Mike McCarthy (American football)

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Mike McCarthy
Candid photograph of McCarthy wearing a green Packers polo shirt and white Packers baseball cap
McCarthy as Packers head coach in 2007
Personal information
Born: (1963-11-10) November 10, 1963 (age 55)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Career information
High school:Bishop Boyle
(Homestead, Pennsylvania)
Career history
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season:125–77–2 (.618)
Postseason:10–8 (.556)
Career:135–85–2 (.613)
Coaching stats at PFR

Michael John McCarthy (born November 10, 1963) is an American football coach. He was the head coach of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) from 2006 to 2018, leading them to a win in Super Bowl XLV over his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was previously the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints.

Early life and playing career[edit]

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 Scottsdale Community College[3] before transferring to Baker University, an NAIA school located in Baldwin City, Kansas.[4]

Coaching career[edit]


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 a graduate assistant for three seasons before coaching wide receivers during the 1992 season. Initially during the off season he also worked on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to supplement his income.[5]


Assistant coach[edit]

In 1993, McCarthy was hired by the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs under head coach Marty Schottenheimer. 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. When Schottenheimer resigned after the 1998 season, McCarthy left Kansas City and became the Packers quarterbacks coach. In the 1999 season, Packers quarterback Brett 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. 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, running back Ricky Williams would run for 2,245 yards with 14 touchdowns.

In 2005, McCarthy served as offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.[6] His unit, beset by injuries[citation needed] and led by a rookie quarterback (top draft pick Alex Smith), finished the season ranked 30th in the NFL in points scored and dead last in yards gained. Despite this, running back Frank Gore would emerge to run for over 600 yards with a 4.8 YPC and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd had 733 yards receiving and five touchdowns.

Return to Green Bay[edit]

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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] He signed a five-year contract extension with the team on January 19, 2008, that raised his salary to $3.4 million a year.[11]

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.[12]

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,[13] 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. At 6–10, the Packers finished 3rd in the NFC North, only ahead of the Lions, and did not make the playoffs.[14]

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 quarterback in the NFL. The Packers dominated teams with losing records, but were swept by their rival Minnesota Vikings, led by former Packers franchise quarterback Brett Favre. The Packers lost to the previously winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but then came back to beat the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys.[15] 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.[16] The Packers lost the Wild Card round to the Arizona Cardinals in overtime, 51–45.[17]

McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2012

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.[18]

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).[19][20]

In November 2014, McCarthy signed a contract extension through 2018.[21]

On January 18, 2015, McCarthy was criticized after making several play-calls during the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks that were "conservative".[22] At the start of the game, he went for two field goals at the 1-yard, and was criticized in an article by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for "not going for it".[23] During the last five minutes of the game, McCarthy called three run plays to Eddie Lacy with 3:52 minutes left, as the Packers punted a play later. The Packers went on to lose 22-28 in overtime, and McCarthy was criticized after the game for "not giving Aaron Rodgers a chance" to win the game.[24] A day after the loss, McCarthy stated that he is "not questioning his play-calling", as well as stating that he "came to run the ball".[25]

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.[26]

In March 2015, at the annual owners' meetings, Bill Belichick stated that McCarthy is "one of the best coaches I've ever gone up against."[27][28]

On January 2, 2018, it was announced that McCarthy had signed a one-year contract extension with the Green Bay Packers.[29]

On September 23, 2018, during a game against the Washington Redskins, McCarthy was seen yelling at the referees after Clay Matthews was called for a "questionable" roughing-the-passer penalty.[30] The Packers went on to lose 17-31.[31]

On December 2, 2018, after a 17–20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, McCarthy was released by the Packers after 13 seasons as the head coach.[32]


After McCarthy was fired as Packers head coach, he expressed plans to interview with the New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, and the Cleveland Browns.[33][34] However, McCarthy declined to interview with Arizona.[35] McCarthy was expected to interview with the Browns on Thursday, January 3,[36] but was moved to a week later.[37] McCarthy declined the job, and the Browns hired Freddie Kitchens.[38] On January 5, 2019, McCarthy interviewed with the Jets for their head coach search.[39] However, McCarthy didn't get the job as the Jets hired Adam Gase.[40] On January 9, 2019, McCarthy announced that he intended to sit out for the 2019 season with hopes to coach in 2020.[41] On April 3, 2019, McCarthy had his first interview since being fired by the Packers.[42]

