TUCSON, Ariz. - John Mackovic, former head coach of three different major universities and the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, was named by University of Arizona athletics director Jim Livengood as the program's head football coach today.
Mackovic, 57, becomes Arizona's 26th head coach and succeeds Dick Tomey, who resigned Nov. 24 after 14 years directing the program. Mackovic has been a college football analyst for ESPN since 1998.
Mackovic has worked with a number of proficient quarterbacks during his career including Bruce Hill of Arizona, Mark Hermann of Purdue, Danny White of the Dallas Cowboys, Jeff George of Illinois and also running back Ricky Williams of Texas.
The Ohio native was head coach at Wake Forest from 1978 to 1980, head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs from 1983 to 1986, head coach at Illinois from 1988 to 1991 and head coach at Texas from 1992 to 1997. He also served as director of athletics at Illinois the final three years of his tenure in Champaign.
Mackovic was a National Coach of the Year selection in 1979 at Wake Forest and a five-time conference Coach of the Year selection covering all three university programs he served -- Atlantic Coast Conference in 1979, Big 10 Conference in 1988 and 1989, the Southwest Conference in 1995 and the Big 12 Conference in 1996.
Mackovic's ties to Arizona include a four-year stint as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Jim Young from 1973 to 1976, a span when Arizona had 8-3, 9-2, 9-2 and 5-6 seasons toward the close of the school's affiliation in the Western Athletic Conference. Arizona tied for the WAC championship in 1973, finished second the next two years and tied for fifth in Mackovic's final season.
He carries a 13-year collegiate career record of 85-64-3 (.569) and coached the Chiefs to a 30-34-0 mark (.469), taking the 10-6 NFL franchise to the playoffs.
Mackovic played collegiately as a quarterback at Wake Forest, culminating a career in 1964 by leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in total offense and earning honorable mention Academic All-America honors and given the ACC's Medal of Honor for outstanding scholastic and athletics proficiency.
A graduate of Wake Forest in 1965, Mackovic started his career at Miami (Ohio) as a graduate assistant under Bo Schembechler. After finishing work on his master's degree in educational administration at Miami, he was an assistant football coach at Barberton, Ohio, High School for a year, and spent a season as basketball coach for the U.S. Army at Fort Knox, Ky.
In 1968 he served as freshman coach at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point before moving to the offensive coordinator's job at San Jose State from 1969-70. He returned to Army as an assistant for the 1971 and 1972 seasons, then joined Young's staff at Arizona.
In 1977 he moved with Young to Purdue to serve as offensive coordinator, then assumed his first head coach job, returning to his alma mater in 1878. There he took a Wake Forest team which had managed only nine wins in three years and turned that into a 8-4 season and a tangerine Bowl bid in his second year. That earned him Sporting News and Walter Camp Foundation National Coach of the Year honors, plus the ACC annual coaching honor. He finished with a 14-20 mark coaching the Demon Deacons.
Following the 1980 season Mackovic's career took him to Texas, when he became quarterbacks coach for Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys were playoff teams during his two seasons and White emerged as Pro Bowl quarterback.
In 1983, Mackovic was named head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, and took a floundering offense and turned it into one of the league's most prolific attacks. In his final year the Chiefs made the playoffs for the first time in 15 seasons. His four year record was 30-34-0.
After a year away from football as president of Cypress Professional Development Group and founding his own motivational speaking company, Yes Inc., Mackovic returned to the game in 1988 as head coach at Illinois, facing a rebuilding task with a third consecutive program. The Illini posted a 6-5-1 record in his first season and followed that with 10-2, 8-4 and 6-5 records through 1991, with four bowl trips. His 1990 team tied for the Big 10 Championship. He also served as director of athletics, erasing a $2.7 million deficit and guiding the program to financial success in less than three years. His record at Illinois was 30-16-1.
He was named head coach at Texas in December 1991 and quickly made a mark in one specific area, improving the UT football graduation rate to as high as 86 percent (18 of 21 players) in 1996. During his six seasons more than 80 percent of his athletes who completed their eligibility at Texas earned degrees.
