On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Apr. 26, 2014 8:00AM - 6:00PM CDT Packers Pro Shop Tent Sale

    The sale is taking place earlier than in previous years, due to the construction at Lambeau Field and the work that the Pro Shop team must complete in preparation for the new store, which will open this summer. Visitors to Lambeau Field should enter the Atrium through the Oneida Nation Gate. Parking is available in the lot on Lambeau Field’s east side near the Oneida Nation Gate, which can be accessed off Oneida Street and Lombardi Avenue.

    The sale will feature the traditional mix of Pro Shop items greatly reduced in price and other special purchases.

    The team’s football operations staff also has provided Packers team apparel no longer in use, including a large assortment of t-shirts, shorts, jackets, jerseys and pants. Some items are practice-worn gear not normally available in the Pro Shop.

    The tent sale began in 1994 in the parking lot outside the former Pro Shop on the north end of Lambeau Field and grew into a popular event. Now in its 11th year in the Atrium, the tent sale also was held in the west side stadium concourse in previous years.

     
  • Sat., May. 10, 2014 7:00PM CDT Eddie Lacy appearance 22nd Annual Doug Jirschele Memorial Sports Award Banquet
  • Sat., Jun. 07, 2014 8:30AM - 3:30PM CDT JPP Kids Clinic

    The 17th annual Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic is set for Saturday, June 7, 2014 in the Don Hutson Center with sessions ranging from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    The Junior Power Pack Clinic gives members ages 5-14 years old the opportunity to practice football skills and drills with other Packers backers and a few up-and-coming Packers players.  Parents/Guardians are welcome to come and watch their child/ren participate in the clinic. 

    Members may choose one of three sessions to attend:

    • Session 1 – 8:30 to 10 a.m.
    • Session 2 – 11 to 12:30 p.m.
    • Session 3 – 2 to 3:30 p.m.


    The event will be held inside the Don Hutson Center, the Packers indoor practice facility. Parking for the event is available in the lot on Lambeau Field’s east side near the Oneida Nation Gate.  

    The Junior Power Pack Clinic is a member’s only event and will have a registration fee of $5.

    Deadline to register:

    • New Members – May 11, 2014
    • Current Members – May 18, 2014


    To sign up to become a member of the Junior Power Pack and receive an invitation to the clinic fans can go to www.packers.com/jpp.

     
  • Sat., Jun. 14, 2014 2:30PM CDT Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer

    The eleventh annual Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer motorcycle ride will be held, rain or shine, on Saturday, June 14, 2014. The ride will start at Vandervest Harley-Davidson (1966 Velp Avenue, Green Bay) and will make a fun-filled stop at the Seymour Fireman's Picnic, held at the Outagamie County Fairgrounds in Seymour.

    Ride Day Schedule

    • 9-10:30 am: Registration at Vandervest Harley-Davidson, Geen Bay
    • 11 am: Depart Vandervest Harley-Davidson, Green Bay
    • 12 pm: Arrive in Seymour. Enjoy food, beverages, entertainment and a short program.
    • 2:30 pm: Party kicks off at the new South Endzone Festival Foods MVP Deck at Lambeau Field! Guests can access the space by way of the Shopko Gate. See the field and enjoy the atmosphere from this beautiful indoor/outdoor space newly opened and accessed by very few. The party will include silent and live auction, food, beverages, music and merchandise available for purchase.


    More information: http://cruiseforcancer.org/

     
  • Sat., Aug. 09, 2014 7:00PM - 10:00PM CDT Packers at Tennessee Titans Packers at Tennessee Titans
  • Sat., Aug. 16, 2014 3:00PM - 6:00PM CDT Packers at St. Louis Rams Packers at St. Louis Rams

Coaches

Mike McCarthy
Head Coach

Biography

  • Named the Packers’ 14th head coach on Jan. 12, 2006.
  • Joined Pittsburgh’s Bill Cowher (2005) as the only Super Bowl-winning coaches to lead their respective teams to three road victories as the No. 6 seed in the playoffs en route to a world title.
  • Has guided the Packers to top-10 finishes in scoring in each of the past six seasons (2007-12), joining New England as the only other team to accomplish the feat. The team’s 2,696 points from 2007-12 are the most in franchise history over a six-year span.
  • Has led the Packers to a top-10 ranking in total offense in six of his seven seasons (2006-11).
  • In 2011, guided the team to a franchise-record 15 wins as well as team marks for points (560), touchdowns (70), total net yards (6,482), passing TDs (51) and fewest giveaways (14).
  • Became the first Packers coach since Vince Lombardi to lead the team to a championship game in his second season (2007), 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 38 Pro Bowl selections, 10 Super Bowl starts, and seven 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 (Kan.) 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.


