John McDonell Recommended To Guide Tiger Offensive Line
Jan. 16, 2010
McDonell is joining the Tiger staff after serving one season in the same capacity at Bowling Green State University. In 2009, BGSU's offensive line protected quarterback Tyler Sheehan, who threw for over 4,000 yards and tossed 27 touchdown passes. McDonell guided Shane Steffy to third-team All-MAC honors for the first time in his career. As a unit, the Falcon offensive line allowed just 27 sacks, despite the Falcons throwing the ball more than any other team in the Mid-American Conference.
Bowling Green finished the 2009 season with a 7-6 record after dropping a hard-fought 43-42 decision to Idaho in the Humanitarian Bowl. The Falcons ranked sixth nationally and led the MAC in passing offense with an average of 316 yards per game, while closing out the year 43rd nationally in total offense.
In addition to his season with the Falcons, McDonell's resume includes coaching stints at Purdue (2006-08), Notre Dame (2002-04), Stanford (2001, 2005), Washington State (1989-2000) and Weber State (1984-88). He also brings six years of coordinator experience to the Tigers after serving as the WSU offensive coordinator from 1994-2000, including a 1998 Rose Bowl appearance.
McDonell has coached several NFL draft picks including Dustin Keller, Jeff Faine and Ryan Leaf, all first round draft picks in the NFL. He was also responsible for the recruitment of Drew Bledsoe to Washington State. All-in-all McDonell was responsible for eight NFL draft picks between 2002-07. Prior to his time at BGSU, McDonell spent three seasons as the tight ends coach at Purdue. He also coached the offensive tackles in 2006 and 2007.
McDonell served on the staff at Stanford in both 2001 and 2005, working with tight ends and the offensive line during those years. Between his stints at Stanford, McDonell coached the centers and guards at Notre Dame from 2002 to 2004. Five of his players were taken in the NFL draft. Center Jeff Faine was a first team All-American and runner-up for the Rimington Award in 2002 and subsequently a first-round pick (21st overall) of the Cleveland Browns. The Fighting Irish played in the 2003 Gator Bowl and 2004 Insight Bowl.
From 1989 to 2000, McDonell worked at Washington State for head coach Mike Price. McDonell coached the offensive line and tight ends from 1989 to 1993, and then was offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 1994 to 2000. In 1997, the Cougars won a conference championship and earned their first Rose Bowl berth in 67 years.
McDonell first worked with Price as an offensive line coach at Weber State from 1984 to 1988. Weber State won the Big Sky championship and advanced to the I-AA semifinals in 1987.
A native of Spokane, Wash., McDonell earned a bachelor's degree in social science from Carroll College (Mont.) in 1981. He was a four-year starter at tackle, earning NAIA All-America honors his senior season. He was a three-time All-Frontier Conference performer and served as team captain. McDonell was inducted into the Carroll Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.