San Diego football fans have a new reason to cheer this season! Mike McCoy, a seasoned athlete and long-time coach will be leading the Chargers to new victories on the football field. The second-youngest head coach in Chargers history joined the team this January, from Denver, Colorado, where he spent four seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Broncos and helped them earn their second-highest win total in franchise history.
A native of San Francisco’s Bay Area, McCoy first played quarterback at Long Beach State and the University of Utah before signing with the Broncos in 1995. As a rookie, McCoy’s background includes time spent on the practice squad in Green Bay, NFL Europe’s Amsterdam Admirals, the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles. In 1999, McCoy wrapped up his playing career with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders. As his coaching career took off, McCoy spent nine seasons leading the Carolina Panthers before moving on to join the Denver Broncos.
Whether on the field or at home, McCoy knows the value of good teamwork. Along with being a devoted husband to his wife Kellie, McCoy’s the proud papa of daughter Olivia, 13, and son Luke, 11.
San Diego Family was lucky enough to get some one-on-one time with Coach McCoy and discover what he and his family have enjoyed about San Diego County since returning to California.
How do you like San Diego? Are you officially settled in?
“We really like San Diego so far—the people, the lifestyle, the food, great weather. We’ve only been out a few times, but we’re very excited to live here permanently. The family will officially move as soon as the kids finish school and a few other commitments.”
What kinds of things have you enjoyed in San Diego as a family?
“We are big sports fans and had an amazing opportunity to go to a Padres game recently. We also drove to L.A. and attended a Clippers game. They happen to be our son’s favorite team.”
Any favorite places to go, activities or local eateries that you’ve discovered and love?
“Eddie V’s [Prime Seafood in La Jolla] has been our favorite place to eat. The kids get a kick out of listening to the seals bark on the rocks. They also happen to love everything on the menu. We had the honor of going to SeaWorld with an amazing tour guide. The kids love marine life and they were able to pet Allua and Ferdinand, the white beluga whales.”
What is your family looking forward to that you haven’t had a chance to do yet?
“Going to the beach is one of our family’s favorite pastimes. We look forward to exploring the coastline in San Diego and north around Dana Point. San Diego has an amazing military presence, and we look forward to touring the Air and Space museum. We also look forward to visiting Temecula and tasting the fabulous food and wine.”
Are there similarities between coaching players and raising kids? How has coaching helped prepare you for all the things that a dad is responsible for?
“The players are like big kids. As a coach, you try to make it a family atmosphere as much as possible. With players and kids, things don’t always go the way they want. You cannot spoil them. As a coach you have to sometimes do it your way to make sure it’s done the right way.”
Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco said in an ESPN article, “It’s the partnership between the GM and the head coach, through and through. We spend more time with each other during the season than we do with our own family, so it’s got to be a tight relationship.”
“That’s what we’ve said from day one. We’re all in this together. As long as everyone is on the same page and you’re doing everything together when decisions are made, it’s our decision. It’s the San Diego Chargers’ decision. It’s not just Tom’s decision. It’s not just my decision. We’re going to do everything as one here.”
How do you balance family time with work? What are the most important qualities you depend on to keep your family united and your marriage strong, especially when you’re in the midst of a busy season?
“Whenever I can go home and spend time with my family, I’m at home. I don’t do a lot without my family when I’m not working. There’s a limited amount of time that I get to spend with them. I don’t play golf unless it’s a work-related function. I’d rather go home and spend six or seven hours with the kids. Kellie and I do everything as a family whenever we can. The kids and my wife understand how fortunate we are to have the job that we have. They understand that dad’s not around as often as a lot of other fathers are, but there’s quality time we spend together. There are a lot of things we’re able to do as a family because of work. We’re given a lot of opportunities to do certain things, and we’re really grateful for it.”
Tell us a bit about your kids. What are they into?
“My daughter, Liv, is 13 and she loves competitive cheerleading, traveling and hanging out with friends. My son, Luke, is 11 and loves basketball, football and hanging out with his buddies, and his mom.”
Any Father’s Day or family traditions that you’re looking forward to enjoying this year?
“Father’s Day is one holiday where our family is always together. It happens to be while we are on vacation. Traditionally we are in Destin, Florida. This year we get to hang out on the Pacific coast!”
What’s the best parenting advice you’ve received?
“Do what you think is right. Everyone is not always going to agree with what you do, but you have to believe in what you’re doing. In addition to that, show respect. Good manners go a long way.”
Do you have a motto?
“Be positive and watch the good things happen.” –George Allen
Kirsten Flournoy is the editor of San Diego Family Magazine.
Published: June 2013