Mike McCarthy (American football)

Mike McCarthy

Candid photograph of McCarthy wearing a green Packers polo shirt and white Packers baseball cap.

McCarthy coaching the Packers in 2007
Green Bay Packers
Position: Head coach
Personal information
Date of birth: (1963-11-10) November 10, 1963
Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Career information
High school: Homestead (PA) Bishop Boyle
College: Baker University
Career history
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
  • Super Bowl champion (XLV)
  • 5× Division champion (2007, 2011–2014)
Head coaching record
Regular season: 110–61–1 (.642)
Postseason: 8–7 (.533)
Career: 118–68–1 (.634)
Coaching stats at PFR

Michael John McCarthy (born November 10, 1963) is an American football coach who is the head coach of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He lead the Packers to a win in Super Bowl XLV against his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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.[1][2] McCarthy was a tight end at Baker University, a NAIA school located in Baldwin City, Kansas.

Coaching career


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 graduate assistant for three seasons before coaching wide receivers during the 1992 season. At first and during the off season he also worked on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to supplement his income.[3]


Assistant coach

In 1993, McCarthy began a stint with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs; 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. McCarthy spent the 1999 season in the same position with the Packers, coaching Brett Favre in a season when 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. He would largely be the reason behind the successful development of talents such as QB Aaron Brooks, RB Deuce McAllister, and WR Joe Horn. 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, RB Ricky Williams would run for 2,245 yards with 14 TD under McCarthy's guidance before being traded to the Miami Dolphins.

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 last in the NFL in points scored and yards gained. Despite this, RB Frank Gore would emerge to run for over 600 yards with a 4.8 YPC and WR Brandon Lloyd had 733 yards receiving and 5 TD.

Return to Green Bay
McCarthy in 2012 with the Packers.

McCarthy was interviewed by Packers general manager Ted Thompson on January 8, 2006 and was offered the head coaching position three days later.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7] He signed a five-year contract extension with the team on January 19, 2008, that raised his salary to $3.4 million a year.[8]

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.[9]

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,[10] 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. (The Lions are only the second team in the NFL's post-merger (the NFL and original AFL merged prior to the 1970 season) history to go winless in a single season, and the first to go 0–16 in one season after the NFL's transition to a 16-game schedule in 1978.)[11][12] 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 QB in the NFL. The Packers dominated teams with losing records, but were swept by their rival Minnesota Vikings, led by former Packers franchise QB Brett Favre. The Packers lost to the previously winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but then came back to beat the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys.[13] 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.[14] The Packers lost the Wild Card round to the Arizona Cardinals in overtime, 51–45, .[15]

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.[16]

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).[17][18]

In November 2014, McCarthy signed a contract extension through 2018.[19]

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.

In March 2015, at the annual owners meetings, Bill Belichick stated that McCarthy is "one of the best coaches in the league."[20][21]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
WonLostTiesWin %Finish Won Lost Win % Result
GB2006 880.5002nd in NFC North
GB2007 1330.8131st in NFC North11.500Lost to New York Giants in NFC Championship Game.
GB2008 6100.3753rd in NFC North
GB2009 1150.6882nd in NFC North 0 1 .000Lost to Arizona Cardinals in NFC Wild-Card Game.
GB2010 1060.6252nd in NFC North 4 0 1.000 Super Bowl XLV Champions
GB2011 1510.9381st in NFC North 0 1 .000Lost to New York Giants in NFC Divisional Game.
GB2012 1150.6881st in NFC North 1 1 .500Lost to San Francisco 49ers in NFC Divisional Game.
GB2013 871.5311st in NFC North 0 1 .000Lost to San Francisco 49ers in NFC Wild-Card Game.
GB2014 1240.7501st in NFC North 1 1 .500Lost to Seattle Seahawks in NFC Championship Game.
GB2015 1060.6252nd in NFC North 1 1 .500 Lost to Arizona Cardinals in NFC Divisional Game.
GB 2016 6 6 0 .500
GB Total 11061 1 .642 8 7 .533

Coaching record vs. other teams

How the Packers have fared in games with McCarthy as head coach.

