LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Rams have made Sean McVay the youngest head coach in NFL history.
The Rams on Thursday hired McVay, who turns 31 years old on Jan. 24.
McVay spent the past three seasons as the Washington Redskins’ offensive coordinator. He has been an assistant since 2010 in Washington, where he worked with head coach Jay Gruden to build a prolific offense led by quarterback Kirk Cousins.
He replaces Jeff Fisher, who was fired 13 games into the Rams’ homecoming season in Los Angeles, and interim head coach John Fassel.
The Rams made the eye-catching move on the same day that the Chargers announced their relocation to Los Angeles to share the Rams’ $2.6 billion stadium.
McVay wowed the Rams’ top brass during two recent interviews, but he is an unorthodox choice for the franchise, which hasn’t taken extraordinary risks during owner Stan Kroenke’s tenure. While McVay is respected as an up-and-coming NFL mind, he has understandably meager experience, including none as a head coach.
McVay is also younger than two of the Rams’ players, defensive linemen William Hayes and Eugene Sims.
“He’s brought a lot to this football team, as far as offensively, and done a good job calling plays and utilizing the people that we have,” Gruden said recently.
But perhaps risks are in order to snap the Rams out of their 12-year playoff drought. McVay takes charge of a franchise rebuilding from a 4-12 season, its 13th consecutive non-winning campaign.
Lane Kiffin was 31 years old when the Oakland Raiders hired him in January 2007. That hire didn’t go well, and McVay faces plenty of difficult work in his new job.
The Rams’ offense has finished last in the NFL for two consecutive seasons. Quarterback Jared Goff was the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft, but he struggled in his half-season as their starter, while top running back Todd Gurley had a dismal second NFL season.
McVay could be well-equipped for the job of tutoring Goff: In Cousins’ two seasons under McVay as the Redskins’ starting quarterback, he twice broke the venerable franchise’s records for yards passing and completions.
Although McVay is a relative youngster, he comes from a football family. His grandfather, John, spent 21 seasons in the San Francisco 49ers’ front office as a top executive.