Team

  • Named the Packers' 14th head coach on Jan. 12, 2006.
  • Has led the Packers to a top-10 ranking in total offense each of his four seasons, joining New Orleans as the only teams to accomplish that from 2006-09.
  • Has coached two of the four highest-scoring teams in franchise history (2007, 2009).
  • Has been on Green Bay's coaching staff four of the nine times in team history (1999, 2007-09) the offense has produced a 4,000-yard passer.
  • Honored as 2007 'NFL Coach of the Year' by Motorola and NFL Alumni.
  • Became the first Packers coach since Vince Lombardi to lead the team to a championship game in his second season, and tied Mike Sherman for the most regular-season wins by a Packers coach in his first two years (21).
  • Has worked with a stable of quarterbacks that has combined for 36 Pro Bowl selections, nine Super Bowl starts, and six Most Valuable Player awards.
  • Prior to Green Bay, had never been a head coach at any level, breaking into the NFL as a quality control assistant with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993, his first of 13 years as an NFL assistant, which included six seasons as an offensive coordinator calling plays in New Orleans (2000-04) and San Francisco (2005).
  • Was inducted into the Baker University athletic hall of fame in October 2007.
  • Born and raised in Pittsburgh, one of five children. His father, Joe, was a longtime firefighter and police officer.
 
Mike McCarthy
Head Coach

18th NFL Season
Sixth Packers Season

Upon becoming Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers in 2006, Mike McCarthy was known in NFL circles for his innovative offensive mind and his ability to develop young quarterbacks.

Four seasons into his tenure in Green Bay, that reputation has become firmly entrenched, if not enhanced, by the Packers' offensive prowess before and during the transition to Aaron Rodgers as the team's starting quarterback.

McCarthy's four Packers teams all have ranked in the NFL's top 10 in total yardage - coming in at ninth in 2006, second in '07, eighth in '08 and sixth in '09 - one of only two teams along with New Orleans to finish in the top 10 each of the last four years. In his first two seasons, McCarthy simultaneously oversaw a mini-renaissance to future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre's career and the development of Rodgers as his backup, and since then, the reins have been turned over to Rodgers.

The former Cal standout hasn't disappointed his primary tutor or his team, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons as a starter. The Packers also have become the first team in league history to produce a 4,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers (Greg Jennings, Donald Driver), and a 1,200-yard rusher (Ryan Grant) in consecutive years.

The 2009 unit was particularly prolific, compiling a franchise-record 461 points and gaining 6,065 total net yards, the No. 3 mark in team history. The '09 offense also led the league in time of possession (33:03) and in fewest turnovers (16), both franchise bests. All the offensive firepower, combined with a revamped defense, got the Packers back into the playoffs last season, McCarthy's second postseason appearance in four years.

Major Change
That new defense was put in place following a disappointing 2008 campaign during which the Packers went 6-10, and lost seven games by four points or less. In response, McCarthy embarked upon the first major alterations to his coaching staff since his arrival and hired Dom Capers to be his new defensive coordinator and change the unit from a 4-3 base alignment to the 3-4 scheme that has been the staple of Capers' career.

The results were incredibly impactful. The defense improved from 20th in total yards allowed in '08 to second in '09, and from 26th in run defense to the top spot, becoming the first Green Bay defense to lead the league against the run and setting a franchise record by allowing just 83.3 yards rushing per contest. The defense also led the league in interceptions (30) and total takeaways (40).

The '09 season was not a smooth road back to playoff contention, however. Back-to-back losses in early November to division rival Minnesota and previously winless Tampa Bay dropped the Packers to 4-4, and a promising season suddenly appeared in doubt.

But McCarthy kept building on the identity that was forming - a team that could attack with multiple threats offensively, stop the run defensively and win the turnover battle - and led the Packers out of the adverse stretch to three straight victories in 12 days, culminating on Thanksgiving. The winning streak was eventually stretched to five games and included home triumphs over eventual playoff teams Dallas and Baltimore.

The team also overcame considerable adversity, in the form of season-ending injuries to defensive starters Al Harris and Aaron Kampman, to ultimately go 7-1 over the second half of the schedule. Meanwhile, Rodgers earned his first Pro Bowl berth, nearly breaking the franchise's single-season record for passing yards, and veteran cornerback Charles Woodson was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Unfortunately, the late-season surge ended abruptly with a sudden-death overtime loss at Arizona in the NFC Wild Card game. But without question McCarthy has gotten the Packers back on track toward the goal that hasn't changed since the day he was hired, and that's to bring a world championship back to Green Bay.

