How old is Zac Taylor? Bengals coach on brink of making Super Bowl history

Youth will be at the forefront of the Super Bowl 56 matchup between the Bengals and Rams. That is especially true for the coaches who will lead their respective teams at SoFi Stadium with a Lombardi Trophy on the line.

Indeed, Zac Taylor of the Bengals and Sean McVay of the Rams will combine for the youngest head-coaching matchup in the history of the big game. Should Taylor’s Bengals win, he would become the second-youngest coach in NFL history to win the Super Bowl (McVay, in his second Super Bowl, would be the youngest).

MORE: Zac Taylor explains how Peyton Manning influenced the Bengals’ decision to draft Ja’Marr Chase

Taylor, of course, reached this stage in just his third season following 2-14 and 4-11-1 campaigns in 2019 and ’20, respectively. Cincinnati went 10-7 in the regular season before beating the Raiders, Titans and Chiefs in the playoffs.

It just goes to show that youth does not necessarily equate to inexperience. (Though it certainly does not hurt to have a wunderkind leading your team).

With that, The Sporting News breaks down everything you need to know about Taylor’s age and where it fits into NFL and Super Bowl history:

MORE: Zac Taylor net worth: How much will Bengals’ head coach make in 2022?

How old is Zac Taylor?

Taylor is 38 years old.

Youngest active coaches in the NFL

Despite his relative youth, Taylor is just the second-youngest active coach in the NFL: He trails the 36-year-old McVay, who is 2 years, 8 months, 15 days younger than his Super Bowl counterpart and former quarterbacks coach.

Should the Vikings hire Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell following the Super Bowl, Taylor would then be the third-youngest coach in the league.

Coach Age Team Record
Sean McVay 36 Rams 55-26
* Kevin O’Connell 36 Vikings 0-0
Zac Taylor 38 Bengals 16-32-1
Mike McDaniel 38 Dolphins 0-0
Brandon Staley 39 Chargers 9-8
Arthur Smith 39 Falcons 7-10
Kevin Stefanski 39 Browns 19-14
Nick Sirianni 40 Eagles 9-8
Kyle Shanahan 42 49ers 39-42
Matt LaFleur 42 Packers 39-10

* Reported to be hired by the Vikings. Minnesota has not announced the move.

Youngest coaching hires in NFL history

Taylor is among the youngest active coaches in the NFL. However, he did not exactly break records for youngest hires at the time the Bengals brought him on in February 2019.

He was only the 24th-youngest coach – at the time of his hiring – in NFL history. He was older than such coaches as McVay, Lane Kiffin, John Madden, Don Shula, Al Davis, Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin (among others). In fact, he’s not even the youngest head-coaching hire in Bengals franchise history: That would go to David Shula, who was 32 years and 7 months old when he was hired in 1992.

Here is where Taylor ranks among the youngest coaches to ever be hired by an NFL team:

Coach, team Age at hiring
Sean McVay, Rams 30 years, 11 months
Lane Kiffin, Raiders 31 years, 8 months
Harland Answers, Rams 31 years, 11 months
John Michelosen, Steelers 32 years, 2 months
Raheem Morris, Buccaneers 32 years, 4 months
David Shula, Bengals 32 years, 7 months
Josh McDaniels, Broncos 32 years, 8 months
John Madden, Raiders 32 years, 10 months
Don Shula, Colts 33 years, 4 days
Al Davis, Raiders 33 years, 6 months
Joe Collier, Bills 33 years, 7 months
Bob Snyder, Rams 33 years, 11 month
Jim Trimble, Eagles 34 years, 3 months
Jon Gruden, Raiders 34 years, 5 months
Bill Cowher, Steelers 34 years, 8 months, 13 days
Joe Kuharich, Cardinals 34 years, 8 months, 25 days
Jack Christiansen, 49ers 34 years, 9 months
Norm Van Brocklin, Vikings 34 years, 10 months, 3 days
Mike Tomlin, Steelers 34 years, 10 months, 7 days
Joe Schmidt, Lions 34 years, 11 months, 23 days
Eric Mangini, Jets 34 years, 11 months, 28 days
Mike Shanahan, Raiders 35 years, 6 months
Zac Taylor, Bengals 35 years, 8 months

Youngest coaches in Super Bowl history

Taylor and McVay will make history on Sunday as the youngest pairing of Super Bowl head coaches. They will represent at Super Bowl 56 the second- and fifth-youngest coaches to ever reach the stage:

The previous such record came when Tomlin (36 at the time) and Ken Whisenhunt (46) combined to be 83 years and 297 days old at Super Bowl 43.

Below are the 10 youngest coaches to have ever reached the Super Bowl:

Coach Age Super Bowl
Sean McVay 33 years, 11 days 53
Sean McVay 36 years, 22 days 56
Mike Tomlin 36 years, 10 months and 18 days 43
Bill Cowher 38 years, 8 months, 21 days 30
Zac Taylor 38 years, 9 months, 5 days 56
Mike Tomlin 38 years, 10 months, 23 days 45
Don Shula 39 years, 9 days 3
Jon Gruden 39 years, 5 months, 10 days 37
Kyle Shanahan 40 years, 1 month, 20 days 54
John Rauch 40 years, 4 months, 26 days 2

Youngest coaches to win the Super Bowl

Currently, Tomlin still holds the record for youngest coach to ever win the Super Bowl: He was 36 years, 10 months and 18 days old when the Steelers beat the Cardinals in Super Bowl 43. The previous record-holder for youngest Super Bowl-winning head coach was Jon Gruden, who was 39 years, 5 months, 10 days when the Buccaneers beat the Raiders in Super Bowl 37.

If Taylor’s Bengals win the Super Bowl on Sunday, he would be the second-youngest Super Bowl winning coach. If McVay’s Rams win, he would claim the record from Tomlin by roughly 10 months.

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