When Mike McCarthy was named head coach of the Green Bay Packers in January 2006, he said the goal for the franchise would be to win a Super Bowl, and that would never change.

Mike McCarthy hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XLV

In 2010, McCarthy led the Packers back to the pinnacle of the sport, joining Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren as the only coaches in team history to lead the Packers to a Super Bowl title, with a 31-25 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.

The path to that world championship was not an easy one as McCarthy joined Pittsburgh’s Bill Cowher (2005) as the only Super Bowl-winning coaches to lead their respective teams to three road victories as the No. 6 seed in the playoffs en route to a title.

Since taking over as head coach in ’06, McCarthy has an 80-42 overall record (.656), including a 6-4 mark (.600) in the postseason. Entering 2013, his overall winning percentage ranks third among current NFL head coaches (min. 50 games). The past four seasons (2009-12) under McCarthy mark one of the most successful stretches in team history as Green Bay posted a 52-20 record (.722), including the playoffs. Green Bay’s 47 regular-season victories from 2009-12 rank No. 2 in the NFL behind only New England (49), and are the second most by the Packers over a four-year span, trailing only the 48 victories from 1995-98.

While the Packers ultimately fell short of the Super Bowl the past two seasons, McCarthy’s team was still one of the best in the NFL. Green Bay captured back-to-back division titles in 2011-12 for the first time since it won three straight from 2002-04. The 2012 season also marked the Packers’ fourth straight playoff appearance and fifth in the last six seasons, the only NFC team to accomplish those feats.

In 2011, McCarthy led Green Bay to a franchise-best 15 regular-season wins, as the Packers became just the sixth team in NFL history to reach that mark in the regular season. The Packers began the ’11 campaign reeling off 13 consecutive wins, easily eclipsing the previous franchise record of 10-0 starts in 1929 and 1962. Dating back to Week 16 of the 2010 season, and including the playoffs, Green Bay won 19 consecutive games before suffering its lone regular-season defeat at Kansas City in Week 15. Covering a span of 364 days, the 19-game winning streak was the longest in franchise history and was the second-longest winning streak in NFL history (including playoffs) behind only the 2003-04 New England Patriots (21 games). Perhaps most impressively, the Packers never trailed in the fourth quarter during their streak.

The Packers’ 2011 regular-season success culminated with their second NFC North title under McCarthy and first since 2007. Green Bay’s 6-0 mark in the division marked the first time in team history that the Packers posted an undefeated record in their division since the NFL went to the divisional format in 1967. Green Bay also became the first team since the 1987 Chicago Bears to sweep the NFC North/Central. Additionally, Green Bay earned the NFC’s No. 1 seed for the first time since 1996 and finished with a perfect 8-0 record at Lambeau Field for the first time since 2002.

McCarthy was runner-up in Coach of the Year voting by The Associated Press and saw seven of his players earn Pro Bowl nods following the 2011 campaign, the most the Packers had voted to the all-star game since 1967.

McCarthy guided the Packers to a 10-6 campaign in 2010, highlighted by seven wins in the final 10 games. What made the Packers’ championship season even more impressive was the adversity the team faced due to injuries. Green Bay finished the year with 15 players on injured reserve, and eight of them had started at least one game during the season. Six starters from the opening-day depth chart sustained season-ending injuries in the first seven games.

The Packers became just the third 10-6 team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl, and their six losses on the season came by a combined 20 points. Green Bay never lost a game by more than four points, but even more impressive, it never trailed by more than seven points at any point in a game all season. The Packers became the first team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to never trail by more than seven points at any point during the regular season, and became the first championship-winning franchise to do so since the 1942 Washington Redskins.

It was a shining example of the steady, consistent approach that McCarthy has taken in leading the Packers throughout his tenure, one that culminated with the organization’s fourth Super Bowl title and 13th world championship in 2010.

 
PROLIFIC OFFENSES

Prior to coming to Green Bay in 2006, McCarthy was known in NFL circles for his innovative offensive mind and his ability to develop young quarterbacks.

Seven seasons into his tenure with the Packers, that reputation has become firmly entrenched, if not enhanced, by the Packers’ offensive prowess before and during Aaron Rodgers’ tenure as the team’s starting quarterback.