Head coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post-season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
GB 2006 8 8 0 .500 2nd in NFC North
GB 2007 13 3 0 .813 1st in NFC North 1 1 .500 Lost to New York Giants in NFC Championship Game
GB 2008 6 10 0 .375 3rd in NFC North
GB 2009 11 5 0 .688 2nd in NFC North 0 1 .000 Lost to Arizona Cardinals in NFC Wild-Card Game
GB 2010 10 6 0 .625 2nd in NFC North 4 0 1.000 Super Bowl XLV champions
GB 2011 15 1 0 .938 1st in NFC North 0 1 .000 Lost to New York Giants in NFC Divisional Game
GB 2012 11 5 0 .688 1st in NFC North 1 1 .500 Lost to San Francisco 49ers in NFC Divisional Game
GB 2013 8 7 1 .531 1st in NFC North 0 1 .000 Lost to San Francisco 49ers in NFC Wild-Card Game
GB 2014 12 4 0 .750 1st in NFC North 1 1 .500 Lost to Seattle Seahawks in NFC Championship Game
GB 2015 10 6 0 .625 2nd in NFC North 1 1 .500 Lost to Arizona Cardinals in NFC Divisional Game
GB 2016 10 6 0 .625 1st in NFC North 2 1 .667 Lost to Atlanta Falcons in NFC Championship Game
GB 2017 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC North
GB 2018 4 7 1 .375 (fired)
GB total 125 77 2 .618 10 8 .556
Total 125 77 2 .618 10 8 .556

Coaching record vs. other teams[edit]

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

Team Wins Losses Ties
Arizona Cardinals 3 5 0
Atlanta Falcons 4 5 0
Baltimore Ravens 2 1 0
Buffalo Bills 2 2 0
Carolina Panthers 3 3 0
Chicago Bears 19 7 0
Cincinnati Bengals 1 2 0
Cleveland Browns 3 0 0
Dallas Cowboys 7 3 0
Denver Broncos 2 1 0
Detroit Lions 18 7 0
Houston Texans 2 1 0
Indianapolis Colts 1 2 0
Jacksonville Jaguars 2 1 0
Kansas City Chiefs 2 1 0
Miami Dolphins 3 1 0
Minnesota Vikings 16 9 2
New England Patriots 1 3 0
New Orleans Saints 2 4 0
New York Giants 5 4 0
New York Jets 2 1 0
Oakland Raiders 3 0 0
Philadelphia Eagles 5 2 0
Pittsburgh Steelers 1 3 0
Los Angeles Rams 5 2 0
Los Angeles Chargers 3 0 0
San Francisco 49ers 5 4 0
Seattle Seahawks 6 5 0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 2 0
Tennessee Titans 1 2 0
Washington Redskins 3 3 0
Totals:  135 85 2

Coaching tree[edit]

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:

Personal life[edit]

McCarthy is married to his wife, Jessica, and they have two daughters together. McCarthy has two stepsons through this marriage.[43] Prior to marrying Jessica, McCarthy married Christine in 1989, whom he has known since high school. The couple had one daughter together.[44] McCarthy and Christine divorced in 1995, however, both still have a "good relationship" and have been committed to sharing parental duties.[45][46]


In 2007, McCarthy was voted the Motorola NFL Coach of the Year[47] after twice receiving Coach of the Week awards.[48][49] He was also named the NFL Alumni's Coach of the Year by a group of former players.[50]

In 2008, McCarthy received the distinguished service award at the Lee Remmel sports awards banquet in Green Bay.[51]


