March 1, 2005
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First-year head coach Walt Harris completed his coaching staff today by naming John McDonell his offensive line coach for tackles and tight ends. For McDonell, this will be his second tour of duty on The Farm. He previously coached at Stanford in 2001.
Following the 2001 season, McDonell went to Notre Dame, where he coached the Irish offensive line for the past three seasons (2002-04). He helped the Irish to two bowl games (2002 Gator and 2004 Insight), had five of his players taken in the NFL Draft and coached an offensive line that was integral in Notre Dame having two, 1,000 yard rushers.
In his first stop at Stanford in 2001, McDonell coached centers and guards for a Cardinal team that went 9-3, was ranked in the top-10, won nine regular season games for the second time in 50 years and played Georgia Tech in the Seattle Bowl. The Cardinal ranked 23rd nationally in rushing offense, averaging more than 200 yards per game and scoring 27 touchdowns. One of McDonell's pupils, guard Eric Heitmann, was named First-Team All-America and First-Team All-Pac-10. Both Heitmann and center Zack Quaccia were selected in the NFL Draft.
Prior to coming to Stanford in 2001, McDonell spent 12 years coaching at Washington State University under Mike Price (1989-2000). McDonell was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach in Pullman for seven years (1994-00). He coached the offensive line and tight ends for the Cougars from `89-93.
While at WSU, McDonell was a member of three bowl teams, one Pac-10 championship team and some of the greatest offenses in school history. In 1997, with McDonell as the offensive coordinator, WSU captured the Pac-10 title and Rose Bowl berth with a record breaking offense. The Cougars finished as the nation's ninth ranked team with a 10-2 record. McDonell's offense led the Pac-10 and was second nationally after averaging 502 yards in total offense per game. His offense also set conference records for most points scored and most yards gained in a season.
McDonell spent five seasons under Price at Weber State (1984-88) as their offensive line coach. At Weber State, McDonell coached one of the top offenses in NCAA Division 1AA. In 1987, Weber State finished 10th in the final regular season poll, won the Big Sky championship and reached the 1AA semi-finals. WSC led the nation in total offense in 1985 and ranked third in 1986.
McDonell began his coaching career at Carroll College, his alma mater, immediately after earning a bachelor's degree in social science in 1981. As a player at Carroll College (1977-80), he was a four-year starter, a team captain and received NAIA All-America recognition following his senior season. He was also a three-time All-Frontier Conference tackle. McDonell was inducted into the Carroll College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.
A native of Spokane, Washington, McDonell attended Gonzaga Prep High School. Born June 2, 1959, McDonell and his wife, Mindy have two children: Michael (born 7/15/97) and Megan (born 5/27/99).