On The Brink
McCarthy brought the Packers to the brink of accomplishing that goal in just two years. Coming off an 8-8 rookie season that ended with a momentum-building, four-game winning streak, McCarthy led the Packers to a 13-3 mark in 2007 that was groundbreaking in many respects.

The Packers tied the franchise record for victories in the regular season and won the club's first NFC North Division title since 2004. They also captured an NFC playoff bye and advanced to the conference championship game for the first time in a decade. It all earned McCarthy 2007 'NFL Coach of the Year' awards from Motorola and NFL Alumni as well as a new five-year contract that runs through 2012. McCarthy also was runner-up in The Associated Press coach of the year voting.

That championship he had set as the goal was within reach, as the Packers hosted the New York Giants in the NFC title game on a frigid January day at Lambeau Field. The hard-fought, 23-20 overtime defeat was an opportunity missed, but one McCarthy vowed his team would learn from.

Leading the youngest team in the NFL in each of his first four seasons, McCarthy proved in 2007 that youth was no obstacle to success. Part of the team's 10-1 start included late-fourth quarter or overtime scores to defeat two playoff participants from the previous year (Philadelphia, San Diego) and to win back-to-back AFC West road games (Denver, Kansas City) within a six-day span.

On its way to 13-3, Green Bay secured the team's first playoff bye since 1997, and McCarthy tied Mike Sherman for the most wins by a Green Bay coach in his first two seasons with 21.

Behind Favre's superb final year in Green Bay and the emergence of Grant as the feature back, the Packers with McCarthy as the play-caller finished with the league's second-ranked offense, their highest ranking since 1983. They also compiled season totals in points (435) and net yards (5,931) that rank fourth on the franchise's all-time list.

The postseason began in startling fashion, with Grant fumbling twice in the first minute of the game, setting up two Seattle scores for a 14-0 Seahawks lead in the NFC Divisional playoff. But, drawing on a steadfastness that served the team well during some rough spots the previous year, McCarthy and the Packers never panicked and rallied for a dominant 42-20 victory in the snowy 'winter wonderland' of Lambeau.

In advancing to the NFC Championship Game, McCarthy became the first Packers coach since Vince Lombardi to lead the team to a title game in his second season at the helm.

Though the quest for that championship came up short, McCarthy had returned the Packers to playoff prominence just two years after the 4-12 season that preceded his arrival.

A Leader of Quarterbacks
The Packers quarterbacks coach in 1999, McCarthy spent his first two years renewing his relationship with Favre, and the reunion helped rejuvenate the future Hall of Famer's play.

Charged with learning McCarthy's version of the West Coast offense and given more latitude in making decisions at the line of scrimmage, Favre concluded his brilliant Green Bay career with a 95.7 passer rating in 2007, his best in 11 years and fourth best in his career, while completing a (then) career-high 66.5 percent of his passes.

Buying into McCarthy's aggressive but controlled approach, Favre's interceptions dropped from 29 in 2005 to 18 in 2006 to 15 in 2007. He finished second in the voting for what then would have been an unprecedented fourth NFL MVP award, and he subsequently passed the torch to Rodgers, his understudy for his final three years in Green Bay and McCarthy's prime pupil for the last two.

Rodgers has continued the trend of keeping turnovers to a minimum, as in 2008 the Packers tied the 1995 team for the third fewest in club history with just 21, and the '09 team set the new franchise mark with just 16. Rodgers also twice has topped 4,000 yards passing, which in '08 combined with Favre's total in '07 marked the first time in league history a team had two different quarterbacks throw for 4,000 yards in consecutive years.

The past three years have marked the first time in franchise history the Packers have had a 4,000-yard passer three straight seasons. In fact, four of the nine times in team history the Packers have had a 4,000-yard passer (1999, 2007-09), McCarthy has been on the coaching staff.

The team also has finished in the top five in the league in scoring three consecutive years, and the Packers are now 23-2 in McCarthy's four seasons (24-3 including playoffs) when scoring at least 30 points.

Solid First Year
Blending a mix of young players with seasoned veterans at key positions, McCarthy fostered a strong team dynamic in his maiden season that helped the team battle back from a slow start.

McCarthy stuck to his plan and his vision as his team stood 1-4 at the bye week and 4-8 with one-quarter of the season to play. By turning the team's fortunes around to finish 8-8, he had laid the foundation for the success to come.

McCarthy got his team to bounce back from tough circumstances to remain in the NFC playoff hunt until the final week. The .500 record tied for third best among the seven rookie coaches in the NFL in 2006.

