Youngest NFL coaches in 2022: The place Sean McVay, Kevin O’Connell, others rank in NFL youth motion

September 8, 2022

When the Rams employed Sean McVay as their head coach on Jan. 12, 2017, the transfer was closely scrutinized.

It is comprehensible that many had been shocked by the choice. In spite of everything, the Rams had been bringing aboard the youngest head coach in league historical past; McVay was simply 30 years, 11 months and 19 days outdated on the time that he was employed.

Nonetheless, the Rams entrance workplace trusted their instincts and their boom-or-bust funding changed into a large win. McVay has turn into among the best coaches within the NFL, main the Rams to a Tremendous Bowl title and making the playoffs in 4 of his 5 seasons.

McVay’s fast rise to the highest of the teaching recreation additionally created one thing referred to as the “Sean McVay impact.” This was the time period coined to consult with the opposite NFL groups that mimicked Los Angeles’ plan and focused younger, offensive-minded coaches to guide their groups. It was employed by many franchises, together with those who focused a number of the wunderkind’s assistants as their subsequent head coaches.

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Practically six years after being employed, McVay continues to be set to be the NFL’s youngest head coach in 2022. This is a rundown of who’s becoming a member of him on that record, together with a quartet of coaches of their 30s.

Youngest NFL coaches of 2022

NFL coaches used to skew older, however 5 of the league’s present head coaches are of their 30s. Beneath is a take a look at these 5 people in addition to the 5 others who spherical out the league’s youngest coaches for the 2022 NFL season.

Age listed as of the NFL season debut on Sept. 8.

Sean McVay, Rams

  • Age: 36
  • Expertise: sixth season
  • Document: 55-26

McVay was the youngest coach ever employed to run an NFL crew, as he was simply shy of 31 years outdated when the Rams tapped him because the successor to Jeff Fisher. The outcomes have been nothing wanting terrific.

McVay has led the Rams to the playoffs in 4 of his 5 seasons as head coach to date. They’ve by no means posted a dropping document underneath his watch and have double-digit wins in 4 of his 5 seasons. Los Angeles has additionally made it to 2 Tremendous Bowls throughout McVay’s transient tenure and gained Tremendous Bowl 56 over the Bengals in 2022.

Although McVay is coming into his sixth NFL season, he’s nonetheless the NFL’s youngest coach and has been since he was employed in 2017. He has been a driving power behind the NFL’s shift to youthful teaching candidates due to his success and his capability to develop high quality candidates on his workers.

Kevin O’Connell, Vikings

  • Age: 37
  • Expertise: 1st season
  • Document: 0-0

O’Connell capped a fast rise within the NFL’s teaching ranks by being employed as the following coach of the Vikings. The previous San Diego State quarterback was a third-round choose by the Patriots in 2008 however largely bounced across the league, taking part in for 5 completely different groups throughout his 5 NFL seasons.

That mentioned, O’Connell has discovered way more success as a coach. He first joined an NFL workers in 2015, when he was named the quarterbacks coach for the Browns. He then spent the 2016 season with the 49ers earlier than heading to Washington for just a few seasons. In his final yr there, he grew to become the crew’s offensive coordinator earlier than leaping over to take that very same function underneath McVay with the Rams.

O’Connell involves Minnesota after spending two years as McVay’s offensive coordinator in Los Angeles. He’s anticipated to carry a few of McVay’s modern offense to the Vikings after the crew used extra of an old-school method underneath coach Mike Zimmer’s workers.

MORE: Breaking down why the Vikings employed Kevin O’Connell as new head coach

Zac Taylor, Bengals

  • Age: 39
  • Expertise: 4th season
  • Document: 16-32-1

Some believed Taylor was in peril of falling off the NFL’s youngest coaches record earlier than final season. He struggled in his first two years with Cincinnati, however all the pieces got here collectively throughout his third season with the crew.

The Bengals shocked almost everybody and mounted a Tremendous Bowl run throughout the 2022 postseason. Taylor helped design Cincinnati’s explosive offense, which was headlined by Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon, and that allowed the crew to go 10-7 throughout the common season and 3-1 throughout the postseason.

Taylor, who coached with the Rams in 2017 and 2018, was unable to upset his mentor McVay in Tremendous Bowl 56, however he established himself as one of many NFL’s strongest younger coaches. He additionally proved to be yet one more viable department of McVay’s spectacular teaching tree.

Mike McDaniel, Dolphins

  • Age: 39
  • Expertise: 1st season
  • Document: 0-0

Imagine it or not, McDaniel additionally has a connection to McVay. The 2 labored collectively in Washington throughout the 2011 and 2012 seasons whereas Mike Shanahan was accountable for the crew. McDaniel finally ended up teaching underneath Kyle Shanahan for 5 seasons in San Francisco earlier than coming to Miami.

