At 36 years and 20 days old, Sean McVay has become the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl. The record was previously held by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who was six weeks shy of his 37th birthday when Pittsburgh defeated Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII. Tomlin was in his second season when the Steelers won the Super Bowl. McVay capped off his fifth season as Rams coach with a 23-20 win over the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.
McVay has gotten a chance to know Tomlin since becoming the Rams' coach in January of 2017. McVay, who was 30 years old when he was named as the Rams head coach, was four years younger than Tomlin was when the latter succeeded Bill Cowher in Pittsburgh in 2007.
"Mike one of the more impressive people I've ever met," McVay told CBS Sports leading up to Sunday's game. "He's been great to me. I couldn't be more grateful."
Along with seeing him at different coaching functions, McVay said that he got to know Tomlin better through Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris several years ago. McVay and Tomlin's teams have met just once on the football field, with the Steelers defeating the Rams in a low-scoring game back in 2019
"I think one of the things that's been great about Mike is that he's so willing to share," McVay said, "really kind of put his arm around you and really help kind of be a mentor and answer any questions that you have."
McVay said that Tomlin's leadership, command and mental toughness are among the reasons why Tomlin has continued to have success in Pittsburgh. This past season, the 49-year-old Tomlin became the fourth-fastest coach in NFL history to reach 150 career wins. He also set an NFL record by beginning his career with 15 consecutive non-losing seasons.
"I think he's one of the leaders that this spot has to offer, really sports in general," McVay said. "Any time that you're in a room with Mike Tomlin, you always know that he is in that room. He's got such a great presence but also humility. It's a fine line in how you balance that, and Mike is a great example for all leaders as far as how you are demanding but uplifting to your players. How you're so steady and so mentally tough in those moments when your team needs it the most.
"That consistency that he's had throughout the course of his tenure there. And really, even just going back to all his success prior, whether it was in Minnesota or in Tampa. This guy's a stud in every sense of the word, and very grateful for mentorship and the friendship that he's provided me since I've gotten to know him pretty well over the past few years."
While Tomlin is showing no signs of slowing down, there were reports that McVay may consider en early exit from coaching should the Rams win Super Bowl LVI.
"I love this so much that it's such a passion, but I also know ... what I've seen from some of my closest friends, whether it's coaches or even some of our players," McVay said, per ESPN. "I'm gonna be married this summer, I want to have a family and I think being able to find that balance but also be able to give the time necessary -- I have always had a dream about being able to be a father, and I can't predict the future, you know?"
Regardless of how much longer he wants to coach, McVay has joined an elite group of coaches who have hoisted a Lombardi Trophy.
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