Sean Michael McDermott was born on March 21, 1974, to his parents, Rich and Avis McDermott, in Omaha, Nebraska.
He grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs. McDermott’s family lived in West Chester and Paoli before settling in Lansdale when McDermott was in second grade.
Embarking on his NFL coaching odyssey in 2001 as an assistant for the Philadelphia Eagles, Sean McDermott ascended the ranks, ultimately donning the mantle of defensive coordinator from 2009 to 2010.
Transitioning to the Panthers, McDermott continued his strategic reign as the defensive coordinator from 2011 to 2016, marking a pivotal period that included a Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl 50.
After his impactful six-season tenure with the Panthers, McDermott embraced a new challenge in 2017 by assuming the head coach role for the Buffalo Bills.
As the orchestrator of the Bills’ resurgence, he not only brought a fresh vision but also led the team to new heights.
Notably, in 2023, McDermott expanded his responsibilities, taking on the dual role of head coach and defensive coordinator, showcasing his commitment to excellence on all fronts of the coaching spectrum.
Sean McDermott Parents
Who Are Rich and Avis McDermott?
When Sean McDermott declared the Buffalo Bills head-coaching job as the best among the six openings in 2017, not everyone may have initially bought into his assertion.
However, for his parents, Rich and Avis, the geographic proximity held a significance that transcended any perceived hierarchy among coaching gigs.
The other job offers hailed from distant locations like Los Angeles (Chargers and Rams), San Francisco (49ers), Jacksonville (Jaguars), and Denver (Broncos), all far removed from their cozy Lansdale, Pa. home.
The prospect of having their son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren in a different time zone or a region requiring more than a day’s drive was a concern too great to ignore.
“As a father and a grandparent, I was just hoping the [Buffalo job] would come through,” Rich revealed candidly. The alternatives, the 49ers and the Chargers, with their Californian allure, were swiftly dismissed.
California was deemed impractical for a family as tight-knit as the McDermotts.
The distance was not merely measured in miles but in the mutual grip on each other’s hearts—a bond that allowed them to tug whenever necessary, a practice that proved frequent and irreplaceable.
In the McDermott family, the closeness extends beyond geography. In the throes of his demanding coaching schedule, Sean ensures thrice-weekly phone calls during the season.
Every Thursday evening, he shares the journey home from work, and on game days, the routine includes pre and post-game conversations.
Such is the familial commitment that Sean steadfastly refrains from addressing the media after a game until he has first connected with his parents, underscoring the unbreakable thread that ties this family together.
Mother Avis Worked For an Insurance Company
Sean observed his mother navigating the professional landscape during the 1970s and early 1980s, a period when the societal norm saw many mothers primarily engaged in homemaking, attending to household responsibilities, and raising children.
Despite the prevailing trend, Sean’s mother, Avis, played a pivotal role in the insurance industry, showcasing a commitment to her career that defied conventional expectations.
In an era where traditional gender roles often confined mothers to domestic spheres, Sean’s mother stood as a testament to resilience and ambition.
Her dedication to her job challenged stereotypes and gave Sean a valuable lesson in pursuing personal and professional aspirations, irrespective of societal norms.
Rich & Avis Met As Undergrads
Sean McDermott parents, Rich and Avis, crossed paths during their undergraduate years at Northwest Missouri State in the mid-60s, a fateful meeting that would shape the course of their lives.
While Rich initially immersed himself in football, his educational journey took an unexpected turn, leading him back to Philadelphia to ponder his next steps.
Simultaneously, Avis embarked on her career in insurance, settling in Philadelphia after moving from her college town.
In a serendipitous twist, their individual journeys converged, and fate intervened as they found themselves in the same city.
Destiny unfolded as they transitioned from acquaintances to a couple, eventually culminating in their union through marriage.
Father Rich Is A Former Coach
After a stint in the Army reserves that fortunately spared him from Vietnam service, Rich seized an opportunity to revisit academics and football at Midland University, an NAIA school in Freemont, Nebraska.
Notably, one of his teammates was Chris Olsen, father to the renowned Carolina Panthers star tight end, Greg Olsen.
In his early 20s, Rich and Avis embraced the chance to move back to the Midwest, marking the next chapter in their journey.
Avis supported the couple while Rich pursued his education, a commitment that persisted until the arrival of their son, Tim.
After Tim’s birth, Rich graduated and returned to Pennsylvania to work as a grad assistant at Slippery Rock, fueled by a passion for coaching.
Meanwhile, Avis and Tim relocated to her native Iowa to live with her parents, awaiting Rich’s stable foothold in his career.
The Slippery Rock opportunity proved transitory, leading the family to Omaha, Nebraska, where Rich secured teaching, assistant football, and wrestling coaching positions at the high school that produced the legendary Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers.
Sean McDermott Parents | Return To Philadelphia
Sean, the second son, arrived 20 months after Tim. At the age of seven, the family returned to the Philadelphia area permanently when Rich accepted an assistant football coaching position at West Chester.
Their journey included residences in West Chester and Paoli before settling into a modest house in Lansdale, strategically situated behind North Penn High School—Tim’s alma mater and Sean’s school for two years.
The $63,000 house, considered a substantial investment at the time, reflected a period of modest means with limited discretionary income.
Family vacations weren’t lavish, with rare summer trips to Iowa to visit Avis’ parents.
The demanding schedules of both parents and the boys’ involvement in sports camps left little time for extravagant getaways, painting a picture of a family grounded in hard work, dedication, and the pursuit of their shared dreams.