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Cody Kluge Cody Kluge BVM Sports Journalist/Editor
Ed McCaffrey takes up coaching after NFL career with Broncos

Ed McCaffrey takes up coaching after NFL career with Broncos

DENVER (BVM) – Ed McCaffrey had a successful 13-year NFL career in which he became a Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos. As good as the Stanford product was, his family name continues to live on through the success of his sons.

Not only has McCaffrey been able to watch his children succeed at the college and pro level, but he has also been teaching the next generation of football stars over the past couple of years at the collegiate level.

Ed McCaffrey’s high school and college career

McCaffrey played high school football at Allentown Central Catholic where he shined as a receiver. Meanwhile, he was also an exceptional basketball star, leading Allentown Central Catholic to two state titles during his career on the hardwood.

Ultimately, he ended up playing under Jack Elway and later Dennis Green at Stanford where he had a tremendous career. After catching just four passes as a freshman, McCaffrey became a fixture of the Cardinal receiving core as a sophomore with 533 yards and two scores. 

Redshirting due to a quad injury in 1988, McCaffrey’s numbers would get even better as he began to break out in 1989, going for 871 and four scores. He would conclude his Stanford career with his best season yet in 1990, catching 61 passes for 917 yards and eight touchdowns.

Ed McCaffrey Denver Broncos NFL
Ed McCaffrey was drafted by the New York Giants following his college career at Stanford, but his real stardom would begin once he joined the Denver Broncos. (Credit: Peter Brouillet-USA TODAY Sports)

McCaffrey was an All-Pac 10 player and All-American as a senior. He finished his Stanford career with 146 receptions, the 11th best mark in Stanford program history. McCaffrey is also in the top-10 for career receiving yards at Stanford, finishing with 2,333.

Ed McCaffrey’s NFL beginnings

Following his tremendous senior season at Stanford, McCaffrey was selected at No. 83 overall in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. His NFL career started off with a slow rookie year, but the 6-foot-5 receiver showed potential with 49 catches, 610 yards and five touchdowns in his second season. 

A down season in 1993 would end McCaffrey’s Giants career, and he would go on to play for the San Francisco 49ers the following year. Although he didn’t put up big numbers, he earned a championship ring as the Niners won Super Bowl XXIX.

Ed McCaffrey’s Broncos career

By 1995, McCaffrey’s pro career had pretty much been what is expected out of a third-round pick. He was a decent contributor who clearly had talent, but he hadn’t quite found his niche or stardom in the league. That all changed when he signed with the Denver Broncos that offseason, following former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan to Mile High.

McCaffrey had a solid first season with the Broncos in 1995, but by 1996 and 1997, the receiver came into his own, catching a combined 93 passes for 1,143 yards and 15 touchdowns. In 1998, McCaffrey had the best season of his NFL career with 1,053 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

Playing alongside an offense full of talent led by quarterback John Elway, running back Terrell Davis, tight end Shannon Sharpe and fellow wide receiver Rod Smith, McCaffrey earned a nod to the Pro Bowl, was an All-Pro player and made some key catches as the Broncos marched all the way to a Super Bowl upset over the Packers.

A tremendous blocker and do-it-all player who was willing to do whatever it took to help his team win, the Broncos’ receiver was nearly as good in 1999 when he won the third championship of his career as the Broncos defeated the Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII. In 2000, McCaffrey set career highs with 101 receptions and 1,317 yards, also adding nine touchdowns. McCaffrey and Smith became just the second wide receiver duo to catch 100 passes in the same season.

Unfortunately, the back nine of McCaffrey’s career arrived in 2001. Playing in the season opener against the Giants on Monday Night Football, the receiver had a strong six-catch, 94-yard performance. But in that game, he would break his leg, missing the remainder of the season.

He would make a full comeback for the 2002 season, and still was productive with 69 catches and over 900 yards. However, after suffering through more injuries in a lost 2003 season, McCaffrey decided to call it quits, finishing a pro career full of highlights with 565 receptions, 7,422 receiving yards and 55 touchdowns.

Ed McCaffrey Denver Broncos NFL
Ed McCaffrey won two Super Bowl titles with the Broncos and three total in his NFL career. (Credit: Peter Brouillet-USA TODAY Sports)

Ed McCaffrey’s family

McCaffrey comes from a very athletic family and was the oldest of five siblings. McCaffrey’s younger brother, Billy, played college basketball at Duke and Vanderbilt, while his younger sister, Monica, played basketball collegiately at Georgetown.