During McCarthy’s stint in Green Bay, the Packers have registered 2,997 points, the third-highest total in the NFL over the past seven seasons (2006-12). Additionally, the team’s 146 total turnovers from 2006-12 were tied for the second fewest in the league.

Six of the seven Packer teams led by McCarthy have ranked in the NFL’s top 10 in total yardage – checking in at ninth in 2006, second in ’07, eighth in ’08, sixth in ’09, ninth in ’10, third in ’11 and 11th in ’12. Additionally, three of the franchise’s top five single-season yardage totals have occurred during McCarthy’s tenure. In 2008-09, the Packers were the first team in NFL history to produce a 4,000-yard passer (Rodgers), two 1,000-yard receivers (Greg Jennings, Donald Driver), and a 1,200-yard rusher (Ryan Grant) in two consecutive years.

The Packers have also finished in the top 10 in the NFL in total points each of the past six seasons (2007-12), highlighted by a franchise-record 560 points in 2011. The franchise mark also ranks as the second-highest point total in NFL history behind only the 589 points posted by the New England Patriots in 2007. The Packers’ 2,697 points over the past six seasons were the most in franchise history over a six-year span, while their 113 turnovers were the fewest over a six-year period. In 2011, Green Bay set a franchise record for fewest giveaways in a season with 14, while ranking second in the NFL. The Packers again took care of the ball in 2012, finishing tied for second in the league and tied for second in single-season franchise history with just 16 turnovers.

En route to earning NFL Most Valuable Player honors, Rodgers guided one of the most successful offenses in NFL history in 2011. In addition to setting a new franchise single-season record for points and fewest giveaways, the ’11 Packers set new single-season marks for touchdowns (70), total net yards (6,482) and net passing yards (4,924). The 70 TDs were also tied with the 1984 Miami Dolphins for the second-most TDs in a season in NFL history behind only the 2007 Patriots (75). Green Bay outscored its opponents 560-359 in 2011, a 201-point differential that ranked No. 2 in the NFL (New Orleans, plus-208). It marked the third straight season (2009-11) that the Packers outscored their opponents by at least 145 points. The last NFL team to accomplish that feat in three-plus consecutive seasons was the San Francisco 49ers from 1991-95.

 
MAJOR CHANGE

In 2009, McCarthy embarked upon the first major alterations to his coaching staff since his arrival, hiring 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 have been incredibly impactful. With a No. 2 ranking in 2009 and a No. 5 ranking in ’10, the Packers finished in the top five in the league in overall defense in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1968-69. Since ’09, Green Bay ranks third in total takeaways (133), first in interceptions (103), second in opponent passer rating (73.8) and fourth in points allowed per game (19.3).

The 2012 defense was led by LB Clay Matthews and the pass rush as he tallied 13 sacks in just 12 games, pacing the defense to 47 total sacks, good for fourth in the NFL. The Packers’ sack total last season also tied for fifth best in franchise history (since 1963). Green Bay was No. 4 in the NFL in opponent passer rating (76.8) while limiting its opponent to 20 points or less in eight of the last 10 regular-season games, propelling the Packers to a No. 11 ranking in scoring defense (21.0 ppg). Green Bay finished the season tied for eighth in the NFL with 18 interceptions, contributing to a plus-7 turnover margin in 2012, good for 10th in the league. Green Bay is the only team in the NFL to finish in the top 10 in the league in turnover differential each of the past six seasons (2007-12). Additionally, the Packers have a 56-6 regular-season record (.903) when holding the advantage in turnover ratio during McCarthy’s tenure.

In 2011, the defense was at its ball-hawking best as the Packers posted a league-high 31 interceptions, the second time in three seasons (2009) that they led the league in that category. The INT total was the most posted by Green Bay since it registered the same total in 1962. The Packers finished tied for the league lead with 38 total takeaways, leading to a plus-24 turnover ratio that ranked second in the league and tied for second in franchise history.

In 2010, the Packers ranked No. 2 in the NFL in scoring defense at 15.0 points per game, the team’s best mark since leading the league in the category in 1996 (13.1). Green Bay tied for No. 2 in the NFL with 47 sacks in ’10, its highest league ranking since sacks began to be recorded as a team statistic in 1963.

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) in ’09.

The ’09 season was not a smooth road back to playoff contention, however. Back-to-back losses in early November 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 a 7-1 record 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 contest, but McCarthy had gotten the Packers back on track toward the goal they would reach just a year later.

