McVay played his high school football at Marist in Atlanta, where he was a dual threat, before moving on to Miami of Ohio. At Miami, he played wide receiver. McVay began his coaching career as an offensive assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008. The following year, he was the wide receivers/quality control coach for the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League. On January 14, 2014 he was promoted by new head coach Jay Gruden to offensive coordinator. McVay had worked with Gruden both in Tampa and in the UFL.