Matt Cavanaugh

For the American actor, see Matt Cavenaugh.
Matt Cavanaugh

refer to caption

Cavanaugh in 2015
Washington Redskins
Position: Quarterbacks coach
Personal information
Date of birth: (1956-10-27) October 27, 1956
Place of birth: Youngstown, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school: Chaney
College: Pittsburgh
NFL Draft: 1978 / Round: 2 / Pick: 50
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
TDINT: 28–30
Passing yards: 4,332
Passer rating: 71.7
Completions: 305
Attempts: 579
Games played: 112
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Matthew Andrew Cavanaugh (born October 27, 1956) is an American football coach and former player who is the quarterbacks coach for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). He is a former American football quarterback in the NFL who played from 1978 to 1991. In the course of his career as a professional football player, he earned two Super Bowl rings. Since his retirement, Cavanaugh has worked as an offensive coach and coordinator, for teams including the San Francisco 49ers, the Chicago Bears, and the Baltimore Ravens, where he earned a third Super Bowl ring as a coach.


Early career

Cavanaugh was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and attended Chaney High School. He was a football standout and went on to the University of Pittsburgh after graduating. In 1976, he was the starting quarterback for the undefeated Pittsburgh Panthers (he was on the same team with Tony Dorsett) and contributed to the team's National Championship 27–3 victory over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. On that day, Cavanaugh was selected as the Sugar Bowl's Most Valuable Player.[1]

Cavanaugh's performance was a surprise to many college football fans since Cavanaugh's Panther teammate, college rushing record setter Tony Dorsett, was the recipient of that season's Heisman Trophy.

Cavanaugh was also named MVP of the 1977 Gator Bowl, throwing four touchdown passes in a 34–3 win over Clemson.

In 1977, he threw for 1,844 yards with 15 touchdowns against six interceptions. They were the second-most passing yards in Pittsburgh history behind quarterback Ken Lucas' 1,921 in 1965.[2]

NFL playing career and beyond

Cavanaugh was selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 1978 NFL Draft, but spent much of his career as a backup.[3] His professional playing career included stints with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants. Cavanaugh was the backup quarterback in both the 1984 Super Bowl XIX and the 1990 Super Bowl XXV to Joe Montana and Jeff Hostetler, respectively.

Cavanaugh retired as a professional player following the 1991 season, appearing in 112 games with 19 starts, completing 305 of 579 passes for 4,332 yards, 28 touchdowns, 30 interceptions and a 71.7 passer rating.[3] Since his retirement, he has served in the following positions: chief recruiter and offensive coach, University of Pittsburgh (1992–1993); offensive coach, Arizona Cardinals (1994–1995); offensive coach, San Francisco 49ers (1996); offensive coordinator, Chicago Bears (1997–1998); and offensive coordinator, Baltimore Ravens (1999–2004), winning Super Bowl XXXV with the Ravens in 2000.[3] Cavanaugh served as offensive coordinator for his old college team, the University of Pittsburgh Panthers, until 2008 when he accepted a position as an assistant coach and quarterbacks coach with the New York Jets.

On January 18, 2013, it was announced that Bears head coach Marc Trestman has hired Cavanaugh as the quarterbacks coach, replacing Jeremy Bates.[4]

On January 28, 2015, Cavanaugh became the quarterbacks coach for the Washington Redskins.


  1. Livingston, Pat (August 17, 1977). "Cavanaugh's Heisman Bid Up in the Air". Pittsburgh Press. p. C-24. Retrieved September 20, 2016 via Google News.
  3. 1 2 3 Mayer, Larry (July 9, 2013). "Cavanaugh driven by will to win Super Bowl". Chicago Bears. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  4. Mayer, Larry (January 1, 2013). "Bears hire assistant coaches Cavanaugh, Peete". Chicago Bears. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
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