John McDonell
John McDonell

Position:
Tight Ends



John McDonell is in his third season as tight ends coach. He was named to the position March 20, 2006, and also coached the offensive tackles in 2006 and 2007.

In his first two seasons at Purdue, McDonell mentored tight end Dustin Keller, who was selected in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the New York Jets (No. 30 overall).


McDonell came to the Boilermakers from Stanford, where he coached the offensive tackles and tight ends during the 2005 season. He previously served on the Cardinal staff in 2001, coaching the centers and guards. That year, Stanford ranked 23rd nationally in rushing offense - averaging 201 yards per game - and one of McDonell's pupils, guard Eric Heitmann, was named first team All-American. Heitmann and center Zack Quaccia were selected in the NFL draft.

Between his stints at Stanford, McDonell coached the centers and guards at Notre Dame from 2002 to 2004. Five of his players were taken in the NFL draft. Center Jeff Faine was a first team All-American and runner-up for the Rimington Award in 2002 and subsequently a first-round pick (21st overall) of the Cleveland Browns. The Fighting Irish played in the 2003 Gator Bowl and 2004 Insight Bowl.

From 1989 to 2000, McDonell worked at Washington State for head coach Mike Price. Current Purdue head coach Joe Tiller was on the staff in 1989 and 1990 as offensive coordinator. McDonell coached the offensive line and tight ends from 1989 to 1993, and then was offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 1994 to 2000. The Cougars ranked second nationally in total offense in 1997 - averaging 502.2 yards per game - while setting Pac-10 season records for points (467, 42.5 per game) and total offense (5,524), winning the conference championship and earning their first Rose Bowl berth in 67 years.

McDonell was offensive line coach at Weber State under Price from 1984 to 1988. The Wildcats topped all NCAA Division I-AA schools in total offense in 1985 and ranked third in 1986. Weber State won the Big Sky championship and advanced to the I-AA semifinals in 1987. McDonell began his coaching career at his alma mater, Carroll College (Mont.), coaching the offensive line in 1981. He served as head coach at Scobey (Mont.) High School in 1982 and 1983.

A native of Spokane, Wash., McDonell (born June 2, 1959) earned a bachelor's degree in social science from Carroll in 1981. He was a four-year starter at tackle, earning NAIA All-America honors his senior season. He was a three-time All-Frontier Conference performer and served as team captain. McDonell was inducted into the Carroll Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994. He and his wife, Mindy, have two children, Michael and Megan.