Former San Francisco 49ers General Manager and Vice President of Player Personnel John McVay will become the newest addition to the Niners Hall of Fame this season. From 1979-1996, McVay was instrumental in the Niners winning five Super Bowl rings. He was hired by the Niners the same year as legendary head coach Bill Walsh.
When McVay joined the 49ers he was one of the men responsible for turning around the organization from a cellar dweller to one of the best teams in the NFL. Along with Walsh and Eddie DeBartolo Jr., McVay helped instill a winning culture everywhere in the organization, from the locker room to the front office. He was also responsible for signing many of the 49ers’ best free agents, like Fred Dean and Jack Reynolds, who helped the team win five championships in less than two decades. The reason for his success was he focused on signing free agents who would fit into the 49ers program.
McVay on signing free agent veterans:
There’s a list as long as your arm. We had a philosophy in the personnel department, if we think he can play and some other team thinks he’s getting too old and we think he can still play for a couple of years, we’ll take them.
While most NFL fans think of Walsh and DeBartolo Jr. as the men most responsible for the 49ers winning ways of the 80s and 90s, McVay was just as important to the franchise. In his 21 years with the 49ers, he was one the few front office personnel who Niner fans can truly credit with turning around the franchise and maintaining the teams winning ways. In 1989, McVay was recognized for his efforts by being named NFL Executive of the Year.
Here is a statement from CEO Jed York about McVay’s induction into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame:
John played an integral role in the great success our franchise has achieved, helping to construct teams responsible for five Super Bowl victories. His knowledge of the game and coaching experience allowed him to develop a great partnership with both Bill Walsh and George Seifert that was evident in the team’s performance on the field. John’s commitment and contributions to the 49ers helped to form the rich tradition we strive to carry on today.