Illinois hires Louisville OC/QB coach Garrick McGee

New Illinois head coach Lovie Smith’s staff is starting to take shape, namely in that Louisville offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee has been hired to serve in the same position. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reported McGee’s hiring at Illinois on Twitter.

Illinois is hiring Louisville's Garrick McGee as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, a source told ESPN…. https://t.co/N1Cdd4sNqn

— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) March 9, 2016

Though it may seem like a puzzling move on McGee’s end, it makes sense. Rittenberg went on to report that Smith actually recruited McGee, a former college quarterback, to Arizona State when an assistant there in the early 1990s.

And McGee, 42, could wind up being a godsend for an Illinois team that finished 96th in total offense last year. Louisville went from ranking 68th in total offense in McGee’s first season with the Cardinals to 50th last year. McGee also has coaching experience that goes back 20 years, with stops at Arkansas, Northwestern, UNLV and others as an assistant.

McGee was also the head coach at UAB for two seasons, going 5-19 (3-13 Conference USA) before leaving to join Louisville. This reunited him with coach Bobby Petrino, with whom he had previously worked at Arkansas.

And now Illinois can look forward to finally taking steps forward in the Big Ten for two reasons. First because of a strong new hire in Lovie Smith, and second because of the great offensive mind of Garrick McGee.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to Courier-Journal