How Have NFL Coaches Under 40 Performed in First Season?

How Have NFL Coaches Under 40 Performed in First Season?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

As every season passes in the National Football League, the dynamic of hiring a “young gun” to run your offense, defense or even be the head coach is becoming more and more commonplace. The ability to energize and relate to the younger generation of football players is the core to hopefully a successful and long-standing run of postseason triumphs.

Utilizing Pro Football Reference to aid in next year’s Tennessee sports betting on the NFL, analyzed how active NFL coaches under the age of 40 have fared in their first season at the helm. Teams who have hired a coach that’s currently under the age of 40 have done very well in their first season — all finishing with above .500 records and averaging a .620 win percentage. This bodes well for Brian Callahan and the Titans as they enter next season.

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Active NFL Coaches Under 40 in First Season

(Active) CoachAge when hiredWin Percentage
Sean McVay, Rams31.688
Kevin O’Connell, Vikings37.765
Shane Steichen, Colts38.529
DeMeco Ryans, Texans38.588
Mike McDaniel, Dolphins39.529
Brian Callahan39TBD

It's worth noting none of these coaches will be competing in this years Super Bowl. FanDuel Sportsbook Tennessee currently lists San Francisco as a 1.5-point favorite in the Big Game against Kansas City on Feb. 11.

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Callahan in Select Company

Callahan, 39, is tied for the oldest in the group with Miami coach Mike McDaniel. McDaniel completed his second season in Miami, compiling a 20-14 (.588) record over two seasons, and making the playoffs in back-to-back years.

Leading the way is Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay. The now 38-year-old just completed his seventh season with the Rams, compiling a 10-7 record and earning another postseason berth. In five of the seven seasons, he has posted double-digit regular season wins. In his first season (2017), McVay compiled an 11-5 (.688) record, and you just knew something special was in the making.

He won the NFC Championship the following year in 2018 and captured football's holy grail, a Super Bowl title, in 2021. He has posted a 7-4 (.636) playoff record.

The coach with the best winning percentage in his first season: Kevin O’Connell of the Minnesota Vikings. At the age of 37, O’Connell led the Vikings to a 13-4 record in 2022 and a playoff berth.

Next season, Callahan takes over the Titans after spending the last five seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals and their two quarterbacks, starter Joe Burrow and backup Jake Browning. This season, the Titans finished 6-11 and missed the playoffs for the season straight year under sixth-year coach Mike Vrabel, who was fired Jan. 9.

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Lou Monaco is a reporter for Lou had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media ( in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.