Sean McDermott

Coaching Record

Years Coached Record Win % Playoff record Playoff win %
26 244-156-2 60.95% 18-18 50.00%

Coaching Tree


Andy Reid, Ron Rivera


David Culley, Brian Daboll


Table of Contents

Career Summary

Sean McDermott is a football coach in the National Football League (NFL) and has been the head coach for the Buffalo Bills since 2017. During this time period, the Bills compiled a 73-41-0 record. He was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 2017 until the 2024 season, during which time the Bills went 73-41-0. During his career he was a head coach for eight seasons.

Career Awards

During the 2012 and 2013 seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers he coached Luke Kuechly to the AP Defensive Player of the Year and AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Sean McDermott Coaching Tree

Before he was a head coach, McDermott served as an assistant coach for Andy Reid and Ron Rivera. Twelve of these years were spent on Reid's coaching staff. During his time as head coach, two assistant coaches, (David Culley and Brian Daboll) on his coaching staff were hired as head coaches across the league. His coaching tree has combined for a record of 19-31-1 in the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs during their four seasons as head coach after serving on his coaching staffs.

Personal Information

McDermott was born on Sunday, December 5, 1976 in Lufkin, Texas.

Table of Contents

Background & Education

Sean McDermott was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1974. He played college football at William and Mary where he was a safety from 1994-1997. He was awarded all-conference academic honors in 1996 and 1997, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1997.

College Football Positions

William and Mary

Upon graduation, McDermott stayed on at the College of William and Mary, serving as a graduate assistant at his alma mater for the 1998 college football season. It wouldn’t be long before he would start his pro-coaching career in the NFL.

The National Football League

The Philadelphia Eagles

McDermott’s first exposure with the NFL came with the Philadelphia Eagles, mainly in an administrative capacity. He worked in scouting, mainly handling budgetary matters, working with the salary cap and collective bargaining agreement and other matters dealing with personnel. In 1999, he was promoted to assistant to Head Coach Andy Reid.

McDermott would begin to amass a wealth of knowledge and experience working under Reid and alongside a staff of brilliant young coaches and legends primed for head coaching careers. The assistant coaches who would eventually lead an NFL team includes Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier, Ron Rivera, Pat Shurmur and Steve Spagnuolo.

The 1999, Eagles would go 5-11, but the next five years would see them compiling a combined 59-21 record and making the playoffs in each of those next five years. During this period, McDermott served as Scouting Coordinator, Assistant to the Head Coach(1999-2000), Defensive Quality Control Coordinator (2001-2002), and Assistant Defensive Backs Coach (2003).

In 2004, McDermott and the Eagles reached the Super Bowl after a 13-3 regular season, but lost to the New England Patriots 24-21. It would take a full season for the team to recover as they would follow their Super Bowl appearance with a 6-10 record in 2005.

From 2004-2006, McDermott was Philadelphia’s secondary and safeties coach but his duties would change in 2007, when Steve Spagnuolo moved on to take the position of defensive coordinator for the Dennis Allen. This gave McDermott the opportunity to move up to linebackers coach. When defensive coordinator coach Jim Johnson died of cancer, McDermott moved into the position for 2009.

Following his first full season as defensive coordinator for the Eagles, McDermott was named by Pro Football Weekly Magazine as the league’s Top Defensive Coordinator. McDermott had coached the Eagles to the second best third down defense in the league. His team was also third in the NFL with 38 takeaways and 44 sacks. In 2010, the defense gave up the most points since 1974 for a Eagles squad. Despite a 21-11 record during his two years as defensive coordinator in Philadelphia, after two straight wild-card losses, Head Coach Andy Reid’s position became tenuous. While Reid would hang on for two more years, McDermott was let go after the 2010 season.

Carolina Panthers

After going 2-14 in 2010, the Carolina Panthers were looking for help for the 2011 season. Sean McDermott fit the bill. McDermott would join head coach Ron Rivera as defensive coordinator for the Panthers, taking over a young and inexperienced defense. The 2011 season was full of injuries for the defense and the Panthers struggled to a 6-10 mark. The team, however, did win four of its last six games and went into the off-season with optimism.

McDermott’s defense would be challenged again in 2012 as the Panthers would face 11 opponents with top 15 offenses. In spite of that challenge, the Panther defense improved 18 spots over the previous year, ranking 10th in the NFL. While the team’s overall record only improved to 7-9, there was plenty of optimism on the defensive side of the ball. McDermott was delivering.

The Carolina Panthers and their fans went into the 2013 season with high expectations. McDermott was molding his defense into an innovative squad that was becoming difficult to anticipate. Cam Newton was in his third year as an NFL quarterback. The Panthers didn’t disappoint, at least not in the regular season. After opening the season with two straight losses, the Panthers would lose only two other regular season games, putting up an impressive 12-4 mark. Along the way, the team compiled the league’s second ranked defense giving up just 241 points. The Panthers stumbled in the Division Playoffs, however, losing to the San Francisco 49’ers 23-10.

In 2014, the team’s 7-8-1 record was good enough for first place in the NFC South and another trip to the playoffs. McDermott’s defense struggled more than in previous seasons but the team was able to notch a 27-17 playoff victory over the Cardinals before losing to the Seahawks 31-17 in the NFC Divisional round.

The 2015, Carolina Panthers went into the season with coaching stability, with Ron Rivera, Mike Shula and Sean McDermott heading into their fifth seasons with the team. McDermott has become a hot prospect as a head coach throughout the NFL as his innovative defenses are a big part of the Panther’s success. The team was undefeated at 8-0 through the halfway point of the season.


Year Position Record Playoff record
2024 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 0-0-0 0-0
2023 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 11-6-0 1-1
2022 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 13-3-0 1-1
2021 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 11-6-0 1-1
2020 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 13-3-0 2-1
2019 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 10-6-0 0-1
2018 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 6-10-0 0-0
2017 Buffalo Bills Head Coach 9-7-0 0-1
2016 Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator 6-10-0 0-0
2015 Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator 15-1-0 2-1
2014 Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator 7-8-1 1-1
2013 Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator 12-4-0 0-1
2012 Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator 7-9-0 0-0
2011 Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator 6-10-0 0-0
2010 Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator 10-6-0 0-1
2009 Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator 11-5-0 0-1
2008 Philadelphia Eagles Secondary Coach 9-6-1 2-1
2007 Philadelphia Eagles Linebackers Coach 8-8-0 0-0
2006 Philadelphia Eagles Safeties Coach 10-6-0 1-1
2005 Philadelphia Eagles Safeties Coach 6-10-0 0-0
2004 Philadelphia Eagles Safeties Coach 13-3-0 2-1
2003 Philadelphia Eagles Assistant Defensive Backs Coach 12-4-0 1-1
2002 Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Assistant Coach / Quality Control Coach 12-4-0 1-1
2001 Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Assistant Coach / Quality Control Coach 11-5-0 2-1
2000 Philadelphia Eagles Assistant to the Head Coach 11-5-0 1-1
1999 Philadelphia Eagles Assistant to the Head Coach 5-11-0 0-0

Coach history guide

Seasons with a championship win Seasons with a conference championship

Coach facts

  • Years as head coach: 8
  • Years as a coordinator: 8
  • Conference Championships won: 2004 and 2015
  • Second in total wins for the Buffalo Bills.
  • First in winning percentage for the Buffalo Bills.
  • Past teams coached for: Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles
  • College Attended: William and Mary Tribe
  • Date of Birth: Sunday, December 5, 1976 (47 years old), Lufkin, Texas