Football

Syracuse officially announces McDonald as new offensive coordinator

George McDonald has been officially named Syracuse’s offensive coordinator, SU Athletics announced in a press release Thursday.

McDonald was hired as the wide receivers coach at Arkansas in December, but is leaving the Razorbacks after just a month to join former colleague Scott Shafer’s staff at Syracuse. McDonald was the offensive coordinator at Western Michigan in 2005 and 2006 when Shafer was the Broncos’ defensive coordinator. They also worked together at Northern Illinois from 2001-03.

McDonald was the wide receivers coach at Miami in 2011 and 2012. He worked for the Cleveland Browns in the same role for the previous two seasons.

“When I worked with the Browns in Cleveland I spoke often with Jim Brown. He always told me what a special place this is,” McDonald said in a press release. “I am excited to be here to continue the tradition of Syracuse Football and to continue to build what Coach Marrone, Coach Shafer and Coach Hackett have started.”

With his time at Miami, McDonald brings valuable knowledge of the Atlantic Coast Conference to Syracuse. The Hurricanes ranked 28th nationally in passing offense in 2012, and were also in the top five of the ACC in total offense, scoring offense and passing efficiency.

“George McDonald is a perfect fit to take over the play-calling duties for the Syracuse offense,” Shafer said in a press release. “George and (former Syracuse offensive coordinator) Nathaniel Hackett are great friends who have worked together in the past. George has a clear understanding of the West Coast concepts combined with the Spread college attack. In addition to his vast football knowledge, George is one of best recruiters in all of college football.”

McDonald is also known as one of the top recruiters in the country. Rivals.com named him one of its top 25 recruiters in 2012. Miami’s recruiting class of 2012 was ranked No. 2 in the ACC by Scout.com and Rivals.com, which also ranked the class ninth nationally.

McDonald was the wide receivers coach at Minnesota in 2007 and 2008, and spent time on the coaching staffs at Bucknell and Stanford earlier in his career.

McDonald takes over as Syracuse’s offensive coordinator after Hackett left to join Doug Marrone and the Buffalo Bills in the same capacity. Hackett helped build the Orange’s up-tempo offense.

With a new quarterback and two new wide receivers, McDonald will have a new-look offense at Syracuse.

But McDonald plans to maintain the Orange’s balanced offense and tempo.

“Our offense will be physical, fundamentally sound, and aggressive,” McDonald said in the press release. “We will strive to be balanced by getting the ball to the best playmakers, make the defense defend the whole field and play with a great tempo.”

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