Meet The Coach: Tom McMahon

Intro: Over the next few weeks, will publish Q & A’s with all of the team’s assistant coaches. Here, we will get to know Special Teams Coordinator Tom McMahon.


INDIANAPOLIS – Tom McMahon is the lone coordinator returning for another season in Indianapolis.

The 2016 season marks McMahon's fourth season coordinating the Colts special teams units.

McMahon's journey to the NFL is remarkable, considering he almost lost his life as a young child in the Montana wilderness.

Get to know Special Teams Coordinator Tom McMahon:Describe your journey to Indianapolis

"I started at Carroll College. It's where I went to school and I was a student assistant there. I tried high school football for a year after that, Bozeman High School, in Montana. I went back to Carroll for a year and then got a graduate assistant job at Utah State. I stayed there three years, then got a full-time job. I was there a total of 11 seasons. I was there eight years as a full-time coach, three years as a graduate assistant. I played for Bobby Petrino's dad, so when Bobby Petrino was at Louisville, I think he got hired in 2006 to go to Louisville. Then I got in the NFL when he got into the league, with Atlanta. I was an assistant special teams coach in Atlanta for two seasons. In St. Louis, I got to be a coordinator in 2009 and I was there until 2011. I was in Kansas City for one year and I've been here since."Most memorable moment in football

"In the NFL, probably coming back against Kansas City in that playoff game. Down 38-10, to me it's all about team and guys with grit. That was just a team that said, 'It's not over.' They said at halftime they were going to go win the game. As a coach, you are like, 'We're getting our (butts) kicked.' But that would be my most memorable moment."When did you know you wanted to be a coach?

"When I was young, I had a head injury and I had to end up getting a plate in my head (at four years old). My dad actually operated on me with a Swiss Army knife. We were back in the woods 30 miles. He knew I was going to die. He was a surgeon, so he knew I was going to die if he didn't relieve the pressure. To make a long story short, they put a plate in my head. They were never going to let me play but my dad, when I was six, told me he was going to let me play. He said he was going to find me a helmet and let me play. From that day on, I knew I never wanted to leave football. He held true to it. The doctors said, 'Don't let him play.' My mom said, 'Don't let him play.' That was all I wanted to do. I think early on it was, I wanted to prove everybody wrong. I wanted to be a coach ever since I wanted to be a little kid."Favorite part about coaching

"Teaching. Classroom. The teaching, when the execution happens. The only way you're going to execute is we've got to win the classroom before we win the rectangular. If I can help them win in the classroom, then they can go win in the rectangular. In my opinion, coaches that think they win that rectangular…the players are winning that rectangular in the game. They are winning. But if we can win in the classroom, those guys have a chance to go win on the field."Describe your coaching style

"I have the courage to correct. I'm going to correct things. I was lucky. My college coach, that's what he was. He never sugar-coated anything. Feelings don't help you, in my opinion. Just tell a guy what he needs to correct. Not criticize. Some guys think it's criticizing. It's the truth. And all anyone wants to hear in life is the truth."Who was your biggest influence growing up?

"I'd say my family. I've got 15 brothers and sisters (he's second to youngest). So I had a lot of great parents. All my older brothers and sisters thought they were my dad and mom."Favorite hobby

"Fly fishing."Favorite food

"Avocados. Straight, with a spoon. Cut it open and eat them."Favorite movie

"Animal House."Favorite music/genre

"Country. That's all I listen to."Favorite quote

"My dad used to always say this to me: 'God gave us a brush at birth to paint the picture that we want our life to be.' Then every morning when we woke up, he would say: 'Pack your brush.'"Favorite place you've traveled

"I'd say the back country of Montana."Why Indianapolis?

"You're expected to win. I've been in a lot of buildings where you hope to win. When you walk in that door, and in the first five minutes of the interview with Mr. (Ryan) Grigson, it's the only time I've been nervous in an interview. I didn't want to goof it up because you could tell you were expected to win here. Every building I've been in, you work your (butt) off but you are hoping it happens. Whereas here, it's an expectation. It permeates that building and I love it. Some people think it's pressure. If you've been in a building where you're hoping to win, it's way different than a building like this, where you are expected to win."Favorite Spot/Part about Indy/Colts

"The stadium."What are you trying to accomplish on special teams?

"Half-court offense. Full-court defense. So we are going to provide the offense a half a court to work on. And we are going to give the defense a full court. So it's field position. That's our motto. We hammer it every day. That's our identity."Family

Wife: Kim. Son: Dawson, Emmett. Daughter: Quincy.

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