Ed met his wife, Lisa, while in college at Stanford, and the couple has been married for 30 years. She is the daughter of former Olympic sprinter Dave Sime and was a soccer player for the Cardinal. The couple has had four sons, each of which have made their name known on the gridiron as well.

The oldest son is Max who played at Duke and spent a few years in the NFL with a few different organizations including the Packers, Jaguars, Raiders and 49ers.

The couple’s second son, Christian, is by far the most well-known out of the bunch. A record-setter and two-time Gatorade Colorado Football Player of the Year at Valor Christian in Colorado, Christian went on to star at his dad’s alma mater in Stanford, finishing as Heisman runner-up in 2015. 

A first-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2017, McCaffrey has become one of the NFL’s brightest stars with 6,602 yards from scrimmage and 47 total touchdowns across his five years as a pro.

Their next son, Dylan, was also a star at Valor Christian as a quarterback for the Eagles. He went on to play at the University of Michigan, finishing his college career last year at Northern Colorado.

The youngest of the bunch is Luke. Coming out of Valor Christian in 2019, Luke initially began his college career at Nebraska. Originally considering transferring to Louisville, Luke has ended up at Rice where he hopes to play a key role for the Owls this season as he makes the switch to wide receiver.

Ed McCaffrey’s earnings, achievements and endeavors

Ed made a little over $18.5 million in his NFL career, and is estimated to have a net worth of around $6 million today.

Since retirement, Ed has had his playing career honored multiple times. In 2009, the Broncos named the former wide receiver to their 50th anniversary team. This past May, Ed was enshrined into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, becoming the 27th former Bronco to be inducted.

Away from football, the Broncos legend has been just as busy, establishing The McCaffrey Family Foundation aimed to improve the lives of kids in Colorado by partnering with entities like the Ronald McDonald House and Denver Children’s Hospital. 

His son Christian has followed suit, recently starting the Christian McCaffrey Foundation

Back in 2001, Ed began the Ed McCaffrey Football Camp held each summer in Colorado. He has also runs a “Dare to Play” football camp and “Dare to Cheer” cheerleading camp for kids and young adults with down syndrome, in addition to SportsEddy, which includes camps for multiple sports.

Along with multiple speaking engagements over the years, Ed has also used his voice as a radio host of the show “Tuesdays with Eddie Mac” in Denver, and became a color analyst for Broncos radio broadcasts back in 2012, a role which he served in until 2017. He was also a panelist on a local show in Denver, “Altitude Sports Summit: Pro Football Edition.”

Another notable part of Ed’s post-playing career has been his gourmet condiment line, which is sold in supermarkets across Colorado and Nebraska.

Ed McCaffrey’s coaching career 

In February 2018, Ed took his first coaching job as the head man at Valor Christian. He had plenty of success in his two seasons there in 2018 and 2019, going 24-2 overall and leading the Eagles to a state title alongside youngest son Luke in 2018.

In December of 2019, the former NFL star was hired as the 16th head coach of the University of Northern Colorado football program. However, he would have to wait for his debut on the sidelines with the Bears.

The Big Sky Conference decided to postpone its 2020 football season to the spring of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over that winter, Northern Colorado also decided to opt out of the spring season.

Ed McCaffrey Northern Colorado Bears football
Ed McCaffrey will look to turn around a Northern Colorado program that has won just five games in its last two seasons of play. (Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Coming off a 2-9 campaign in 2019, the stage was set for a turnaround in 2021. It became a family affair at Northern Colorado, as Ed hired his son Max who has become the team’s offensive coordinator and assistant head coach. Meanwhile, Dylan decided to transfer from Michigan to play his final college season at quarterback for the Bears. 

Although Northern Colorado went just 3-8, the future looks bright for 2022 and beyond with McCaffrey at the helm. The Bears will kickoff the 2022 season on Saturday, Sept. 3 against Houston Baptist.

Whether it be on the football field, in the media, or while giving back, Ed has shined throughout his life. The McCaffrey name has become one of the best-known in football over the last two decades, and while his sons continue to make their own legacy, Ed will look to add to his while coaching on the sidelines.

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