Close losses early to eventual NFC runner-up New Orleans and St. Louis put the Packers at 1-4. But the team used the bye week for extra preparation as well as rest, traveling to Miami to beat the Dolphins in oppressive South Florida heat and, three weeks later, post another impressive road win at Minnesota's Metrodome to improve to 4-5.

Three straight losses to eventual playoff qualifiers dropped the Packers to 4-8, but again McCarthy used a long road trip to get the team back on track. This one was to San Francisco, where McCarthy had served as offensive coordinator the previous year, and a big win that coincided with a key personnel change provided the springboard to a strong final month.

McCarthy moved defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins to end early in the 49ers game, and the defense quickly improved. The Packers' run defense got a boost on early downs and allowed for a better situational pass rush, and the defense climbed to 12th overall by season's end.

The strong defensive play and Favre's veteran leadership fueled a season-ending, four-game winning streak, the final three wins coming over NFC North opponents. A 26-7 win at Chicago in the season finale over the eventual NFC champion Bears put the Packers at 5-1 in the division and barely out of the playoffs, losing a tiebreaker with the Giants, who also finished 8-8.

That impressive early showing within the division was a sign of things to come for McCarthy, who is now 17-7 in four seasons against NFC North foes, which is tied for the best division record among NFC teams over that span (Arizona is also 17-7). McCarthy's mark includes a 13-3 record against Minnesota and Detroit, two teams that also hired new coaches in 2006.

The Right Fit
With a personality to match his blue-collar hometown, McCarthy landed his first NFL head-coaching job in his kind of place.

A Pittsburgh native, McCarthy was named the 14th Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 12, 2006, the only step left to take after 13 years as an NFL assistant.

But while he previously had traveled through NFL cities such as Kansas City, New Orleans and San Francisco, it may be Green Bay that most resembles his native Pittsburgh. And if there was one word used to describe McCarthy's hiring in his first days with the Packers, it was that he was the right "fit", both for a town and a team looking to turn around a disappointing 4-12 season in 2005.

The way McCarthy fits Green Bay, however, goes beyond the toughness in his personality, down-to-earth demeanor, and pride in his upbringing. He not only spent one of those 13 previous years in the NFL with Green Bay, but he took over the Packers already well-versed in the West Coast offense with a reputation for developing offensive talent, particularly at the quarterback position.

McCarthy is known for taking a hands-on teaching approach with young players and has been well-respected around the league, in part because he had called plays for six seasons as an offensive coordinator before becoming a head coach. Plus, he has tutored an impressive roster of NFL quarterbacks.

While two of the biggest names he has worked with, Favre in Green Bay and Joe Montana in Kansas City, were at or beyond their peak years at the time, McCarthy has played at least a part in the development of signal callers Aaron Brooks, Jake Delhomme, Matt Hasselbeck, Marc Bulger, Rich Gannon and Elvis Grbac.

The entire stable of quarterbacks that McCarthy has worked with, which also includes Jeff Blake, Steve Bono, and Dave Krieg, has combined for 36 career Pro Bowl selections, nine Super Bowl starts, and six Most Valuable Player awards.

McCarthy's newest protege to rise to a starting role is Rodgers, who was drafted in the first round in 2005. General Manager Ted Thompson heavily weighed McCarthy's track record with quarterbacks when he hired him the following year, knowing that since the post-Favre era was inevitable, the right tutelage at the game's most important position would be key to a smooth and successful transition.

Paying His Dues
Much like those players he worked with who rose to prominence, McCarthy paid plenty of dues along the way to his first head-coaching job.

He learned a disciplined and no-nonsense approach to life at an early age. His father, Joe, was a longtime firefighter and police officer who also owned a bar near a Pittsburgh steel mill. McCarthy worked odd jobs at the bar as a teen. It was interacting with the hard-working tavern clientele while also watching a father in uniform dedicated to public service that helped make McCarthy proud of where he came from.

After his playing career as a tight end at Baker University (Kan.) ended, his 23-year coaching career began as a linebackers coach at Fort Hays State (Kan.) in 1987. He cracked the Division I ranks two years later as a volunteer assistant at the University of Pittsburgh.

It was there he displayed the will and determination to make it in the coaching profession, working for free on the football field by day and collecting tolls along the Pennsylvania turnpike during the graveyard shift to make ends meet.

He soon moved into a paid position at Pitt assisting with the quarterbacks, and then coaching the wide receivers, before Panthers head coach Paul Hackett recommended him to the Kansas City Chiefs when they hired Hackett as offensive coordinator in 1993. McCarthy joined Hackett on the Chiefs' staff as a quality control assistant.