McDaniel can be requested to show round a Miami offense that was too usually stagnant underneath Brian Flores. He has 4 years of expertise as a run-game coordinator and spent the 2021 season because the 49ers’ offensive coordinator; he helped lead the crew to an NFC Championship Recreation look so his ceiling is excessive.

Brandon Staley, Chargers

  • Age: 39
  • Expertise: 2nd season
  • Document: 9-8

Staley landed his first NFL job in 2017, when the Bears employed him as their outdoors linebackers coach. By 2021, the Chargers had been prepared to call him their subsequent head coach after he discovered success coordinating the protection of — you guessed it — the Rams.

Staley led the Chargers to a successful document in his first season as head coach. Nonetheless, he was unable to get them to the playoffs, as Los Angeles misplaced in heartbreaking trend to the Raiders in Week 18. Las Vegas kicked a game-winning subject objective as time expired in time beyond regulation; a tie would have despatched each groups to the postseason.

Regardless, Staley established himself as a strong younger coach with a propensity for making aggressive play calls on fourth down. He might have to tone down that facet of his recreation occasionally, however he’s nonetheless off to a powerful begin with the Chargers.

Arthur Smith, Falcons

  • Age: 40
  • Expertise: 2nd season
  • Document: 7-10

Smith is the youngest head coach within the NFL who has by no means labored with Sean McVay. Smith spent a decade with the Titans from 2011 to 2020 earlier than taking the Falcons’ head teaching job in 2021.

Atlanta competed for a wild-card spot in Smith’s first yr with the crew, however finally sputtered towards the top of the season. Smith, the son of FedEx founder Frederick Smith, will now be tasked with guiding the Falcons by a mini rebuild after the crew traded Matt Ryan to the Colts throughout the offseason.

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Kevin Stefanski, Browns

  • Age: 40
  • Expertise: third season
  • Document: 19-14

Stefanski spent the primary 14 years of his NFL teaching profession with the Vikings. He served in a wide range of roles and coached quarterbacks, operating backs and tight ends earlier than being named the crew’s interim — after which everlasting — offensive coordinator. 

Stefanski’s head teaching profession obtained off to a powerful begin in 2020 when he led the Browns to the playoffs, earned the crew a playoff win and was named Coach of the 12 months by the AP and The Sporting Information. Nonetheless, Cleveland’s efficiency dipped in 2021 largely because of a Baker Mayfield damage, and the Browns missed the playoffs consequently.

Now, Stefanski can be going through his hardest process but: maintaining the Browns aggressive with new quarterback Deshaun Watson out of the lineup for 11 video games.


Nick Sirianni, Eagles

  • Age: 41
  • Expertise: 2nd season
  • Document: 9-8

Sirianni exceeded expectations in his first yr as a head coach and guided the Eagles to a stunning playoff berth. Philadelphia was the No. 7 seed within the NFC and although it misplaced to the Buccaneers within the wild-card spherical, the Eagles had been definitely comfortable that Sirianni was in a position to speed up what was anticipated to be a rebuild.

The Eagles have increased expectations in 2022, so will probably be attention-grabbing to see if Sirianni can ship despite these. His mentor, Frank Reich, has struggled to take action constantly in Indianapolis, however that does not imply the identical will apply to Sirianni.

Kyle Shanahan, 49ers

  • Age: 42
  • Expertise: sixth season
  • Document: 39-42

Shanahan was employed as a head coach similtaneously McVay and was thought of one of many vibrant, younger offensive geniuses that kickstarted the brand new wave of NFL hiring types. Up to now, Shanahan has loved success, even when the numbers do not inform the entire story.

The 49ers have routinely been aggressive underneath Shanahan, making the playoffs twice and reaching the Tremendous Bowl (2020) and NFC Championship Recreation (2022) on his watch. There have been some blips on the radar, however these have largely been resulting from points on the quarterback spot, together with accidents to Jimmy Garoppolo.

Shanahan is now set to roll with former No. 3 total choose Trey Lance because the crew’s beginning quarterback with Garoppolo serving because the backup. That provides the crew depth on the QB spot; nonetheless, the squad’s success in 2022 can be predicated on whether or not the comparatively uncooked Lance is prepared for a beginning job. If he’s, Shanahan’s profession teaching document might creep above .500 for his profession.

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Matt LaFleur, Packers

  • Age: 42
  • Expertise: 4th season
  • Document: 39-10

LaFleur might not be lengthy for the NFL’s youngest coaches record, however he is likely one of the most profitable coaches on it. The 42-year-old has gained 13 regular-season video games in every of his first three years with the Packers. He has expertise working underneath Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay and Mike Vrabel, and he has mixed that to make himself one of many best-rounded coaches within the NFL.

The one knock on LaFleur is that his squads have not discovered playoff success; the Packers are simply 2-3 total throughout their three playoff appearances underneath his steering. Aaron Rodgers and Co. will look to alter that and eventually ship one other Tremendous Bowl to the Inexperienced Bay trustworthy in 2023.

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