 
ON THE BRINK

McCarthy brought the Packers to the brink of accomplishing that Super Bowl 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 then-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, and he also was runner-up in Coach of the Year voting from The Associated Press.

The 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.

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 Brett 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 fifth 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. 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 Field.

In advancing to the NFC Championship Game, McCarthy became the first Packers coach since 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

In his first two seasons as head coach, McCarthy simultaneously oversaw a mini-renaissance of Favre’s career and the development of Rodgers as his backup.

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 five seasons.

Since taking over as the starter in ’08, Rodgers hasn’t disappointed his main tutor or team as he has developed into arguably the league’s best quarterback. Rodgers has topped 4,000 yards passing four times (2008-09, 2011-12), 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. In the process, he also became the first quarterback in league history to surpass the 4,000-yard plateau in each of his first two seasons as a starter. In total, McCarthy has been on the coaching staff for six of the 11 4,000-yard passing seasons (1999, 2007-09, 2011-12) in franchise history.

Rodgers posted 21,332 passing yards from 2008-12 to rank first in NFL history for the most passing yards by a QB in his first five seasons as a starter, surpassing the previous mark held by Peyton Manning (20,618, 1998-2002). His career passer rating of 104.9 ranks No. 1 in NFL history, and he is the only QB in franchise annals, and just the second in league history, to post a 100-plus passer rating in four consecutive seasons (2009-12). Additionally, his 1.73 career interception percentage is tops in NFL history.

Following his 2011 MVP performance, Rodgers continued to amaze under McCarthy in 2012. Rodgers led the league in passer rating (108.0) and TD/INT ratio (4.88), while ranking second in TD passes (39) and third in completion percentage (67.21). He became the first quarterback to lead the league in passer rating in consecutive seasons since Manning did so for three straight seasons (2004-06). Additionally, his combined passer rating of 114.9 from 2011-12 was the best two-season passer rating in league history (min. 700 att.).

In 2011, Rodgers and McCarthy teamed up to author one of the greatest offensive seasons in NFL history, highlighted by the former Cal standout’s 122.5 passer rating that set a new NFL single-season record. He finished the season connecting on 343 of 502 passes (68.3 percent) for 4,643 yards and a career-high 45 TDs with six INTs on his way to earning NFL MVP honors. His 45 TD passes obliterated the franchise single-season record (Favre, 39 in 1996) and is the fifth-highest total in NFL annals, while his 4,643 passing yards also set a new franchise record. He is the only 4,000-yard passer in NFL history to throw six or fewer INTs in that season.

Rodgers also set an NFL single-season record with 11 consecutive 110-rating games, topping 49ers QB Steve Young’s mark of seven straight in 1994, and 12 consecutive 100-rating games, besting Manning’s mark of nine in 2004. Rodgers finished the 2011 season ranking second in the league in TD passes (45), first in yards per attempt (9.25), second in completion percentage (68.3), fourth in yards per game (309.5) and first in TD/INT ratio (7.50). 

Rodgers has also enjoyed success in the postseason under McCarthy, setting an NFL record with 10 passing TDs in his first three postseason starts. He also became only the fourth signal-caller to throw for 300 yards and three TDs with no INTs in a Super Bowl on his way to earning game MVP honors for Super Bowl XLV.


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, posting 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. Through seven seasons, he has posted a 32-10 (.762) record against NFC North foes, a divisional mark that ranks first in the conference over that span and No. 2 in the NFL, trailing only New England. The Packers have posted a winning record in their division every season with McCarthy at the helm, joining the Patriots as the only teams to do so during that time. Additionally, from 2010-12 the Packers reeled off 12 straight wins against NFC North opponents, the longest divisional winning streak in team history since the NFL went to a divisional format in 1967 and tied for the longest divisional winning streak by an NFL team since realignment in 2002.


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 is well-respected around the league, in part because he 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, Matt Flynn, 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 38 career Pro Bowl selections, 10 Super Bowl starts, and seven Most Valuable Player awards.

McCarthy’s latest protégé 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 27-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.

McCarthy 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, the third-highest total in his career at that point.

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 served as offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.


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 State 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, now the Packers’ running backs coach, as he topped the school’s career and single-season records for passing yards established by Dan Marino.


PERSONAL

Born Michael John McCarthy on Nov. 10, 1963, 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 wife Jessica and their five children.

