New Rams coach Sean McVay, 30, got start with Bucs under Jon Gruden
Sean McVay became the youngest head coach in the NFL's modern era on Thursday, taking over the Los Angeles Rams two weeks before his 31st birthday.
McVay's precocious path to becoming a head coach started with the Bucs in 2008, when Jon Gruden hired him at 22 to become his assistant receivers coach.
"He's been pointed in this direction for a long time," said his uncle Jim McVay, the president and CEO of the Outback Bowl. "He developed a real quick passion for the culture of football. It's not surprising to me. He got a great opportunity when Jon took him under his wing."
The McVays and Grudens have close coaching connections that go back 47 years, to when Jon Gruden's father, Jim, was an assistant at Dayton from 1969-72 under John McVay, Jim's father and Sean's grandfather, who would later become the Giants' head coach and the 49ers' general manager.
Tim McVay, Sean's father, was recruited to play safety at Indiana by Jim Gruden, who was an assistant there from 1973-77. It was the elder Gruden, then a Notre Dame assistant, who endorsed Joe Montana to the 49ers when McVay was there in 1979. Jon Gruden got his first NFL job at 26 with the 49ers in 1990 when McVay was a San Francisco vice president.
Sean McVay, in turn, got his start under Jon Gruden, but that lasted only one season, as Gruden was fired after the 2008 season. McVay then worked with Gruden's brother, Jay, on the staff of the United Football League's Florida Tuskers in 2009. McVay was hired by former Bucs general manager Bruce Allen in 2010 to the Redskins' staff in 2010 and was reunited with Jay Gruden in 2014, getting promoted at age 28 to become Washington's offensive coordinator on Gruden's staff.
Now, just as Jon Gruden was the youngest head coaches in NFL history when the Raiders hired him at 34 in 1998, Sean McVay has now followed his path even faster to the biggest platform in football coaching.