  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. ^ "ESPN ranks Mike McCarthy's football playing career". Green Bay Packers. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  4. ^ Litke, Jim (November 30, 2014). "Packers: Mike McCarthy became a student of the game at tiny Baker University". Madison.com. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  5. ^ "Super Bowl XLV, pitting Packers vs. Steelers, is one for history books". CNN. January 24, 2011.
  6. ^ https://www.ign.com/boards/threads/49ers-name-mccarthy-as-oc-and-warhop-as-ol-coaches-rollin-with-nolan.77774598/
  7. ^ ESPN.com. "Packers to hire 49ers' McCarthy as coach". Retrieved January 12, 2006.
  8. ^ Pro Football Reference. "2006 Green Bay Packers". Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  9. ^ Fly, Colin (November 12, 2007). "McCarthy stays true to Packers' plan, sits atop NFC with best start among active coaches". USA Today. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  10. ^ Associated Press. "Unbeaten regular season lifts Belichick to second AP Coach of Year honor". Archived from the original on January 4, 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2008.
  11. ^ Green Bay Press-Gazette – Packers, McCarthy reach five-year deal
  12. ^ ESPN.com. "Jets set for Brett: Packers legend headed to New York". Retrieved August 7, 2008.
  13. ^ ESPN.com. "Aaron Rodgers stats". Retrieved August 7, 2009.
  14. ^ "2008 Green Bay Packers Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  15. ^ Pro Football Reference. "2009 Green Bay Packers". Retrieved November 19, 2009.
  16. ^ Dougherty, Pete. "Green Bay Packers rout Seattle Seahawks 48–10, clinch playoff berth". Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  17. ^ Dougherty, Pete. "Green Bay Packers lose to Arizona Cardinals 51–45 in NFC playoff game". Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  18. ^ "Aaron Rodgers tosses 3 touchdown passes as Packers drop Steelers to win Super Bowl XLV". ESPN. February 6, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  19. ^ jrn.com. "McCarthy on passing Lombardi on Packers win list". Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  20. ^ tbo.com. "Hot Reads: GB coach could pass Lombardi's mark". Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  21. ^ Demovsky, Rob (November 3, 2014). "Packers extend coach Mike McCarthy". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  22. ^ https://auburnpub.com/blogs/in_the_pros/green-bay-packers-loss-to-seattle-seahawks-in-nfc-title/article_6dce68cc-9fe5-11e4-88c5-93e04ff1b5c5.html
  23. ^ http://archive.jsonline.com/sports/packers/mike-mccarthy-should-get-plenty-of-blame-for-packers-loss-b99429413z1-289103671.html/
  24. ^ https://www.businessinsider.com/how-the-packers-blew-the-seahawks-game-2015-1
  25. ^ https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/mike-mccarthy-im-not-questioning-play-calling/
  26. ^ "Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers – December 13th, 2015". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  27. ^ Reiss, Mike (March 24, 2015). "10 things we learned from Bill Belichick at owners meetings". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  28. ^ Wilde, Jason. "Belichick: McCarthy 'one of the best coaches I've ever gone up against'". ESPN Wisconsin. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  29. ^ Chavez, Chris (January 2, 2018). "Packers Signed Mike McCarthy To One-Year Extension To Remain Through The 2019 Season". si.com. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  30. ^ https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/09/24/packers-coach-mike-mccarthy-freaks-out-at-referees-after-clay-matthews-called-for-another-questionable-roughing-the-passer-penalty/23540050/
  31. ^ https://247sports.com/nfl/green-bay-packers/ContentGallery/Packers-Redskins-highlights--122414726/
  32. ^ Shook, Nick. "Packers release head coach Mike McCarthy after 13 seasons". NFL.com. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  33. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001006803/article/mike-mccarthy-plans-to-interview-with-jets-browns
  34. ^ http://arizonasports.com/story/1781905/nbcs-king-interest-between-former-packers-coach-mccarthy-cardinals/
  35. ^ https://cardswire.usatoday.com/2019/01/01/mike-mccarthy-declined-az-arizona-cardinals-advances/
  36. ^ https://www.12up.com/posts/6261089-report-mike-mccarthy-expected-to-interview-for-browns-head-coaching-job-thursday
  37. ^ https://www.wkyc.com/mobile/article/sports/nfl/browns/report-mike-mccarthys-interview-with-browns-moved-to-next-week/95-6ff7471f-8019-4cf4-a9a4-d6b43e91df95
  38. ^ https://thespun.com/football/report-this-coach-turned-down-the-cleveland-browns-job
  39. ^ https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/01/05/jets-interview-mike-mccarthy/
  40. ^ https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/ct-spt-jets-hire-adam-gase-coach-20190109-story.html
  41. ^ http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/mike-mccarthy-will-not-pursue-coaching-jobs-in-2019/kfh81b00r5qq1w7tnf0hqlfvh
  42. ^ http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/26429658/mccarthy-how-pack-handled-firing
  43. ^ Demovsky, Rob (December 6, 2018). "After firing, ex-Packers coach Mike McCarthy visited Lambeau twice to speak to staff, players". ESPN. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  44. ^ https://heavy.com/news/2014/12/mike-mccarthy-bio-record-wife-kids-daughters-divorce/
  45. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d805d6c47/article/mike-mcwho-packers-head-coach-doesnt-seek-spotlight
  46. ^ https://madison.com/sports/football/professional/from-steeltown-to-titletown-mccarthy-brings-working-man-mentality-to/article_f89c13fe-1e58-5e24-9011-b2952a8dbe46.html
  47. ^ "Packers' McCarthy named 2007 Motorola NFL Coach of the Year". Archived from the original on February 1, 2008. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  48. ^ "Mike McCarthy Named NFL Coach of the Week". Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved September 25, 2007.
  49. ^ "Mike McCarthy Named NFL Coach of the Week". Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
  50. ^ "McCarthy is NFL Alumni's coach of the year". Retrieved January 3, 2008.
  51. ^ "McCarthy will receive Lee Remmel award". Green Bay Packers NFL Football Forum & Community. Retrieved December 3, 2018.

External links[edit]