McCarthy considers Hackett the biggest influence in his coaching career, having learned the West Coast offense from him and then installing it himself as offensive coordinator in New Orleans.

It was under Hackett's wing that McCarthy developed the attention to detail, scouting and game-planning skills that would help him move up the NFL ranks.

Opportunity Knocks
The third-youngest head coach in the NFL when he was hired at age 42 (the Saints' Sean Payton was seven weeks younger and the Jets' Eric Mangini was 35), McCarthy took over a team coming off its first losing season since 1991, before Favre arrived as quarterback.

Thompson made it clear when he hired McCarthy he wasn't looking for just an X's and O's guy. He was looking for someone who would impress him with a variety of qualities, including leadership ability, toughness, football knowledge, and an awareness of the Green Bay organization and the team's unique place within the NFL and the local community.

McCarthy, who had interviewed for the Cleveland Browns head coaching job five years earlier but admits he wasn't necessarily ready then, fit the bill. In his introductory news conference, he spoke of how taking over the Packers was like buying his "dream house," with the foundation, tradition and resources to help him make the team a championship contender once again.

McCarthy emphasized he didn't feel the Packers were in a rebuilding mode at all, but there was work to be done right away.

He wasted no time constructing the environment he wanted for his team, implementing free weights as the foundation for the players' strength and conditioning.

He also installed an offseason workout program, and a then-record attendance at those sessions spoke volumes about the level of respect he quickly commanded as a head coach.

Career As NFL Assistant
McCarthy broke into the NFL as a quality control assistant with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993. It was then he worked with Montana before moving up to quarterbacks coach from 1995-98, working with starters Gannon, Grbac and Bono. The trio's total of 52 interceptions marked the lowest total in the AFC over that four-year span.

After working with McCarthy from 1995-98, Gannon went on to earn all four of his Pro Bowl selections, the 2002 league MVP award and a start in Super Bowl XXXVII with the Raiders. Gannon credits McCarthy with helping him take the quarterback's game to a higher level.

"He's the guy that really helped catapult my career," Gannon said. "He was the guy who really taught me the West Coast system of football. He really taught me how to prepare for a game, taught me how to watch film, how to break down an opponent, how to study. It was really those things I took with me to Oakland.

"There was never a doubt in my mind he'd be a head coach. He's a great play-caller, great working with the quarterbacks. He's a tough guy, a guy willing to do the work, and he's a leader."

When Gannon left the Chiefs for Oakland in 1999, McCarthy departed Kansas City to become Green Bay's quarterbacks coach. That year, the Packers ranked seventh in the NFL in passing and ninth in total offense. Favre threw for 4,091 yards, then the third-highest total in his career.

The following year, McCarthy began a successful five-year stint as the offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. It became the most prolific offensive era to that point in the team's four decades, as the Saints set 10 offensive team records and 25 individual marks.

Among the more notable accomplishments, the Saints led the NFC with 432 points and 49 touchdowns in 2002, both team records at the time. In his first season in 2000, McCarthy was chosen NFC Assistant Coach of the Year by USA Today.

That year the Saints produced their first 1,000-yard receiver in eight years in Joe Horn and their first 1,000-yard rusher in 10 years in Ricky Williams. After that decade-long drought of 1,000-yard rushers, the Saints had one (either Williams or Deuce McAllister) in each of McCarthy's five seasons running the offense.

In 2005, McCarthy became offensive coordinator in San Francisco. The 49ers struggled, with injuries accounting for a league-high 101 games missed by members of the starting lineup. Four quarterbacks were used during the season.

College Coaching & Playing Career
McCarthy began his six-year collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant at Fort Hays State in Hays, Kan., in 1987, just after completing his playing career at nearby Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan.

At Baker, McCarthy earned a degree in business administration and was an all-conference tight end and senior captain in 1986, helping lead the Wildcats to an NAIA Division II national runner-up finish. He was inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame in October 2007.

At Fort Hays under head coach John Vincent, McCarthy coached linebackers for two years while earning a master's degree in sports administration.

The return to his hometown came in 1989 under Pittsburgh head coach Mike Gottfried, now an ESPN college football analyst, followed by three years under Hackett with the Panthers.

As quarterbacks coach, McCarthy worked with Alex Van Pelt as he topped the school's career and single-season records for passing yards established by Dan Marino.

