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December 31, 2007Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, already in the midst of searching for a defensive coordinator, now must find a coach to lead the Wildcats' offense, as well.
The Pioneer Press confirmed today that offensive coordinator Garrick McGee has resigned his position at Northwestern to become the quarterbacks coach at Arkansas under new coach Bobby Petrino.
McGee's departure means that the top coaching positions on both sides of the ball are currently vacant at NU. Former defensive coordinator Greg Colby was relieved of his duties by Fitzgerald on Dec. 3.
McGee came to Northwestern as a wide receivers coach in 2003 after stints at Toledo, Northern Iowa and Langston (Okla.), as well as with the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL. He assumed the offensive coordinator position after former coordinator Mike Dunbar resigned in February of 2006.
The Wildcats' 2006 offense struggled through McGee's first season at the helm, finishing last in the Big Ten in total offense (311.1 yards per game) and scoring (16.5 points per game). The Wildcats used three different quarterbacks that season in an effort to replace four-year starter Brett Basanez, the school's all-time leading passer who graduated in 2005.
In 2007, however, with a healthy C.J. Bacher under center for a full season, McGee's unit turned it around. The Wildcats led the Big Ten in total offense (427.7 yards per game) as Bacher became the top passer in the conference (304.7 yards per game). But Northwestern's offense had problems translating all of that yardage into points, finishing a disappointing 10th in the league in scoring (25.8 points per game).