Will McClay
Dallas Cowboys
Position:Vice president of player personnel
Personal information
Born: (1966-10-13) October 13, 1966 (age 56)
Memphis, Tennessee
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
As an executive:
Career highlights and awards
Career Arena statistics
Head coaching record
Regular season:55–26–1 (.677)
Postseason:1–3 (.250)
Career:153–135 (.531)
Player stats at ArenaFan.com

Will McClay (born October 13, 1966) is vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys. Previously, he was head coach of the Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League.

Early life

McClay was born on October 13, 1966 in Memphis, Tennessee but he grew up outside of Houston, Texas. He attended Missouri City Jr. High and Marian Christian High School. As a freshman, he played wide receiver and contributed to the team winning the 1981 Class 3A state title. As a senior, he was the starting quarterback, leading the team to win the 1984 Class 3A state titles.[1]

He accepted a football scholarship from Rice University. He was recruited by future NFL head coach Mike Nolan to play as a defensive back. He was a four-year starter and a captain. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science.

Playing career

His football career took off as a player at Rice University, where he started all four years of his collegiate career (1985-1988) as a defensive back. In 1988, he was picked up by the Arena League football Detroit Drive, where he played as a wide receiver and defensive back for four seasons (1989-1992).

His best year was his last, in 1992 when he racked up 34 tackles and one interception. By the end of his playing career he had helped the Drive win three arena league football titles in four appearances.

Coaching and front office career

After his career as a player, he got an opportunity to serve as the Drive's secondary and special teams coach (1993). He took two separate stints as a defensive coordinator for the Milwaukee Mustangs and the Florida Bobcats in 1995 and 1996 respectively.

He moved into the management side of football in 1997 where he serves as both the defensive coordinator and the director of player personnel for the Anaheim Piranhas. He took the job as an assistant head coach and director of player personnel of the Grand Rapids Rampage in 1998 and 1999.

McClay moved onto the XFL, where he became the director of player personnel, consultant, and scout for the Orlando Rage. He made the jump into the NFL as the assistant director of Pro Scouting for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2001) where his main job was to scout teams that Jacksonville did not play that year in attempt to advance scouting information.

He then moved on to the Dallas Cowboys player personnel department only to finally come full circle as the defensive coordinator for the Arena League Dallas Desperados. In 2002, he served as the inaugural defensive coordinator and that's where he would stay until the beginning of the 2004 season when he was thrust into the role as head coach just days before the season, after Joe Avezzano was hired by Norv Turner as the special teams coach for the Oakland Raiders. He would remain head coach for the next five seasons where he accumulated an overall record of 55–28–1 and a 1–3 postseason record.[2]

In 2013, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Director of Player Personnel over Tom Ciskowski, after the Dallas Cowboys where criticized in the media for their first round moves in the 2013 NFL Draft. He also oversaw his first NFL Draft in 2014. In 2015, he was named Senior Director of Pro/College Scouting. In 2017, he was given the title of the Vice President of Player Personnel.[3]


In 2006 McClay earned the honor and was chosen by the other 18 coaches in the AFL as Coach of the Year.


  1. ^ "'Who is this Will McClay?' Cowboys' mysterious NFL draft consigliere builds savvy reputation". Retrieved May 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "In Will McClay, Cowboys will be covered". April 15, 2014.
  3. ^ "Sources: Cowboys sign Will McClay to extension". March 2, 2018.