The New York Giants will reportedly hire Thomas McGaughey to be their special teams coordinator, taking over for Tom Quinn.
McGaughey is no stranger to the Giants organization. He was an assistant special teams coordinator under Quinn from 2007-10. He helped develop kicker John Carney, punter Jeff Feagles, and long snapper Zak DeOssie into Pro Bowl players. Carney set a franchise record in 2008 by converting 92.1 percent (35-of-38) of his field goals.
Before his first tenure with the Giants, McGaughey was on the coaching staff of his alma mater, the University of Houston, Kansas City Chiefs, and Denver Broncos. During McGaughey’s time with the Broncos, kicker Jason Elam set a then-franchise record for field goals (27-of-29, 93.1 percent in 2006). The Broncos also held opponents to an average of 6.9 yards per punt return.
After leaving the Giants after the 2010 season, McGaughey spent three seasons (2011-13) as special teams coordinator/defensive assistant at LSU. During his time with the Tigers, special teams were responsible for seven touchdowns. McGaughey coached 40 future NFL players and three All-Americans, including punter Brad Wing and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
McGaughey returned to the NFL in 2014 with the New York Jets. That season, the Jets kickoff return team finished fifth in the NFL with an average drive start at the 24-yard line. The Jets kickoff coverage group led the NFL in tackles inside the 20-yard line and ranked seventh in average yards per return with 21.8. Kicker Nick Folk was ranked third with 32 made field goals.
McGaughey joined the San Francisco 49ers for the 2015 season. The 49ers had eight blocked field goals, ranked second in the NFL, and held opponents to just 6.4 yards per punt return.
McGaughey was hired by the Carolina Panthers in 2016 as an assistant special teams coach. He was elevated to the special teams coordinator position after Bruce DeHaven transitioned to a special teams senior advisor role before his death from prostate cancer in Dec. 2016.
Under McGaughey, the Panthers led the NFL and tied the franchise record with three blocked field goals. The Panthers’ kickoff coverage team held opponents to an average of 18.1 yards per return, ranked first the NFL. Panthers’ opponents had an average drive start of the 23-yard line, ranked fifth overall.
The Giants’ special teams was anything but special in 2017.
In Week 2’s home opener against the Detroit Lions, the Giants’ special teams allowed Jamal Agnew to score the game’s go-ahead touchdown on an 88-yard punt return. A week later, on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, a 61-yard field goal by Eagles rookie kicker Jake Elliott as time expired negated a huge Giants fourth quarter rally.
No game exemplified the Giants’ ineptitude on special teams more than the home re-match against the Eagles in Week 15. The Eagles blocked an extra point, field goal, and punt in the 34-29 loss.
McGaughey played four years (1992-95) as a safety at Houston, where he was special teams captain in his senior season. He signed with the Cincinnati Bengals during training camp in 1996 and was on the Eagles’ practice squad in 1997. McGaughey also played in NFL Europe for the Barcelona Dragons. He was on the Dragons team that won the World Bowl in 1997.