Mike McCarthy (American Football)
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Mike McCarthy American Football

Mike McCarthy
Candid photograph of McCarthy wearing a green Packers polo shirt and white Packers baseball cap
McCarthy as Packers head coach in 2007
Dallas Cowboys
Position:Head coach
Personal information
Born: (1963-11-10) November 10, 1963 (age 57)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Career information
High school:Bishop Boyle
(Homestead, Pennsylvania)
Career history
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season:131-87-2 (.600)
Postseason:10-8 (.556)
Career:141-95-2 (.597)
Coaching stats at PFR

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

Early life and playing career

McCarthy was born and raised in Pittsburgh. His father was a firefighter for the Pittsburgh Fire Bureau and officer for the Pittsburgh Police, 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


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

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[] 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.

Green Bay Packers

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, at that time, 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 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 Tyler Dunne in 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 by Tony Manfred 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 December 2, 2018, after a 17-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, McCarthy was fired by the Packers after 13 seasons as the head coach.[30]

After McCarthy was released as Packers head coach, he expressed plans to interview with the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns;[31] the Arizona Cardinals were also interested,[32] but he declined to interview with them.[33] McCarthy's interview with the Browns was initially scheduled for Thursday, January 3,[34] before being moved to a week later;[35] he declined the role and the Browns hired Freddie Kitchens instead.[36] McCarthy interviewed with the Jets on January 5, 2019,[37] but they hired Adam Gase instead.[38] On January 9, 2019, McCarthy announced that he intended to sit out the 2019 season and return for 2020.[39]

Dallas Cowboys

McCarthy interviewed with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for 12 hours for the vacant head coach position; he was announced as the Cowboys' new head coach on January 7, 2020.[40][41] McCarthy became the ninth head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, since the organization was founded, in 1960. On September 13, 2020, McCarthy lost his debut as the head coach of the Cowboys against the Los Angeles Rams by a score of 17-20.[42] On September 20, 2020, McCarthy received his first win as the Cowboys' head coach in a 40-39 win against the Atlanta Falcons.[43] In his first season as the Cowboys' head coach, McCarthy led them to a 6-10 record, finishing 3rd in the NFC East.


In 2007, McCarthy was voted the Motorola NFL Coach of the Year[44] after twice receiving Coach of the Week awards.[45][46] He was also named the NFL Alumni's Coach of the Year by a group of former players.[47]

In 2008, McCarthy received the distinguished service award at the Lee Remmel sports awards banquet in Green Bay.[48]

Personal life

McCarthy is married to his wife, Jessica, and they have two daughters together. McCarthy has two stepsons through this marriage.[49] Prior to marrying Jessica, McCarthy married Christine in 1989, whom he has known since high school. The couple had one daughter together.[50] McCarthy and Christine divorced in 1995, however, both still have a "good relationship" and have been committed to sharing parental duties.[51][52]

Head coaching record

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
DAL 2020 6 10 0 .375 3rd in NFC East -- -- -- --
DAL total 6 10 0 .375 0 0 .000
Total 131 87 2 .600 10 8 .556