Personal
Born Michael John McCarthy in Pittsburgh, he grew up one of five children in the Irish-Catholic family of father Joe and mother Ellen in Greenfield, a Pittsburgh neighborhood just a couple of miles from downtown. He graduated from Bishop Boyle High School in Homestead, Pa.

McCarthy's family includes daughters Alexandra and Gabrielle, wife Jessica and two boys, Jack and George.

In Green Bay, McCarthy has immersed himself in several community events, including the Mike McCarthy Celebrity Golf Open, a fundraiser for local and statewide cystic fibrosis organizations that has had a longstanding relationship with the Packers. This past June, he also started the Mike & Jessica McCarthy Golf Tournament to benefit American Family Children's Hospital in Madison.

In addition, McCarthy has served as honorary chairperson for the local Cerebral Palsy Telethon and worked with the American Heart Association on its Red Cap campaign to recognize heart disease and stroke survivors and to raise awareness of those conditions.

On an annual basis, he visits cancer patients at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee, participates in the Lombardi Award of Excellence Dinner Ball, which supports the Vince Lombardi Charitable Funds in the fight against cancer, and serves as host of the Green & Gold Gala, a fundraiser for Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin.

In 2009, McCarthy partnered with the Packers to make donations of $100,000 each to the Autism Society of Northeast Wisconsin, Baker University's football program and to a group of organizations (St. Rosalia Academy, the Greenfield Baseball Association and the Greenfield Organization) in his native Greenfield Neighborhood of Pittsburgh. McCarthy and the Packers teamed up to make $100,000 donations to the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay, Baker's football program and the same group of organizations in the Greenfield Neighborhood in 2008.

Among several other events, McCarthy has participated in Jerry Parins' Cure for Cancer Motorcycle Ride, the team's regular Make-A-Wish Foundation practice and game visits, and various local Get Motivated Seminars.

McCarthy also was honored with the Distinguished Service award at the Lee Remmel Sports Awards Banquet in April 2008, and then in the fall as the 2008 Person of the Year from his native Greenfield Neighborhood.

Success With Quarterbacks
Mike McCarthy has worked with quarterbacks who have collectively earned 36 Pro Bowl selections and six NFL Most Valuable Player awards. Those passers also have made nine Super Bowl starts and won five world championships.
Year(s)TeamTitleNotable QBsNotes
1990-91Univ. of PittsburghQuarterbacks CoachAlex Van PeltFour-year starter who threw for more than 2,000 yards in each season and went on to break Dan Marino's school records for career and single-season passing yards
1993Kansas City ChiefsOffensive AssistantJoe Montana
Dave Krieg
Montana named to his final Pro Bowl in 1993, Chiefs advance to AFC Championship game
1994Kansas City ChiefsOffensive AssistantJoe Montana
Steve Bono
1995Kansas City ChiefsQuarterbacks CoachSteve Bono
Rich Gannon
Bono named to Pro Bowl
1996Kansas City ChiefsQuarterbacks CoachSteve Bono
Rich Gannon
1997Kansas City ChiefsQuarterbacks CoachElvis Grbac
Rich Gannon
Chiefs advance to AFC Divisional playoffs
1998Kansas City ChiefsQuarterbacks CoachRich Gannon
Elvis Grbac
1999Green Bay PackersQuarterbacks CoachBrett Favre
Matt Hasselbeck
Aaron Brooks
2000New Orelans SaintsOffensive CoordinatorJeff Blake
Aaron Brooks
Marc Bulger
Saints advance to NFC Divisional playoffs
2001New Orleans SaintsOffensive CoordinatorAaron Brooks
2002New Orleans SaintsOffensive CoordinatorAaron Brooks
Jake Delhomme
2003New Orleans SaintsOffensive CoordinatorAaron Brooks
Todd Bouman
2004New Orleans SaintsOffensive CoordinatorAaron Brooks
2005San Francisco 49ersOffensive CoordinatorAlex Smith
Tim Rattay
Ken Dorsey
Cody Pickett
Helped tutor NFL's No. 1 overall draft pick
2006Green Bay PackersHead CoachBrett Favre
Aaron Rodgers
2007Green Bay PackersHead CoachBrett Favre
Aaron Rodgers
Packers advance to NFC Championship Game; Favre named to Pro Bowl
2008Green Bay PackersHead CoachAaron RodgersBecame only the second starter in NFL history to surpass 4,000 yards in the same season in which he made his first career start; ranked in league's top 10 in nearly every meaningful passing category
2009Green Bay PackersHead CoachAaron RodgersRodgers named to Pro Bowl