Josh McDaniels has been around football his whole life. He grew up in Canton, Ohio, the site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The 38-year-old offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots is the son of an Ohio high school coaching legend and was once an NFL head coach himself. McDaniels is one of the highest paid assistants in the league (at roughly $1.5 million per season) and his current quarterback thinks he deserves every penny.
Tom Brady told Boston radio station WEEI some time back:
“I have so much respect for him and what he does for me, what he does for our team. He’s just a great coach. He’s got a lot of poise. He’s got a lot of discipline. I hope he doesn’t go anywhere. I’d love for him to coach me the rest of my life. But that’s just the way it is. He’s one of my best friends, and I love having him.”
A NASCAR and golf fan, McDaniels’ fiery on-field personality has sometimes rubbed players, coaches and fans the wrong way, but Bill Belichick doesn’t seem to mind. McDaniels has the Patriots’ offense clicking on all cylinders and a matchup with the Seattle Seahawks‘ top-rated defense awaits in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Here’s what you need to know about McDaniels:
1. McDaniels Has Been With The Patriots For 11 Seasons
McDaniels has been with the Patriots for 11 seasons over 2 stints. He began his first go in 2001 as a personnel assistant before becoming a defensive assistant coach in 2002-03. He was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2004 and in 2006 became the team’s offensive coordinator for 2 seasons before scoring a head coaching job (see Fact No. 2).
McDaniels had served 1 season as the Rams’ OC (2011) before returning to the Patriots as offensive coordinator/QB coach.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban at Michigan State in 1999 and 2000.
His father, Thom McDaniels, is a former national high school coach of the year in Ohio and friends with Saban.
2. At 33, He Became Head Coach of The Broncos
McDaniels was hired as the head coach of the Denver Broncos in January of 2009. He was just 33 years old when hired and at the time was the youngest head coach in the NFL. But less than a week later the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tabbed Raheem Morris, who is 2 months younger than McDaniels, as their head coach.
McDaniels received a 4-year, $8 million contract from the Broncos, but didn’t make it half way through the deal.
McDaniels went 8-8 in his 1st season and finished 2nd in the AFC West. He was fired by Denver after a 3–9 start in 2010. His career head coaching record is 11-17.
Morris, who is now the defensive backs coach for the Falcons, lasted just 3 seasons, going 17-31.
3. That Tenure Came With Some Controversy
When McDaniels got on board with Denver, Jay Cutler was the quarterback. But that wouldn’t last long. Reports of McDaniels pushing to trade Cutler made their way back to the quarterback and he wasn’t pleased.
A meeting between the two a couple months after McDaniels hiring didn’t go well and Cutler formally requested a trade. In April, Cutler was shipped to Chicago for QB Kyle Orton and some 1st round draft picks, among others.
The Broncos turned those draft picks into some vital parts of the team. Check out what they did here.
4. McDaniels Is Married & Has 4 Children
Josh met his future wife Laura in 2000, when both were working for the FiberTech plastics company in Cleveland. The couple has been married since 2002 and they have 4 children.
Josh’s younger brother Ben McDaniels is the wide receivers coach with Rutgers.
5. He Played With Future NFL Linebacker London Fletcher in College
McDaniels played at John Carroll University, a Division III school, between 1995-98 primarily as a wide receiver. There he played with a Who’s Who in the football world. Recently-retired linebacker London Fletcher was on McDaniels’ team. He was an iron man in the NFL for 16 seasons, playing with St. Louis, Buffalo and Washington, retiring after the 2013 season.
Nick Caserio, the Patriots’ Director of Player Personnel, was the all-conference starting quarterback; Nevada head coach Brian Polian was a linebacker; San Diego Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco was a starting receiver; and Jacksonville Jaguars GM David Caldwell played outside linebacker.
Hall of Fame coach Don Shula is also a John Carroll alum.