Thomas McGaughey, who won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants and then helped LSU to the BCS national title game in 2011, enters his third season as the Tigers’ special teams coordinator in 2013. McGaughey also assists John Chavis with the LSU defense.
McGaughey’s impact in his first two years with the Tigers has been significant as LSU ranked in the top 10 nationally in net punting in 2011 and 2012. LSU has scored six touchdowns on special teams under McGaughey.
In 2012, LSU’s special teams featured second team All-SEC placekicker Drew Alleman, who connected on 21-of-29 field goals, along with punter Brad Wing, who earned second team All-America honors with a 44.8 average. LSU scored two special teams touchdowns – both on punt returns by Odell Beckham Jr. – and they ranked No. 8 in kickoff coverage defense at 18.1 yards and No. 11 in punt return defense at 3.5 yards. LSU ranked No. 8 nationally in net punting with a 40.7 average.
In his first year at LSU, McGaughey and the Tigers consistently had one of the best all-around performances in special teams week after week in 2011. Wing, then a redshirt freshman, earned several first-team All-America honors after averaging 44.4 yards on 59 punts. Wing and the Tigers ranked fifth in the nation by allowing just 3.65 yards per punt return. The Tigers also led the SEC and ranked third in the country in net punting with a 41.15 average.
Alleman, a first-time starter in 2011, converted on 16-of-18 field goals, including the game-winner in overtime against Alabama.
LSU combined for three touchdown returns on special teams with Tyrann Mathieu accounting for two on punt returns and Morris Claiborne getting the other on a kickoff return. In all, LSU scored a total of four special teams touchdowns in 2011.
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.
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, 40, was born in Chicago and grew up in Houston. He and his wife, Erika, have three children.
The Thomas McGaughey File
YEAR AT LSU: Third (appointed March 10, 2011)
BIRTHDATE: May 8, 1973 at Chicago, Ill.
CHILDREN: Thomas III, Taylor, Trenton
COLLEGE: University of Houston
1991-95 – University of Houston (defensive back)
1996 – Philadelphia Eagles (safety)
1997 – Barcelona Dragons (NFL Europe)
1998 – Houston (graduate assistant)
1998-2001 – Willowridge (Texas) High School (defensive backs, special teams)
2001 – Kansas City Chiefs (minority intern)
2001 – Houston Texans (pro scouting assistant)
2002 – Scottish Claymores (defensive backs, special teams coordinator)
2002 – Kansas City Chiefs (assistant special teams coordinator)
2003-04 – Houston (special teams coordinator, 2003; special teams coordinator/cornerbacks, 2004)
2005-06 – Denver Broncos (assistant special teams coordinator)
2007-10 – New York Giants (assistant special teams coordinator)
2011-12 – LSU (special teams coordinator/defensive assistant)
Year, Bowl, Team, Opponent, Results
2003, Hawaii, Houston, Hawaii, L,54-48
2012, BCS, LSU, Alabama, L, 21-0
2012, Chick-fil-A, LSU, Clemson, L, 25-24