Tabs on Writing

The Business of Business Writing by John Tabellione, Principal at

If at First You Don’t Succeed…Perhaps the Second Season You’ll Coach Your Team to the Super Bowl

Date: 24 January 2019
Category: Homophones, Sports

Coincidentally, both the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots were each a No. 2 seed in their respective conferences for the 2019 playoffs, and here they are now in Super Bowl LIII.

Whereas New England’s Bill Belichick holds the distinction of being the only head coach to win five Super Bowls, Rams’ Coach, Sean McVay, who turns 33 today, January 24th–his claim to fame is that he’ll be the youngest head coach in Super Bowl history. This intangible advantage Belichick seemingly enjoys, however, is no reason for McVay to cede this so-called coaching mismatch of time in grade with his opposite number for several reasons.

First of all, Super Bowl experience is in his DNA: his grandfather, John McVay, who, in addition to having held NFL coaching positions, served as vice president/director of football operations with the San Francisco 49ers. He collaborated with head coaches Bill Walsh and George Seifert in one of the most successful dynasties in NFL history, presiding over five Super Bowl-winning seasons. In 1989, he was named NFL Executive of the Year. It seems likely, then, that grandpa McVay might be willing to give the youngster some sage advice about the Super Bowl.

The younger McVay may also benefit from his nine years of tutelage under his former Super Bowl-experienced bosses:

Even though he didn’t succeed in reaching the Super Bowl in his first season as a head coach last year, McVay planted the seed for the Rams to grow from their record of 11 wins and only 5 losses to 13-3 this year, and he was subsequently named Coach of the Year for 2017 by the Pro Football Writers of America.

You might even say McVay could have the home field advantage in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium: he played football locally for Marist High School where he set school records in passing, and in his senior year, he won the state championship and was named Georgia 4A Offensive Player of the Year.

Last, but certainly, not least, in college he won his alma mater’s prestigious Scholar-Athlete Award. The college from which he graduated–  Miami University–is renowned as the “Cradle of Coaches,” having produced the list below of illustrious coaches.

So, McVay’s definitely in good company, and he may very well succeed in his latest adventure: Super Bowl LIII.

Induction year Name Sport Miami class of
1992 Weeb Ewbank Football 1928
1992 Bob Kurz Football 1958
1992 Bill Narduzzi Football 1959
1992 John Pont Football 1952
1993 Paul Brown Football 1930
1993 Mel Knowlton Football 1937
1993 Ara Parseghian Football 1949
1994 Bill Arnsparger Football 1950
1994 Paul Dietzel Football 1948
1994 Jack Llewellyn Football
1995 Jack Faulkner Football
1995 Joe Codiano Football
1995 Bill Mallory Football 1957
1996 John Brickels Football
1996 Hal Paul
1996 Dick Shrider Basketball
1997 Jerry Hanlon Football 1956
1997 John McVay Football
1997 Frank Shands
1998 Carmen Cozza Football, baseball 1952
1998 Marvin Moorehead
1998 Ernie Plank Football 1950
2001 Dick Crum Football
2001 Darrell Hedric Basketball 1955
2001 Lou Kaczmarek Football 1950
2001 Rich Voiers Basketball 1957
2001 Walter Alston Baseball 1935
2001 Earl Blaik Football 1918
2001 Leann Davidge Tennis
2001 Woody Hayes Football
2001 Raymond Ray
2001 George Rider Football, baseball, basketball, track, cross country
2001 William Rohr Basketball
2002 Peggy Bradley-Doppes Volleyball (UNC Wilmington Director of Athletics)
2002 Denny Marcin Football (New York Jets) 1964
2002 Nick Mourouzis Football (DePauw) 1959
2002 Jim Rose Basketball 1951
2002 Marvin McCollum Basketball 1948
2002 Ron Zook Football 1976
2004 Rodger Cromer
2004 Carol Clark Johnson
2004 Clarence McDade
2004 Ron Niekamp Basketball (Findlay) 1972
2004 Bo Schembechler Football 1951
2006 George Dales
2006 George Gwozdecky Ice Hockey (University of Denver)
2006 Danny Hall Baseball (Georgia Tech)
2006 Bob Kappes
2006 Stephen Strome
2006 Randall Whitehead
2008 Terry Hoeppner Football
2008 Randy Walker Football
2011 Jerry Angelo Football
2011 Elaine Hieber
2011 Dave Jennings Swimming
2011 Rob Patrick
2011 Gary Quisno
2011 Pam Wettig
2014 John Harbaugh 1984
2017 Sean McVay Football (Los Angeles Rams) 2008


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