Who's the youngest head coach in NFL history? Where Mike Macdonald ranks

The Seattle Seahawks hired Mike Macdonald as their next head coach at just 36 years old, but is he the youngest head coach in NFL history?

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens / Todd Olszewski/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks were willing to wait until after the Super Bowl to speak with Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, who they viewed as the top candidate to replace Pete Carroll as their head coach. Carroll remains with the organization for now, but he's a living legend. Macdonald, as capable as he may be, has quite the legacy to live up to.

Carroll won a Super Bowl with Seattle, and nearly secured a second with the Seahawks were it not for a curious decision to throw the ball from the Patriots' goal line. Macdonald has a long way to go before he can make that kind of success a reality, but his experience in Baltimore at such a young age proves the Seahawks are building their next regime the right way.

Under Macdonald, the Ravens defense allowed the fewest points per game (16.5), while also recording the most sacks (60) and takeaways (31) this past season. At just 36, Macdonald is the youngest head coach in the NFL as of this writing. However, he's not the youngest hire ever. That title belongs to a new division rival.

Who's the youngest head coach in NFL history?

Sean McVay was the youngest head-coaching hire of the modern era, as he was given the keys to the Los Angeles Rams at just over 30 years of age. McVay turned into a clear success story, paving the way for other wunderkind coordinators to receive opportunities as well regardless of their age. The McVay coaching tree is extensive, even though the Rams coach is just 38 years old as of this writing.

Beyond McVay, though, young head coaches have had varying levels of success. Lame Kiffin is the second-youngest head coach hire in NFL history and he was eventually fired by the Raiders. Harland Svare, John Michelosen and Raheem Morris all lasted less than three years, though the latter has received a second opportunity with the Atlanta Falcons.

Macdonald doesn't even rank in the top-10, if you can believe it. At 36 years old, he's more of a proven commodity than some might think.