Since returning to Green Bay in 2006, McCarthy has immersed himself in the local community and beyond through participation in numerous philanthropic events and charitable donations. Perhaps closest to his heart is the Mike & Jessica McCarthy Golf Invitational. Established in June 2010, the tournament benefits the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wis. In just four years, the event has helped the hospital take significant steps toward achieving its fundraising goal for the “Sick Kids Can’t Wait” campaign. The campaign is designed to meet the needs of sick children by further developing and improving the resources and facilities at the hospital.

McCarthy 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

Including projected contributions in 2013, the McCarthy Family Foundation has made donations to benefit numerous charities, projects and institutions during his seven-plus seasons as head coach. McCarthy established the foundation with the intent of fostering a long-term philanthropic commitment by his family beyond his NFL career. The beneficiaries have included organizations throughout Wisconsin, Kansas and his hometown of Pittsburgh.

McCarthy’s local-event participation is highlighted annually by the Mike McCarthy Cystic Fibrosis Celebrity Golf Open. The 2013 event marked the 27th consecutive year that the Open was hosted by the current Packers head coach, a tradition started by Lindy Infante. The golf outing benefits local and statewide cystic fibrosis organizations and has raised more than $600,000.

Additionally, McCarthy has served as honorary chairperson and participated in numerous charitable events around the state.

In the past, he has participated in the Lombardi Award of Excellence Dinner Ball, which supports the Vince Lombardi Charitable Funds in the fight against cancer, and served as host of the Green & Gold Gala, a fundraiser for Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin. He has also spent time visiting cancer patients at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee.

Among several other events, McCarthy has participated in the Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer Motorcycle Ride, the Edgar Bennett Celebrity Bowl-A-Thon, the team’s regular Make-A-Wish Foundation practice and game visits, and various local Get Motivated seminars.

McCarthy 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. He was also voted by the fans as the 2007 Motorola Coach of the Year, and in 2011 was named the Maxwell Football Club’s NFL Coach of the Year.

  • Named the Packers’ 14th head coach on Jan. 12, 2006.
  • Joined Pittsburgh’s Bill Cowher (2005) as the only Super Bowl-winning coaches to lead their respective teams to three road victories as the No. 6 seed in the playoffs en route to a world title.
  • Has guided the Packers to top-10 finishes in scoring in each of the past six seasons (2007-12), joining New England as the only other team to accomplish the feat. The team’s 2,696 points from 2007-12 are the most in franchise history over a six-year span.
  • Has led the Packers to a top-10 ranking in total offense in six of his seven seasons (2006-11).
  • In 2011, guided the team to a franchise-record 15 wins as well as team marks for points (560), touchdowns (70), total net yards (6,482), passing TDs (51) and fewest giveaways (14).
  • Became the first Packers coach since Vince Lombardi to lead the team to a championship game in his second season (2007), 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 38 Pro Bowl selections, 10 Super Bowl starts, and seven 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 (Kan.) 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.


When Mike McCarthy was named head coach of the Green Bay Packers in January 2006, he said the goal for the franchise would be to win a Super Bowl, and that would never change.

Mike McCarthy hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XLV

In 2010, McCarthy led the Packers back to the pinnacle of the sport, joining Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren as the only coaches in team history to lead the Packers to a Super Bowl title, with a 31-25 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.

The path to that world championship was not an easy one as McCarthy joined Pittsburgh’s Bill Cowher (2005) as the only Super Bowl-winning coaches to lead their respective teams to three road victories as the No. 6 seed in the playoffs en route to a title.

Since taking over as head coach in ’06, McCarthy has an 80-42 overall record (.656), including a 6-4 mark (.600) in the postseason. Entering 2013, his overall winning percentage ranks third among current NFL head coaches (min. 50 games). The past four seasons (2009-12) under McCarthy mark one of the most successful stretches in team history as Green Bay posted a 52-20 record (.722), including the playoffs. Green Bay’s 47 regular-season victories from 2009-12 rank No. 2 in the NFL behind only New England (49), and are the second most by the Packers over a four-year span, trailing only the 48 victories from 1995-98.

While the Packers ultimately fell short of the Super Bowl the past two seasons, McCarthy’s team was still one of the best in the NFL. Green Bay captured back-to-back division titles in 2011-12 for the first time since it won three straight from 2002-04. The 2012 season also marked the Packers’ fourth straight playoff appearance and fifth in the last six seasons, the only NFC team to accomplish those feats.

