LOS ANGELES — Rams Head Coach Sean McVay is headed to his second Super Bowl at just 36 years old. He said his upbringing in Ohio is a huge reason for that success.
Sean McVay is a bonafide superstar head coach, but many don’t realize that he is well connected to Ohio in more ways than one.
“Yeah, I was born in Dayton, Ohio,” McVay said. “I was at Kettering Hospital, so my dad and my mom and I, we used to go to the UD Flyers games and my grandpa was actually a coach at Dayton at one point. So definitely, you know, proud of my roots there.”
McVay played college football at Miami University, where Shane Montgomery was the offensive coordinator when McVay was recruited.
“He was an excitable kid,” Montgomery said. “You know, he had a lot of energy. You know, you could joke around with him. He's got a great personality and he still has that today.”
But McVay decided to forego his final year of eligibility to start coaching.
“My time at Miami was so valuable, so beneficial,” McVay said. “And it's a special place, but it's because of the special people there. So many people have made a huge imprint on me. They just did such a great job of really pouring into me and helped me become the coach and the person that I am today.”
McVay moved his way up from an assistant with Washington to a position coach, to a coordinator, finally landing as the lead man in LA.
“The chance to be a head coach at such a young age, you know nobody could have predicted that,” Montgomery said. “You don’t see that very often, but he took advantage of his opportunity.”
McVay doesn’t intend to waste this opportunity and his success proves that.
“It's a blessing to be able to be in this position with these guys that you care and love so much,” McVay said. “These players, these coaches, and we're going to really take this and enjoy the opportunity that these guys have earned. But we're going to do everything in our power to finish this off the right way.”
Being from Ohio isn’t McVay’s only connection to the Buckeye state. The other comes by way of his coaching counterpart in the Super Bowl.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor was the Rams Quarterbacks coach in 2018, before getting hired in Cincinnati. McVay said he has tremendous respect for Taylor.
“I'm really happy for Zac,” McVay said. “You know, we have a great relationship. And, you know, looking forward to always rooting for him, except for when we go against one another.”
Taylor reflects that respect for McVay but said this game isn’t about bragging rights between the two friends.
“It's the Bengals playing the Rams for the Super Bowl,” Taylor said. “Our team wants to beat their team. It really has nothing to do with the relationships on the other side of the ball across the other sidelines. This is more just about us trying to win this football game.”
Come Sunday, the gloves are off.
“Trying to get after the Bengals this week that’s for sure,” McVay said.