Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Football: Braun elevates linebackers coach Tim McGarigle to defensive coordinator

A+group+of+Northwestern+football+players+run+out+of+the+tunnel+ahead+of+the+team%E2%80%99s+game+against+Maryland+last+October.+
Daily file photo by Henry Frieman
A group of Northwestern football players run out of the tunnel ahead of the team’s game against Maryland last October.

Northwestern linebackers coach Tim McGarigle will be elevated to defensive coordinator, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported Sunday. McGarigle served in his previous position since the 2018 season, helping develop ‘Irish Law Firm’ standouts Blake Gallagher, Paddy Fisher and Chris Bergin — along with All-Big Ten honorees Bryce Gallagher and Xander Mueller.

A former two-way standout at local St. Patrick High School in Chicago, McGarigle chose to stay close to home and play for the Wildcats. The linebacker shattered the school and FBS career tackle records, tallying 545 total tackles at NU. The FBS record stood for more than a decade.

Following a 156-tackle season that earned him a semifinalist slot for both the Dick Butkus Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award, McGarigle was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the 2006 NFL Draft’s seventh round. Primarily playing special teams, he tallied six career tackles in 12 games.

McGarigle spent two seasons in the now-defunct United Football League, before he returned to the ’Cats as a graduate assistant in 2011. He then went on to coach linebackers at Western Michigan from 2012 to 2015, serving as run game coordinator in his final two seasons in Kalamazoo.

After one season as Illinois’ linebackers coach, McGarigle joined former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s staff as a defensive quality control coach in 2017.

Once former NU linebackers coach Randy Bates left to accept Pittsburgh’s defensive coordinator position in 2018, McGarigle returned to his alma mater the following January to join former head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s staff.

“All you gotta do is sit in one of our staff meetings — I’m leaning on Tim a ton,” head coach David Braun said at a media availability during the 2023 season. “Tim’s experience playing the linebacker position, having coached it for such a long time … Tim’s been a critical piece to this defense (and) to this team’s success.”

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Twitter: @jakeepste1n

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