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Matt Cavanaugh
Jersey #(s)
12, 6
Born October 27, 1956 (1956-10-27) (age 53)
Youngstown, Ohio
Career information
Year(s) 19781991
NFL Draft 1978 / Round: 2 / Pick: 50
College Pittsburgh
Professional teams

Playing career

Coaching career

Career stats
TD-INT 28-30
Yards 4,332
QB Rating 71.7
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Matthew Andrew Cavanaugh (born October 27, 1956, in Youngstown, Ohio) is a former American football quarterback in the NFL who played from 1978 to 1991. In the course of his career as a professional football player, he earned two Super Bowl rings. Since his retirement, Cavanaugh has worked as an offensive coach and coordinator, for teams including the San Francisco 49ers, the Chicago Bears, and the Baltimore Ravens.

On February 4, 2009, it was announced that Cavanaugh would leave his job as offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Panthers in order to take an Offensive Assistant Coaching position with the New York Jets.




Early career

Cavanaugh was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and attended Chaney High School. He was a football standout and went on to the University of Pittsburgh after graduating. In 1976, he was the starting quarterback for the undefeated Pittsburgh Panthers (he was on the same team with Tony Dorsett) and contributed to the team's National Championship 27–3 victory over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. On that day, Cavanaugh was selected as the Sugar Bowl's Most Valuable Player.

Cavanaugh's performance was a surprise to many college football fans since Cavanaugh's Panther teammate, college rushing record setter Tony Dorsett, was the recipient of that season's Heisman Trophy.

Cavanaugh was also named MVP of the 1977 Gator Bowl, throwing four touchdown passes in a 34–3 win over Clemson.

NFL playing career and beyond

His professional playing career included stints with the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants. Cavanaugh played backup quarterback in both the 1984 Super Bowl XIX and the 1990 Super Bowl XXV.

Cavanaugh retired as a professional player following the 1991 season, with close to 5,000 total yards and 30 touchdown throws. Since his retirement, he has served in the following positions: chief recruiter and offensive coach, University of Pittsburgh (1992–1993); offensive coach, Arizona Cardinals (1994–1995); offensive coach, San Francisco 49ers (1996); offensive coordinator, Chicago Bears (1997–1998); and offensive coordinator, Baltimore Ravens (1999–2004). Cavanaugh served as offensive coordinator for his old college team, the University of Pittsburgh Panthers, until 2008 when he accepted a position as Assistant Coach/Quarterbacks Coach with the New York Jets.

His son, Andrew, is currently in the US Army, serving as a Military Policeman at Ft. Benning, GA. In HHC 3 BSTB Third Heavy Brigade Combat Team 3ID.

External links

Preceded by
Bob Haygood
Pitt starting quarterback
Succeeded by
Rick Trocano
Preceded by
Ron Turner
Chicago Bears offensive coordinator
Succeeded by
Gary Crowton
Preceded by
Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator
Succeeded by
Jim Fassel
Preceded by
Walt Harris
Pitt Panthers offensive coordinator
Succeeded by
Frank Cignetti, Jr.
Preceded by
Brian Daboll
New York Jets quarterback coach
Succeeded by


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