In 2011, McCarthy led Green Bay to a franchise-best 15 regular-season wins, as the Packers became just the sixth team in NFL history to reach that mark in the regular season. The Packers began the ’11 campaign reeling off 13 consecutive wins, easily eclipsing the previous franchise record of 10-0 starts in 1929 and 1962. Dating back to Week 16 of the 2010 season, and including the playoffs, Green Bay won 19 consecutive games before suffering its lone regular-season defeat at Kansas City in Week 15. Covering a span of 364 days, the 19-game winning streak was the longest in franchise history and was the second-longest winning streak in NFL history (including playoffs) behind only the 2003-04 New England Patriots (21 games). Perhaps most impressively, the Packers never trailed in the fourth quarter during their streak.

The Packers’ 2011 regular-season success culminated with their second NFC North title under McCarthy and first since 2007. Green Bay’s 6-0 mark in the division marked the first time in team history that the Packers posted an undefeated record in their division since the NFL went to the divisional format in 1967. Green Bay also became the first team since the 1987 Chicago Bears to sweep the NFC North/Central. Additionally, Green Bay earned the NFC’s No. 1 seed for the first time since 1996 and finished with a perfect 8-0 record at Lambeau Field for the first time since 2002.

McCarthy was runner-up in Coach of the Year voting by The Associated Press and saw seven of his players earn Pro Bowl nods following the 2011 campaign, the most the Packers had voted to the all-star game since 1967.

McCarthy guided the Packers to a 10-6 campaign in 2010, highlighted by seven wins in the final 10 games. What made the Packers’ championship season even more impressive was the adversity the team faced due to injuries. Green Bay finished the year with 15 players on injured reserve, and eight of them had started at least one game during the season. Six starters from the opening-day depth chart sustained season-ending injuries in the first seven games.

The Packers became just the third 10-6 team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl, and their six losses on the season came by a combined 20 points. Green Bay never lost a game by more than four points, but even more impressive, it never trailed by more than seven points at any point in a game all season. The Packers became the first team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to never trail by more than seven points at any point during the regular season, and became the first championship-winning franchise to do so since the 1942 Washington Redskins.

It was a shining example of the steady, consistent approach that McCarthy has taken in leading the Packers throughout his tenure, one that culminated with the organization’s fourth Super Bowl title and 13th world championship in 2010.

 
PROLIFIC OFFENSES

Prior to coming to Green Bay in 2006, McCarthy was known in NFL circles for his innovative offensive mind and his ability to develop young quarterbacks.

Seven seasons into his tenure with the Packers, that reputation has become firmly entrenched, if not enhanced, by the Packers’ offensive prowess before and during Aaron Rodgers’ tenure as the team’s starting quarterback.

During McCarthy’s stint in Green Bay, the Packers have registered 2,997 points, the third-highest total in the NFL over the past seven seasons (2006-12). Additionally, the team’s 146 total turnovers from 2006-12 were tied for the second fewest in the league.

Six of the seven Packer teams led by McCarthy have ranked in the NFL’s top 10 in total yardage – checking in at ninth in 2006, second in ’07, eighth in ’08, sixth in ’09, ninth in ’10, third in ’11 and 11th in ’12. Additionally, three of the franchise’s top five single-season yardage totals have occurred during McCarthy’s tenure. In 2008-09, the Packers were the first team in NFL history to produce a 4,000-yard passer (Rodgers), two 1,000-yard receivers (Greg Jennings, Donald Driver), and a 1,200-yard rusher (Ryan Grant) in two consecutive years.

The Packers have also finished in the top 10 in the NFL in total points each of the past six seasons (2007-12), highlighted by a franchise-record 560 points in 2011. The franchise mark also ranks as the second-highest point total in NFL history behind only the 589 points posted by the New England Patriots in 2007. The Packers’ 2,697 points over the past six seasons were the most in franchise history over a six-year span, while their 113 turnovers were the fewest over a six-year period. In 2011, Green Bay set a franchise record for fewest giveaways in a season with 14, while ranking second in the NFL. The Packers again took care of the ball in 2012, finishing tied for second in the league and tied for second in single-season franchise history with just 16 turnovers.

En route to earning NFL Most Valuable Player honors, Rodgers guided one of the most successful offenses in NFL history in 2011. In addition to setting a new franchise single-season record for points and fewest giveaways, the ’11 Packers set new single-season marks for touchdowns (70), total net yards (6,482) and net passing yards (4,924). The 70 TDs were also tied with the 1984 Miami Dolphins for the second-most TDs in a season in NFL history behind only the 2007 Patriots (75). Green Bay outscored its opponents 560-359 in 2011, a 201-point differential that ranked No. 2 in the NFL (New Orleans, plus-208). It marked the third straight season (2009-11) that the Packers outscored their opponents by at least 145 points. The last NFL team to accomplish that feat in three-plus consecutive seasons was the San Francisco 49ers from 1991-95.