He posted marks of 6-5, 5-5-1, 8-4, 10-2-1 before dipping to 4-7 in his final year, 1997. He was Austin American-Statesman Big 12 Coach of the Year in 1996 and Football Quarterly's National Coach of the Year in 1995. His overall record at Texas was 41-28-2.
Mackovic took eight of his 13 collegiate teams to bowl games. Those include the 1979 Tangerine Bowl at Wake Forest, the 1988 All-American Bowl at Illinois, the 1989 Citrus Bowl at Illinois, the 1990 Hall of Fame Bowl at Illinois, the 1991 Hancock Bowl at Illinois, the 1994 Sun Bowl at Texas, the 1995 Sugar Bowl at Texas and the 1996 Fiesta Bowl at Texas.
He has been a vice president of the American Football Coaches Association, a member of the AFCA Board of Trustees (1993-98), chairman of the AFCA's Ethics Committee (1993-99), a member of the NCAA Special Committee on Amateurism and Agents (1995-96), a member of the NCAA Committee of Football Activities (1992-98), a member of the AFCA Legislative Committee (1993-98) and a member of the NCAA Professional Liaison Committee (1990-98). He also served as an adviser to National Uniform Code of Laws committee relating to player agents from 1994-99.
He has served on numerous community agencies throughout his career including March of Dimes, the Kidney Foundation, Rotary Club, Golden Key National Honor Society, Lutheran Social Services, American Heart Association, National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete programs, various children's hospitals and also created the Mackovic Endowment to New Life Children's Treatment Center at Canyon Lake, Texas. He currently serves on the Heart of Texas Speakers Association and has lived in Austin since 1992.
Mackovic has two children, Aimee, and a son, John III. Aimee graduated from Wake Forest in 1997 and John is a 1999 graduate of Texas.
John Mackovic Year-By-Year
1965 - Miami (Ohio) - Graduate assistant
1966 - Barberton (Ohio) High School - Assistant coach
1967 - U.S. Army - Basketball coach, Fort Knox, Ky.
1968 - U.S. Military Academy - Freshman coach
1969 - San Jose State - Offensive coordinator
1970 - San Jose State - Offensive coordinator
1971 - U.S. Military Academy - assistant coach, offensive line
1972 - U.S. Military Academy - assistant coach, offensive line
1973 - Arizona - Offensive coordinator
1974 - Arizona - Offensive coordinator
1975 - Arizona - Offensive coordinator
1976 - Arizona - Offensive coordinator
1977 - Purdue - Assistant head coach/offensive coordinator
1978 - Wake Forest - head coach, 1-10
1979 - Wake Forest - head coach, 8-4, Tangerine Bowl
1980 - Wake Forest - head coach, 5-6
1981 - Dallas Cowboys - Assistant coach, quarterbacks
1982 - Dallas Cowboys - Assistant coach, quarterbacks
1983 - Kansas City Chiefs - head coach, 6-10
1984 - Kansas City Chiefs - head coach, 8-8
1985 - Kansas City Chiefs - head coach, 6-10
1986 - Kansas City Chiefs - head coach, 10-6, NFL Playoffs
1987 - Private Business
1988 - Illinois - Head coach, 6-5-1, All-American Bowl
1989 - Illinois - Head coach, 10-2, Florida Citrus Bowl
1990 - Illinois - Head coach, 8-4, Hall of Fame
1991 - Illinois - Head coach, 6-5, John Hancock Bowl
1992 - Texas - Head coach, 6-5
1993 - Texas - Head coach, 5-5-1
1994 - Texas - Head coach, 8-4, Sun Bowl
1995 - Texas - Head coach, 10-2-1, Sugar Bowl
1996 - Tesas - Head coach, 8-5, Fiesta Bowl
1997 - Texas - Head coach, 4-7
1998- - ESPN college football analyst, to present
Born: October 1, 1943, Barberton, Ohio
College: Wake Forest, 1965
Graduate Degree: Miami (Ohio), 1967
Playing Experience: Wake Forest, quarterback (1962-64)
Collegiate Record: 85-64-3, 13 years
Professional Record: 30-40-0, four years