas City Chiefs (1993–1998)
- Ray Rhodes, Green Bay Packers (1999)
- Jim Haslett, New Orleans Saints (2000–2004)
- Mike Nolan, San Francisco 49ers (2005)
Assistant coaches under Mike McCarthy who became NFL head coaches:
- Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins (2012–2015), Green Bay Packers, interim (2018)
- Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (2016–2017)
Assistant coaches under Mike McCarthy who became NCAA head coaches:
McCarthy is married to his wife, Jessica, and they have 5 children together. Prior to marrying Jessica, McCarthy married Christine in 1989, whom he has known since high school. McCarthy and Christine divorced in 1995, however, both still have a "good relationship" and have been committed to sharing parental duties.
In 2007, McCarthy was voted the Motorola NFL Coach of the Year after twice receiving Coach of the Week awards. He was also named the NFL Alumni's Coach of the Year by a group of former players.
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- "Packers' McCarthy named 2007 Motorola NFL Coach of the Year". Archived from the original on February 1, 2008. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
- "Mike McCarthy Named NFL Coach of the Week". Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved September 25, 2007.
- "Mike McCarthy Named NFL Coach of the Week". Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
- "McCarthy is NFL Alumni's coach of the year". Retrieved January 3, 2008.
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