Arizona Cardinals 34 0
Atlanta Falcons 43 0
Baltimore Ravens 2 0 0
Buffalo Bills 1 2 0
Carolina Panthers 32 0
Chicago Bears 157 0
Cincinnati Bengals 0 2 0
Cleveland Browns 2 0 0
Dallas Cowboys 53 0
Denver Broncos 2 1 0
Detroit Lions 174 0
Houston Texans 2 1 0
Indianapolis Colts 12 0
Jacksonville Jaguars 2 1 0
Kansas City Chiefs 21 0
Miami Dolphins 2 1 0
Minnesota Vikings 156 1
New England Patriots 1 2 0
New Orleans Saints 2 3 0
New York Giants 44 0
New York Jets 2 1 0
Oakland Raiders 3 0 0
Philadelphia Eagles 52 0
Pittsburgh Steelers 1 2 0
Los Angeles Rams 5 1 0
San Diego Chargers 3 0 0
San Francisco 49ers 4 4 0
Seattle Seahawks 44 0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 2 0
Tennessee Titans 1 2 0
Washington Redskins 32 0
Totals:  11868 1[a]

Coaching tree

See coaching tree for more information

NFL head coaches under whom Mike McCarthy has served:

Assistant coaches under Mike McCarthy who became NFL head coaches:

Assistant coaches under Mike McCarthy who became NCAA head coaches:


In 2007, McCarthy was voted the Motorola NFL Coach of the Year[22] after twice receiving Coach of the Week awards.[23][24] He was also named the NFL Alumni's Coach of the Year by a group of former players.[25]

In 2008, McCarthy received the distinguished service award at the Lee Remmel sports awards banquet in Green Bay.

Personal life

McCarthy married Jessica Kress in March 2008 at a private ceremony in Maricopa County, Arizona. Together, they have two daughters, Gabrielle Kathleen, born on October 22, 2008 and Isabella Conroy, born on July 29, 2011. McCarthy also has a daughter, Alexandra, from a previous marriage and two stepsons, Jack and George.

On Wednesday January 21, 2015, McCarthy's 47-year-old brother Joseph died at a hospital in McCandless in western Pennsylvania. He had been taken to the hospital after an incident at a gym.[26]


  1. King, Peter (January 24, 2011). "Super Bowl XLV, pitting Packers vs. Steelers, is one for history books". SportsIllustrated.com.
  2. Branch, John (January 25, 2011). "Packers' Coach Has Fans in a Small Slice of Steelertown". NewYorkTimes.com.
  3. "Super Bowl XLV, pitting Packers vs. Steelers, is one for history books". CNN. January 24, 2011.
  4. ESPN.com. "Packers to hire 49ers' McCarthy as coach". Retrieved 2006-01-12.
  5. Pro Football Reference. "2006 Green Bay Packers". Retrieved 2007-01-12.
  6. Fly, Colin (November 12, 2007). "McCarthy stays true to Packers' plan, sits atop NFC with best start among active coaches". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  7. Associated Press. "Unbeaten regular season lifts Belichick to second AP Coach of Year honor". Archived from the original on January 4, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
  8. Green Bay Press-Gazette – Packers, McCarthy reach five-year deal
  9. ESPN.com. "Jets set for Brett: Packers legend headed to New York". Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  10. ESPN.com. "Aaron Rodgers stats". Retrieved 2009-08-07.
  11. Pro Football Reference. "2008 Detroit Lions". Retrieved 2009-08-07.
  12. Pro Football Reference. "2008 Green Bay Packers". Retrieved 2009-08-07.
  13. Pro Football Reference. "2009 Green Bay Packers". Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  14. Dougherty, Pete. "Green Bay Packers rout Seattle Seahawks 48–10, clinch playoff berth". Retrieved 2009-12-27.
  15. Dougherty, Pete. "Green Bay Packers lose to Arizona Cardinals 51–45 in NFC playoff game". Retrieved 2010-01-10.
  16. "Aaron Rodgers tosses 3 TD passes as Packers drop Steelers to win Super Bowl XLV". ESPN. February 6, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-07.
  17. jrn.com. "McCarthy on passing Lombardi on Packers win list". Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  18. tbo.com. "Hot Reads: GB coach could pass Lombardi's mark". Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  19. Demovsky, Rob (3 November 2014). "Packers extend coach Mike McCarthy". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  20. In March 2015, at the annual owners meetings, Bill Belichick stated that McCarthy is "one of the best coaches in the league."
  21. Wilde, Jason. "Belichick: McCarthy 'one of the best coaches I've ever gone up against'". ESPN Wisconsin. Retrieved 2015-03-25.
  22. "Packers' McCarthy named 2007 Motorola NFL Coach of the Year". Archived from the original on February 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
  23. "Mike McCarthy Named NFL Coach of the Week". Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
  24. "Mike McCarthy Named NFL Coach of the Week". Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved 2007-11-19.
  25. "McCarthy is NFL Alumni's coach of the year". Retrieved 2008-01-03.
  26. http://host.madison.com/sports/football/professional/packers-brother-of-coach-mike-mccarthy-dies-in-pennsylvania/article_4fdb087d-d12d-5b1e-99b7-37f9e92178aa.html

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