Christian McCaffrey, 27, is set to play for the San Francisco 49ers when they go against the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, and his dad, Ed McCaffrey, 55, a former wide receiver for the NFL, couldn’t be prouder. “It feels incredible. I’m just so happy for him… The fact that he’s in a Super Bowl is a pretty incredible feeling for us, and as a father, I love him. I support him,” Ed told PEOPLE about his son. “As any parent will probably tell you, they just want their child to be happy. They want ’em to pursue their dreams and love life and be happy.”
Ed also talked about the fact that despite his own football past, he and his wife, Lisa, made sure to let their kids choose their own paths. “Christian chose to play football and he did it when he was seven years old — and he’s never looked back,” Ed said. “He fell in love with it, I think the first year he ever played. And he’s committed a good portion of his life to playing the game.”
As 49ers fans get excited to see Christian and his teammates play in this year’s Super Bowl, learn more about Ed and his background below.
Ed Started Playing Football at a Young Age
Originally from Pennsylvania, he attended Central Catholic High School in Allentown, where he played football in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. He also played basketball for a time at Allentown Central Catholic High School and even helped them win national titles in 1984 and 1986.
After high school, Ed played college football for the Cardinal when he attended Stanford University. By the time he finished, he became the school’s fifth all-time leader in receptions (146) and third all-time leader in receiving yards (2,333). He earned first-team All-America and All-Pac-10 Conference honors as a senior in 1990, catching 61 passes for 917 yards and eight touchdowns that season, and earned a place in Stanford’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990, according to the Stanford Hall of Fame site. He also was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
Ed Played for the San Francisco 49ers & is a Super Bowl Champion
Ed was first selected by the New York Giants in the 1991 NFL draft. He played for the team from 1991 until 1993, and joined the San Francisco 49ers, just like Christian, in 1994. Although he played for the team for only a year, he won three Super Bowl rings, Super Bowl XXIX. He then went on to play for the Denver Broncos from 1995 until 2003, and won Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII. He was also named to the Pro Bowl in 1998. After suffering from injuries during the 2003 season, Ed officially retired from professional football in 2004.
Ed Became a Coach
After retiring, Ed became a football coach and also had success. He started off as a coach for youth football camps in the summer of 2000 and started his own youth football camp called SportsEddy in 2011. SportsEddy also included other sports like lacrosse, soccer, baseball, and basketball. He also started The Ed McCaffrey “Dare to Play” football camp and the “Dare to Cheer” cheerleading camp for individuals with Down syndrome in partnership with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. He also founded the McCaffrey Family Foundation, which assists children whose medical situation has created an academic or financial hardship, with his wife, Lisa.
Ed became the head football coach at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, CO in 2018, and later became the head football coach for the University of Northern Colorado in 2019. He was fired from the position in November 2022 reportedly due to disappointing results with the team.
He Has Four Sons
Ed welcomed four sons with his wife, Lisa, who is the daughter of Olympic sprinter Dave Sime, after they got married in 1992. They include Max McCaffrey, who was born in 1994, Christian, who was born in 1996, Dylan McCaffrey, who was born in 1999, and Luke McCaffrey, who was born in 2001.
Although the doting parents encouraged all four of the boys to their own passions, they were naturally drawn to football. Max played as a wide receiver in the NFL for three seasons on various teams. They included the Green Bay Packers, Jackson Jaguars and the San Francisco 49ers. In 2023, he joined the Miami Dolphins as an offensive assistant after coaching at the University of North Colorado, where Ed was the head coach for three years.
Christian played for the Carolina Panthers from 2007 until 2022. He then joined the San Francisco 49ers in 2022. Dylan was a collegiate quarterback at North Colorado and the University of Michigan before he graduated in 2022. He is now part of the Rice University football team.
Ed Started a Condiment Company
In addition to his interest in sports, Ed has an interest in good condiments. He started his own brand of mustard and horseradish sauce and it’s sold in various supermarkets across Colorado and Nebraska.