Report: Lovie Smith hires new offensive coordinator
Two days after he was hired, Lovie Smith roped in his first major recruit.
But according to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, that recruit is a new offensive coordinator.
Smith is reportedly set to hire Louisville offensive coordinator Garrick McGee to the same position at Illinois. McGee would also coach the quarterbacks. Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans confirmed ESPN’s report.
McGee spent the last two seasons under Bobby Petrino at Louisville, where he led an offense that averaged 28 points per game in 2015. At Illinois, he’ll have a chance to run his own offense under a defensive-minded coach in Smith.
At Louisville, McGee reportedly made over $800,000. The figures of McGee’s deal or any possible buyout haven’t been reported yet. Illinois does have a $4 million budget to spend on assistant coaches.
Smith and McGee have ties that go all the way back to their days together at Arizona State in the early 1990s. It was Smith, then a Sun Devils assistant, who helped recruit McGee to come to ASU.
Before he was at Louisville, McGee was the head coach at UAB from 2012-13. He also served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arkansas and Northwestern.
McGee will take over the role left by Ryan Cubit, who along with his dad, Bill Cubit, were fired on Saturday. Smith had reportedly targeted former Green Bay Packers and Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman for the offensive coordinator position, as well.
It marks the second addition to Smith’s offensive staff. Sports Illustrated reported on Tuesday night that Smith hired Indianapolis Colts assistant Andrew Hayes-Stoker as his new receivers coach.