John McVay, the architect of the 49ers’ dynasty and the grandfather of Rams coach Sean McVay, has died at the age of 91.
The San Francisco 49ers announced Tuesday that John McVay, the coach turned executive who built the rosters of five Super Bowl-winning teams, had died.
He was 91 years old at the time.
McVay was also the grandfather of Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, whose team issued a statement in his honour, acknowledging the impact he had on his grandson and the team.
John McVay did a lot for the Niners.
McVay, who was born in Ohio in 1931, began his coaching career after playing centre at Miami (OH), rising through the high school ranks to become the head coach of Dayton, then the Memphis Southmen of the now-defunct World Football League, and finally the New York Giants.
McVay was on the New York sideline during the Miracle at the Meadowlands, and that famous loss contributed to a 14-23 record that led to McVay’s contract being terminated after the 1978 season.
McVay quickly found a new career with the Niners, beginning as director of player personnel in 1979 and rising through the ranks to become director of football operations, vice president, and general manager.
McVay worked with Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh to build the rosters that won Super Bowls in 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, and 1995.
According to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, one of McVay’s first assignments was to find Walsh a quarterback, which resulted in a third-round draught pick.
Joe Montana worked out pretty well in the end.
Other homegrown players included Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, and Charles Haley, and McVay was also a part of Montana’s famous switch to Steve Young, which resulted in his final championship.
Meanwhile, McVay’s son Tim went on to play defensive back at Indiana and eventually had a son named Sean, who went on to win a Super Bowl with the Rams.
There are numerous ways to establish a dynasty, but few people discover two of them.