41 Pro Bowl selections between 1997 through 2002, which were the most in the NFL. To put it into
perspective, the Buccaneers only had 19 Pro Bowl selections in the first 21 years of their history
leading up to 1997. Additionally, 11 of McKay’s former lieutenants have risen through the ranks to
sit in the general manager’s chair at other NFL franchises.
While many of the players McKay drafted developed into Pro Bowl performers on the field,
several have been stars in their community. Atlanta Falcons Limited Partner Warrick Dunn, whom
McKay drafted in 1997 with Tampa Bay, was the recipient of the 2004 Walter Payton/NFL Man of
the Year award. This award is presented annually to the NFL’s most philanthropic player. Derrick
Brooks, who was also a draft selection of McKay’s, was also a co-recipient of the award in 2000.
The McKay family is one of the most successful football families with substantial roots in both
the collegiate and professional game. Rich’s late father, the legendary John McKay, led the University
of Southern California Trojans to four national championships in 16 seasons. Rich’s older
brother J.K. McKay, was a starting wide receiver for the Trojans and part of two national championship
teams (1972 & 1974) in addition to playing in three Rose Bowl games while playing for
his father. Between the three McKay’s, they have won six national championships, participated
as a player or coach in 12 Rose Bowls, participated as a coach, player or team executive in six NFL
conference championship games, won two National Collegiate Coach of the Year Awards, won
one XFL Championship as a general manager, and won one Super Bowl as a general manager.
The McKay football roots are continuing to grow, as Rich’s son John reached Super Bowl LIII in
Atlanta working as a Pro Scout for the Los Angeles Rams.
Both Coach McKay and Rich saw their first draft picks selected to the Pro Football Hall
of Fame. Lee Roy Selmon was the first pick for John McKay as a head coach of the Tampa
Bay Buccaneers in 1976 while Warren Sapp was the first pick for Rich McKay in 1995. After
the enshrinement of Sapp and Derrick Brooks, Rich McKay became the first and only general
manager in NFL history to have his first two draft picks go on to be first-ballot members of
the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
McKay earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1981 from Princeton University, graduated
from Stetson’s College of Law in 1984, clerked for two years for Tampa’s U.S. District Judge
William Terrell Hodges, and was inducted into the Stetson Law’s Hall of Fame on November 2014.
McKay worked at the Tampa law firm of Hill, Ward, and Henderson, P.A., from 1986-1992 where
he served as General Counsel for the Buccaneers. Born March 16, 1959, in Eugene, Oregon, McKay
grew up in Los Angeles and Tampa, graduating from Tampa’s Jesuit High School.
As an avid long-distance runner, Rich has participated in and finished six marathons including
two New York City Marathons, an Atlanta Marathon, and the Los Angeles in Marathon in 2013 and
in 2016, and the 2019 San Diego marathon.
McKay and his wife, Terrin, have two sons; Hunter, a 2012 graduate of Samford University in
Birmingham, Alabama who is now employed in the Sports Information Office at Kennesaw State
University in Kennesaw, Ga., and John, a 2015 graduate of the University of Southern California is
a pro scout with the Los Angeles Rams.
ATLANTA FALCONS YEARBOOK 2019