  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 2019.
  4. ^ Litke, Jim (November 30, 2014). "Packers: Mike McCarthy became a student of the game at tiny Baker University". Madison.com. Retrieved 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 (January 11, 2006). "Packers to hire 49ers' McCarthy as coach". Retrieved 2006.
  8. ^ Pro Football Reference. "2006 Green Bay Packers". Retrieved 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 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 2008.
  11. ^ Green Bay Press-Gazette - Packers, McCarthy reach five-year deal
  12. ^ ESPN.com (August 6, 2008). "Jets set for Brett: Packers legend headed to New York". Retrieved 2008.
  13. ^ ESPN.com. "Aaron Rodgers stats". Retrieved 2009.
  14. ^ "2008 Green Bay Packers Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ Pro Football Reference. "2009 Green Bay Packers". Retrieved 2009.
  16. ^ Dougherty, Pete. "Green Bay Packers rout Seattle Seahawks 48-10, clinch playoff berth". Retrieved 2009.
  17. ^ Dougherty, Pete. "Green Bay Packers lose to Arizona Cardinals 51-45 in NFC playoff game". Retrieved 2010.
  18. ^ "Aaron Rodgers tosses 3 TD passes as Packers drop Steelers to win Super Bowl XLV". ESPN. February 6, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  19. ^ jrn.com. "McCarthy on passing Lombardi on Packers win list". Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ tbo.com. "Hot Reads: GB coach could pass Lombardi's mark". Retrieved 2015.
  21. ^ Demovsky, Rob (November 3, 2014). "Packers extend coach Mike McCarthy". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved 2014.
  22. ^ Harding, Robert (January 19, 2015). "Green Bay Packers' loss to Seattle Seahawks in NFC title game comes down to two poor coaching decisions". Retrieved 2020.
  23. ^ http://archive.jsonline.com/sports/packers/mike-mccarthy-should-get-plenty-of-blame-for-packers-loss-b99429413z1-289103671.html/
  24. ^ Manfred, Tony (January 19, 2015). "How The Packers Completed One Of The Worst Collapses In NFL History In Just 5 Minutes". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ Dubin, Jaren (January 19, 2015). "Mike McCarthy: 'I'm not questioning' play-calling". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2020.
  26. ^ "Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers - December 13th, 2015". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2017.
  27. ^ Reiss, Mike (March 24, 2015). "10 things we learned from Bill Belichick at owners meetings". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018.
  28. ^ Wilde, Jason. "Belichick: McCarthy 'one of the best coaches I've ever gone up against'". ESPN Wisconsin. Retrieved 2015.
  29. ^ Chavez, Chris (January 2, 2018). "Packers Signed Mike McCarthy To One-Year Extension To Remain Through The 2019 Season". si.com. Retrieved 2018.
  30. ^ Shook, Nick. "Packers release head coach Mike McCarthy after 13 seasons". NFL.com. Retrieved 2018.
  31. ^ Knoblauch, Austin (January 1, 2019). "Mike McCarthy plans to interview with Jets, Browns". NFL.com. Retrieved 2020.
  32. ^ "NBC's King: Interest between former Packers coach McCarthy, Cardinals". December 24, 2018. Retrieved 2020.
  33. ^ Root, Jess (January 1, 2019). "Mike McCarthy turned down chance to interview for Cardinals coaching vacancy". Retrieved 2020.
  34. ^ Dunn, Sam (January 2, 2019). "REPORT: Mike McCarthy Expected to Interview for Browns Head Coaching Job Thursday". Retrieved 2020.
  35. ^ Florjancic, Matthew (January 3, 2019). "Report: Mike McCarthy's interview with Browns moved to next week". WKYC. Retrieved 2020.
  36. ^ Holleran, Andrew (January 9, 2019). "Report: This Coach Turned Down The Cleveland Browns' Job". Retrieved 2020.
  37. ^ Waszak, Dennis (January 6, 2019). "Jets Interview Former Packers Coach Mike McCarthy". Associated Press. Retrieved 2020.
  38. ^ Waszak, Dennis (January 10, 2019). "AP source: Jets hire former Dolphins coach Adam Gase". Associated Press. Retrieved 2020.
  39. ^ Tyree, Ameer (January 10, 2019). "Former Packers coach Mike McCarthy will sit out 2019, report says". Retrieved 2020.
  40. ^ Phillips, Rob (January 7, 2020). "Mike McCarthy Officially Hired As Head Coach". dallascowboys.com. Retrieved 2020.
  41. ^ Middlehurst-Schwartz, Michael (January 6, 2020). "Dallas Cowboys agree to hire Mike McCarthy as new coach". USA Today. Retrieved 2020.
  42. ^ Epstein, Jori (September 13, 2020). "Cowboys stumble in Mike McCarthy's debut, fall to Rams in SoFi Stadium opener". www.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021.
  43. ^ Archer, Todd (September 20, 2020). "Mike McCarthy's first win with Dallas Cowboys a comeback for the ages". www.espn.com. Retrieved 2021.
  44. ^ "Packers' McCarthy named 2007 Motorola NFL Coach of the Year". Archived from the original on February 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  45. ^ "Mike McCarthy Named NFL Coach of the Week". Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved 2007.
  46. ^ "Mike McCarthy Named NFL Coach of the Week". Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved 2007.
  47. ^ "McCarthy is NFL Alumni's coach of the year". Retrieved 2008.
  48. ^ "McCarthy will receive Lee Remmel award". Green Bay Packers NFL Football Forum & Community. Retrieved 2018.
  49. ^ Demovsky, Rob (December 6, 2018). "After firing, ex-Packers coach Mike McCarthy visited Lambeau twice to speak to staff, players". ESPN. Retrieved 2018.
  50. ^ Rothkranz, Lindzy (December 9, 2014). "Mike McCarthy: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved 2020.
  51. ^ Associated Press (January 8, 2008). "Mike McWho? Packers head coach doesn't seek spotlight". NFL.com. Retrieved 2020.
  52. ^ Wilde, Jason (September 10, 2006). "From Steeltown to Titletown, McCarthy brings working-man mentality to first head position". Retrieved 2020.

External links

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