Thomas McGaughey joins LSU staff
New York Giants assistant named new Tiger special teams coordinator
By BEN LOVE
Tiger Rag Editor
Citing sources within the LSU football program, Shea Dixon of TigerSportsDigest.com reported earlier this morning (around 10:37 a.m.) that the Tigers have hired Thomas McGaughey as the team’s new special teams coordinator.
McGaughey, who served the past four seasons as assistant special teams coach for the New York Giants, comes to Baton Rouge with a good deal of NFL coaching experience. He’s had stints with the Denver Broncos and broke into the league via a minority internship with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2001.
He also has ties in the college game, specifically in the Houston area, having played his ball - McGaughey was a safety - for the Houston Cougars from 1991-95. McGaughey did double-duty during his time there, lettering in track from 1991-93.
McGaughey will replace Joe Robinson, who earlier this spring left LSU to become the defensive line coach at UNC.
Just last week, Miles told reporters he was in no hurry to find Robinson’s replacement, but was spying someone who could also help out on the defensive side of the ball, much like Robinson did with the D-Line. It is not known yet, but presumed, that McGaughey will contribute as a defensive coach as well.
At this time (11:00 a.m. on Wednesday), there has been no official word out of the LSU Sports Information Department.
UPDATE: At 2:44 p.m. on Wednesday, LSUFootballNews tweeted the following. “LSU has hired a special teams coach. Thomas McGaughey was an assistant with the New York Giants in the NFL for the last four seasons.”
Also, according to this piece by Jim Kleinpeter of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Newark Star-Ledger is reporting McCaughey has accepted the job at LSU. The same report also indicates McCaughey will help coaching the defensive line with the Tigers.
UPDATE: At 2:53 p.m. on Thursday, the LSU Athletics Department made the announcment offical with the following news release.
BATON ROUGE - Thomas McGaughey, who has spent the last four seasons in the NFL with the New York Giants, has been named LSU’s special teams coordinator, head coach Les Miles announced on Thursday.
McGaughey served as the assistant special teams coordinator with the New York Giants from 2007-10, during which time the franchise ranked among the most productive in the NFL. During his career, McGaughey has coached for eight years in the NFL, two years at the collegiate level and he spent one season in NFL-Europe.
In addition to his special teams duties, Miles said McGaughey will assist on the defensive side of the ball.
“Thomas is a great addition to the staff,” Miles said. “He comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in all phases of special teams. He’s coached in both the NFL and college so he has a tremendous understanding of the game. We are excited about bringing Thomas and his family to LSU.”
Most recently, McGaughey spent four years with the New York Giants, where he helped the franchise capture the Super Bowl in 2007 and win the NFC East crown in 2008.
The Giants also had several individual special teams standouts during McGaughey’s four years with the franchise. In 2009, kicker Lawrence Tynes ranked fifth in the NFL with a career-best 126 points, while Domenik Hixon finished seventh in the league in punt returns with a 10.9 average. Hixon also set the Giants record with 1,291 kickoff return yards.
During New York’s NFC East title season in 2008, the Giants had three special teams players - kicker John Carney, punter Jeff Feagles and long snapper Zak DeOssie - named to the NFC Pro Bowl team, while cover specialist Chase Blackburn was named a Pro Bowl alternate.
Carney, who was signed just prior to the 2008 season, set a franchise record by connecting on 35-of-38 field goals for .921 percent. The 35 field goals tied the team mark, while the .921 percent stands at the franchise record.
During the Giants’ Super Bowl season in 2007, the club excelled in special teams with Tynes connecting on 23-of-27 field goals, including the game-winner of 47-yards in an overtime victory over Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. The Giants also ranked among the NFL leaders in kickoff returns with a 23.9-yard average and they rated fourth in the league in punt coverage, allowing only 173 yards for the entire season.
McGaughey joined the Giants after two seasons as the Denver Broncos’ assistant special teams coach. In 2006, the Broncos held opposing punt returners to an average of 6.9 yards a return, the fifth-best figure in the NFL. The previous year, McGaughey worked with the Broncos special-teams that helped the club go 13-3 en route to capturing the AFC West title and advancing to the AFC Championship Game.
McGaughey was the Kansas City Chiefs’ assistant special teams coach for the 2002 season. He broke into the NFL as a minority intern with the Chiefs during their 2001 training camp before working as a pro scouting assistant in an internship with the Houston Texans that year as the franchise prepared for its inaugural season.
McGaughey spent two years (2003-04) working at his alma mater, the University of Houston, before joining the Broncos’ staff. He served as Houston’s special teams coordinator in 2003 and as special teams coordinator/cornerbacks coach in 2004.
A safety in his playing days, McGaughey entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 1996. He competed in the training camps of the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles in 1996-97, respectively. He was on the Eagles’ practice squad late in the 1996 season and was a member of the Barcelona Dragons’ team that won NFL Europe’s World Bowl in 1997.
McGaughey played for the Houston Cougars from 1991-95 and was special teams captain as a senior. He also lettered in track from 1991-93, competing in the 110-meter hurdles.
McGaughey, 37, was born in Chicago and grew up in Houston. He and his wife, Erika, have three children.
Editor Ben Love covers LSU football and men’s basketball for Tiger Rag. Reach him at email@example.com.