5 Largest Head Coach Age Differences in Super Bowl History

Andy Reid's coaching career goes back to the days when he went up against Kyle Shanahan's father, Mike

Super Bowl LIV will feature one of the largest age gaps between head coaches in the big game's history. Does this mean the older Andy Reid has the distinct advantage over the younger Kyle Shanahan? We’ll find out on Super Bowl Sunday. Here are the biggest age differences among the head coaches in Super Bowl history.

 

5. Super Bowl XXX: Barry Switzer and Bill Cowher (19 years, 7 months, 3 days)

If you had told Switzer in January 1994 that he would be coaching the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl two years later, he probably would have laughed in your face. Yet the former Oklahoma Sooners head coach was doing just that thanks to a falling out between owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jimmy Johnson. Switzer’s team beat fourth-year coach Cowher’s Pittsburgh Steelers in one of the most surreal Super Bowls ever.

 

4. Super Bowl XXXIV: Dick Vermeil and Jeff Fisher (21 years, 3 months, 26 days)

After 15 years in the broadcast booth, Vermeil returned to the St. Louis Rams at the age of 60. Three years later, he led them to the Super Bowl, where they beat 41-year-old Fisher’s Tennessee Titans thanks to a last-second, goal-line tackle.

 

3. Super Bowl LIV: Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan (21 years, 8 months, 25 days)

To give you a sense of the age difference in this rivalry, Reid was 4-4 against Shanahan's father, Mike. However, that says more about Reid's longevity than Shanahan's youth. The last time Reid went to the Super Bowl was with the Philadelphia Eagles 15 years ago. The only head coach with a longer gap between Super Bowls is Dick Vermeil, who spent 15 years as a broadcaster.

 

2. Super Bowl III: Weeb Ewbank and Don Shula (22 years, 7 months, 29 days)

Ewbank led the Baltimore Colts to NFL titles in 1958 and '59, but was fired after the '62 season and replaced by the 33-year-old Shula. The New York Jets hired Ewbank and six years later, he faced his old team and successor in Super Bowl III. Unless you have been living on the moon, you know his Joe Namath-squad pulled off one of the biggest upsets in NFL history.

 

1. Super Bowl LIII: Bill Belichick and Sean McVay (33 years, 9 months, 8 days)

Consider that Belichick's son Stephen, who served as the Patriots' safeties coach for this game, is just two years younger than McVay. McVay also played against Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman when the two were in college. When McVay was born on Jan. 24, 1986, Bill Belichick was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants under Bill Parcells. The Giants would win Super Bowl XXI the next year, a day after McVay turned one.

 

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.

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