 
MAJOR CHANGE

In 2009, McCarthy embarked upon the first major alterations to his coaching staff since his arrival, hiring 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 have been incredibly impactful. With a No. 2 ranking in 2009 and a No. 5 ranking in ’10, the Packers finished in the top five in the league in overall defense in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1968-69. Since ’09, Green Bay ranks third in total takeaways (133), first in interceptions (103), second in opponent passer rating (73.8) and fourth in points allowed per game (19.3).

The 2012 defense was led by LB Clay Matthews and the pass rush as he tallied 13 sacks in just 12 games, pacing the defense to 47 total sacks, good for fourth in the NFL. The Packers’ sack total last season also tied for fifth best in franchise history (since 1963). Green Bay was No. 4 in the NFL in opponent passer rating (76.8) while limiting its opponent to 20 points or less in eight of the last 10 regular-season games, propelling the Packers to a No. 11 ranking in scoring defense (21.0 ppg). Green Bay finished the season tied for eighth in the NFL with 18 interceptions, contributing to a plus-7 turnover margin in 2012, good for 10th in the league. Green Bay is the only team in the NFL to finish in the top 10 in the league in turnover differential each of the past six seasons (2007-12). Additionally, the Packers have a 56-6 regular-season record (.903) when holding the advantage in turnover ratio during McCarthy’s tenure.

In 2011, the defense was at its ball-hawking best as the Packers posted a league-high 31 interceptions, the second time in three seasons (2009) that they led the league in that category. The INT total was the most posted by Green Bay since it registered the same total in 1962. The Packers finished tied for the league lead with 38 total takeaways, leading to a plus-24 turnover ratio that ranked second in the league and tied for second in franchise history.

In 2010, the Packers ranked No. 2 in the NFL in scoring defense at 15.0 points per game, the team’s best mark since leading the league in the category in 1996 (13.1). Green Bay tied for No. 2 in the NFL with 47 sacks in ’10, its highest league ranking since sacks began to be recorded as a team statistic in 1963.

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) in ’09.

The ’09 season was not a smooth road back to playoff contention, however. Back-to-back losses in early November 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 a 7-1 record 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 contest, but McCarthy had gotten the Packers back on track toward the goal they would reach just a year later.

 
ON THE BRINK

McCarthy brought the Packers to the brink of accomplishing that Super Bowl 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 then-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, and he also was runner-up in Coach of the Year voting from The Associated Press.

The 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.

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 Brett 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 fifth 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. 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 Field.

In advancing to the NFC Championship Game, McCarthy became the first Packers coach since 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

In his first two seasons as head coach, McCarthy simultaneously oversaw a mini-renaissance of Favre’s career and the development of Rodgers as his backup.

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 five seasons.

Since taking over as the starter in ’08, Rodgers hasn’t disappointed his main tutor or team as he has developed into arguably the league’s best quarterback. Rodgers has topped 4,000 yards passing four times (2008-09, 2011-12), 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. In the process, he also became the first quarterback in league history to surpass the 4,000-yard plateau in each of his first two seasons as a starter. In total, McCarthy has been on the coaching staff for six of the 11 4,000-yard passing seasons (1999, 2007-09, 2011-12) in franchise history.

Rodgers posted 21,332 passing yards from 2008-12 to rank first in NFL history for the most passing yards by a QB in his first five seasons as a starter, surpassing the previous mark held by Peyton Manning (20,618, 1998-2002). His career passer rating of 104.9 ranks No. 1 in NFL history, and he is the only QB in franchise annals, and just the second in league history, to post a 100-plus passer rating in four consecutive seasons (2009-12). Additionally, his 1.73 career interception percentage is tops in NFL history.

Following his 2011 MVP performance, Rodgers continued to amaze under McCarthy in 2012. Rodgers led the league in passer rating (108.0) and TD/INT ratio (4.88), while ranking second in TD passes (39) and third in completion percentage (67.21). He became the first quarterback to lead the league in passer rating in consecutive seasons since Manning did so for three straight seasons (2004-06). Additionally, his combined passer rating of 114.9 from 2011-12 was the best two-season passer rating in league history (min. 700 att.).

