|Born:||March 12, 1921|
|Died:||July 28, 1974 (aged 53)|
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||220 lb (100 kg)|
|High school:||Cleveland (OH) Rhodes|
|NFL Draft:||1943 / Round: 13 / Pick: 116|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||28–17–2 (.617)|
|Player stats at PFR|
|Coaching stats at PFR|
Donald William McCafferty (March 12, 1921 – July 28, 1974) was an American football player and coach who, in his first year as head coach of the Baltimore Colts, led the team to a victory in Super Bowl V, and became the first rookie head coach to win the Super Bowl.
McCafferty played college football for Ohio State University under coach Paul Brown, where he was a key member of the offensive line. Due to World War II, he was one of a select group of players to play twice in the annual College All-Star Game held in Chicago.
After working in the Cleveland, Ohio recreation department the following year, he was hired as an assistant at Kent State University in 1948. He spent 11 seasons with the Golden Flashes until accepting an assistant coaching position with the Baltimore Colts. During that first season at the professional level, McCafferty was part of the Colts' second straight championship team.
When Colts' head coach Weeb Ewbank was fired after the conclusion of the 1962 NFL season, McCafferty remained with the team as offensive coordinator under new coach Don Shula. McCafferty's easy-going personality helped serve as a buffer against the demanding Shula's quest for perfection, a contrast that played a major part in the team's three NFL playoff appearances during the next seven years. Colts' Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas once said about McCafferty, "He doesn't shout and scream. He's able to look at football objectively without getting carried away emotionally." He was referred to in the press and by the Colts players as "Easy Rider".
When Shula left to accept the head coaching position with the Miami Dolphins, McCafferty was chosen to replace him on April 6, 1970, then the following season led the Baltimore Colts to an 11–2–1 record and their second Super Bowl appearance in three years. In that mistake-filled contest against the Dallas Cowboys on January 17, 1971, the Colts won, 16–13, on a last-second field goal by rookie Jim O'Brien.
The Colts once again reached the playoffs in 1971, but were shut out, 21–0, in the AFC Championship game by Shula's Dolphins. The following year, after only one win in the team's first five games, the Colts' general manager, Joe Thomas, ordered Unitas benched as the team's quarterback. When McCafferty refused, he was fired.
McCafferty signed a three-year contract as head coach of the Detroit Lions on January 26, 1973. He succeeded Joe Schmidt who had resigned two weeks prior. The Lions finished with a 6–7–1 record in what would turn out to be McCafferty's only season coaching the ballclub in 1973. On July 28, 1974, while spending some time at his nearby home in West Bloomfield, Michigan, he suffered a heart attack while cutting his grass. He died after being transported to a Pontiac hospital. He was buried three days later following services at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium, Maryland.
Head coaching record
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|BCO||1970||11||2||1||.821||1st in AFC East||3||0||1.000||Super Bowl V champions.|
|BCO||1971||10||4||0||.714||2nd in AFC East||1||1||1.000||Lost to the Miami Dolphins in AFC Conference Championship.|
|BCO||1972||1||4||0||.200||3rd in AFC East||–||–||–|
|DET||1973||6||7||1||.464||2nd in NFC Central||–||–||–|
- "Mind-blowing stats for the Super Bowl". National Football League. January 29, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- Callahan, Tom (2006). Johnny U. New York: Crown. p. 219. ISBN 978-1-4000-8139-4.
- "Super Bowl V - Dallas Cowboys vs. Baltimore Colts - January 17th, 1971". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
- "Detroit Gets Ex‐Colt Coach," The Associated Press, Friday, January 26, 1973. Retrieved December 17, 2018
- "Don McCafferty, N.F.L. Coach Of Colts and Lions, Is Dead," The Associated Press, Sunday, July 28, 1974. Retrieved December 17, 2018
- Don McCafferty Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks – Pro-Football-Reference.com