Missouri is adding a respected offensive mind to the football staff with the addition of Garrick McGee as an offensive analyst. According to a report from Gabe DeArmond of Rivals, McGee’s hiring process is still ongoing, but the well-traveled coach will join the Tigers to provide his insight and perspective as an analyst.
McGee’s most recent job was with Illinois as an offensive coordinator, but he was fired by the Illini and head coach Lovie Smith after two seasons of inept offense with the Big Ten program. McGee has been all over the college football map as a coach, including stops with Toledo, UNLV, Northwestern, Arkansas, Louisville, Illinois, and UAB. His lone head coaching job was with UAB in 2012 and 2013.
This will mark McGee’s return to the SEC since coaching four seasons at Arkansas with Bobby Petrino; McGee was a quarterback coach all four years and took on the role of offensive coordinator in 2010 and 2011.
As an analyst, McGee will be prohibited from directly coaching any players. Instead, he will be tasked with helping build offensive strategies, breaking down film and assisting with the game plan with head coach Barry Odom and offensive coordinator Derek Dooley. Dooley has never held the role of offensive coordinator in his career, so adding offensive minds to the staff whenever possible makes sense for Missouri.
The pressure to start making some improvements to the Illinois football program have led to head coach Lovie Smith making some staff changes. According to a report from FootballScoop.com, Illinois has let go of offensive coordinator Garrick McGee.
McGee joined the coaching staff in 2016 after two seasons as an offensive coordinator at Louisville and two years as the head coach at UAB. The veteran coach was expected to help shape the Illinois offense as Smith took over the program, but those changes and improvements never took off with the Illini. Illinois had the nation’s 127th-ranked offense in 2017 and 123rd-ranked offense in 2016. The Illini averaged just 15.4 points per game this season and had the Big Ten’s worst rushing offense.
Per the report from Football Scoop, Illinois is also moving on from defensive backs coach Paul Williams.
The changes come just after the early signing period saw Illinois land the 12th-best class in the Big Ten, with a few more possible holes to plug by the time the next signing period comes around in February.
With the recent hiring of Lovie Smith as head coach at Illinois comes a late round of assistant coaching shuffling. Louisville offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Garrick McGeee will reportedly leave the Cardinals to join Smith at Illinois. Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com was first to report the move.
McGee joined the coaching staff at Louisville in 2014 after a two-year run as the head coach at UAB. It was there he was reunited with Bobby Petrino, who had coached with at Arkansas. McGee will return to the state of Illinois and the Big Ten by joining the Illini staff. McGee was a wide receivers coach at Northwestern in 2004 and 2005 and was bumped up to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2006. He held that role for two seasons before heading to Arkansas. There is a past connection between McGee and Smith. Smith actually recruited McGee to Arizona State in 1991. Smith was a linebackers coach for the Sun Devils from 1988 through 1991.
Smith has already assembled part of his coaching staff with the addition of offensive line coach Luke Butkus from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The addition of McGee as offensive coordinator comes a day after it was thought Smith could be targeting Mike Sherman to be the offensive coordinator among a few other potential targets for various jobs. Whether this means there is no room left for Sherman is undetermined, although it seems unlikely.
If you thought the shutting down of the UAB football program was already messy enough, think again. Former UAB head coach Garrick McGee reportedly knew about the realistic possibility of shutting down the Blazers program in 2013, and he was told to keep quiet about the discussions.
McGee’s comments on the UAB situation came through a private Twitter conversation with an anonymous UAB supporter, but the screen shots of the conversation have gone public. You can see the images of the conversation, which took place just before Thanksgiving of last fall, via Underdog Dynasty.
Asked if he was tipped off about the plan to shut down the program while still the head coach of the Blazers, McGee replied “Yes.” McGee was let go as head coach at the end of the 2013 season, and in January he joined the Louisville coaching staff as an offensive coordinator. In the Twitter exchange, McGee suggested the Alabama board was conducting a significant coverup. Following the conversation, McGee shows some regret sharing as much information as he had, although it appears his intentions were nothing but supportive of the football program continuing.
Personally, I view information exchanged via Twitter direct messages as being off the record. I would never share information I am given when that conversation takes place through direct messages, unless given permission to use it as I wish. So I can only imagine McGee shared that information with the expectation it would have remained private. That was not the case, although whether his opinions and information would have changed anything is unlikely.
The damage appears to have been done and no coach, past or present, was going to change that.
Louisville added one more quarterback option to the competition to replace Teddy Bridgewater in 2014. The Cardinals announced the addition of junior college transfer quarterback Patrick Thomas, one of the top dual-threat players from the junior college ranks.
“I’m pleased that Patrick has joined our program,” Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino said. “He is a dual-threat quarterback who adds depth to that position heading into the fall. Patrick is talented and I’m excited to add him to the mix as we head into the ACC this season.”
Thomas was set to join UAB to play for head coach Garrick McGee, but McGee left the Blazers to take an assistant coaching position under Petrino. McGee is Louisville’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Thomas will have three years of eligibility remaining and will be eligible to play this season for the Cardinals as the school enters the ACC. He will compete with Will Gardner, Brent Nelson, and Kyle Bolin for the starting job. Gardner is the only quarterback with playing experience last season for Louisville. Bolin is a talented prospect who was took a redshirt last season. Nelson transferred to Louisville from junior college last season. Louisville has also added another former junior college quarterback with the addition of Tyler Ferguson, who transferred from Penn State after backing up Christian Hackenberg at Penn State in 2013. Ferguson had transferred to Penn State from junior college as well and must sit out the 2014 season at Louisville due to NCAA transfer rules.
In one year at Georgia Military College, Thomas passed for 1,695 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also rushed for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas led Georgia Military College to a record of 11-1 and a trip to the junior college championship game against East Mississippi Community College.