In 2011, Rodgers and McCarthy teamed up to author one of the greatest offensive seasons in NFL history, highlighted by the former Cal standout’s 122.5 passer rating that set a new NFL single-season record. He finished the season connecting on 343 of 502 passes (68.3 percent) for 4,643 yards and a career-high 45 TDs with six INTs on his way to earning NFL MVP honors. His 45 TD passes obliterated the franchise single-season record (Favre, 39 in 1996) and is the fifth-highest total in NFL annals, while his 4,643 passing yards also set a new franchise record. He is the only 4,000-yard passer in NFL history to throw six or fewer INTs in that season.

Rodgers also set an NFL single-season record with 11 consecutive 110-rating games, topping 49ers QB Steve Young’s mark of seven straight in 1994, and 12 consecutive 100-rating games, besting Manning’s mark of nine in 2004. Rodgers finished the 2011 season ranking second in the league in TD passes (45), first in yards per attempt (9.25), second in completion percentage (68.3), fourth in yards per game (309.5) and first in TD/INT ratio (7.50). 

Rodgers has also enjoyed success in the postseason under McCarthy, setting an NFL record with 10 passing TDs in his first three postseason starts. He also became only the fourth signal-caller to throw for 300 yards and three TDs with no INTs in a Super Bowl on his way to earning game MVP honors for Super Bowl XLV.


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, posting 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. Through seven seasons, he has posted a 32-10 (.762) record against NFC North foes, a divisional mark that ranks first in the conference over that span and No. 2 in the NFL, trailing only New England. The Packers have posted a winning record in their division every season with McCarthy at the helm, joining the Patriots as the only teams to do so during that time. Additionally, from 2010-12 the Packers reeled off 12 straight wins against NFC North opponents, the longest divisional winning streak in team history since the NFL went to a divisional format in 1967 and tied for the longest divisional winning streak by an NFL team since realignment in 2002.


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 is well-respected around the league, in part because he 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, Matt Flynn, 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 38 career Pro Bowl selections, 10 Super Bowl starts, and seven Most Valuable Player awards.

McCarthy’s latest protégé 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 27-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.

McCarthy 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, the third-highest total in his career at that point.

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 served as offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.


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 State 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, now the Packers’ running backs coach, as he topped the school’s career and single-season records for passing yards established by Dan Marino.


PERSONAL

Born Michael John McCarthy on Nov. 10, 1963, 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 wife Jessica and their five children.

Since returning to Green Bay in 2006, McCarthy has immersed himself in the local community and beyond through participation in numerous philanthropic events and charitable donations. Perhaps closest to his heart is the Mike & Jessica McCarthy Golf Invitational. Established in June 2010, the tournament benefits the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wis. In just four years, the event has helped the hospital take significant steps toward achieving its fundraising goal for the “Sick Kids Can’t Wait” campaign. The campaign is designed to meet the needs of sick children by further developing and improving the resources and facilities at the hospital.

McCarthy 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

Including projected contributions in 2013, the McCarthy Family Foundation has made donations to benefit numerous charities, projects and institutions during his seven-plus seasons as head coach. McCarthy established the foundation with the intent of fostering a long-term philanthropic commitment by his family beyond his NFL career. The beneficiaries have included organizations throughout Wisconsin, Kansas and his hometown of Pittsburgh.

McCarthy’s local-event participation is highlighted annually by the Mike McCarthy Cystic Fibrosis Celebrity Golf Open. The 2013 event marked the 27th consecutive year that the Open was hosted by the current Packers head coach, a tradition started by Lindy Infante. The golf outing benefits local and statewide cystic fibrosis organizations and has raised more than $600,000.

Additionally, McCarthy has served as honorary chairperson and participated in numerous charitable events around the state.

In the past, he has participated in the Lombardi Award of Excellence Dinner Ball, which supports the Vince Lombardi Charitable Funds in the fight against cancer, and served as host of the Green & Gold Gala, a fundraiser for Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin. He has also spent time visiting cancer patients at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee.

Among several other events, McCarthy has participated in the Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer Motorcycle Ride, the Edgar Bennett Celebrity Bowl-A-Thon, the team’s regular Make-A-Wish Foundation practice and game visits, and various local Get Motivated seminars.

McCarthy 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. He was also voted by the fans as the 2007 Motorola Coach of the Year, and in 2011 was named the Maxwell Football Club’s NFL Coach of the Year.

 

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