Larry Mac Duff
Defensive Coordinator, Ends and Outside Linebackers Coach
31st Year as a Coach
11th Year at Arizona
One of the biggest spring developments for Arizona football was head coach John Mackovic's ability to lure Larry Mac Duff from a 2001 Super Bowl appearance back to the Arizona staff as defensive coordinator.
Mackovic turned to Mac Duff, special teams coordinator for the New York Giants for the past four seasons, and brought back the man who was defensive coordinator of UA's double-eagle flex defense in the early 1990s.
Mac Duff, 53, was coordinator and inside linebackers coach on the Wildcat staff under former coach Dick Tomey from 1987 to 1996. He and then line coach Rich Ellerson tinkered with the Cats' 50 defense during the 1992 season and created the pressure, gap-control system which the UA has used since.
Mac Duff joined the staff in time for final spring ball preparations and quickly earned a reputation among players as a coach who demands intense play. He will work closely as a position coach with the ends and whip linebackers, the players who bring the flex into play.
In 1992 Mac Duff's Arizona unit led the nation in scoring defense at 8.9 points per game, and in 1993, it led the nation in rushing defense with a Pac-10 record low of 30.1 yards per game. It was No. 2 in total defense both those seasons, No. 2 in rushing defense and in the top 10 in total defense in 1994, and No. 7 in total defense in 1995. In his final season in 1996, the Cats were seventh nationally and led the Pac-10 in turnover margin.
Mac Duff's defenses produced a number of profile players including two 1989 first-round NFL picks in tackle Anthony Smith and linebacker Chris Singleton, Jim Thorpe Award winner Darryll Lewis in 1990, Outland Trophy and Bronko Nagurski award winner Rob Waldrop in 1993, and Lombardi Award finalist and NCAA sack champion Tedy Bruschi in 1994 and 1995. Five Wildcats were named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year during his tenure, including defensive end Bruschi in 1995, tackle Waldrop in 1993, cornerback Lewis in 1990, nose tackle Dana Wells in 1988 and free safety Chuck Cecil in 1987. Linebacker Sean Harris was a two-time first-team all-league selection in 1993 and 1994 as was strong safety Brandon Sanders in 1994 and 1995.
Athlon Magazine named Mac Duff national Assistant Coach of the Year following the 1995 season when Arizona ranked No. 7 in total defense, No. 14 in pass efficiency defense, No. 21 in scoring defense and No. 23 in rushing defense.
Mac Duff was special teams coordinator for the Giants from 1997 until March 2001. Last season he helped the club post a 12-4 regular-season record, beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional matchup, beat the Minnesota Vikings for the National Football Conference championship and play in the Super Bowl against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens won, and one of their defenders was cornerback Chris McAlister, who earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors on Mac Duff's 1996 Arizona unit.
Under Mac Duff, the Giants' special teams led the NFL in field goal defense in 1999 and 2000. They also led the NFC in punt returns in 1999, were second in the NFL in blocked kicks and had the best kickoff return average in the past 25 years for the Giants. Kick returner Ron Dixon, a New York rookie in 2000, became the first player in NFL history to return two post-season kickoffs for touchdowns, with a pair of 97-yard efforts against Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Mac Duff was a two-time all-conference linebacker and standout baseball player at Fullerton, Calif., Sunny Hills High School in 1964-65 and a two-time all-conference defensive end at Fullerton Junior College in 1966-67. Fullerton won the national juco title in his last year with a 12-0 record when Mac Duff earned All-America honors. He was a starter under Chuck Fairbanks at Oklahoma in 1968-69.
He entered coaching as outside linebackers coach at Fullerton Junior College under Hal Sherbeck in 1970, was line coach and defensive coordinator at Sunny Hills High School in 1971-73 and back as defensive coordinator for Sherbeck from 1974 to 1979. He moved into Division I-A football as defensive line coach for Paul Wiggin at Stanford in 1980-81 and 1983 and was Wiggin's defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach in 1982.
In 1984, Mac Duff joined Dick Tomey's staff at Hawai'i as the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator. Among his charges was the Rainbows' first Division I first-team All-American, tackle Al Noga. When Tomey moved to Arizona in 1987, Mac Duff joined the staff as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach and remained for 10 seasons until taking the position with the Giants.
He received a degree in physical education from Oklahoma in 1970 and a master's degree in physical education from California State Fullerton in 1972. He and his wife, Barbie, have a son, Justin, 19. Mac Duff was born June 22, 1948, in Clinton, Iowa.
The Mac Duff File
|Full Name:||Larry G. Mac Duff|
|Date of Birth:||June 22, 1948, Clinton, Iowa|
|High School:||Sunny Hills High School, Fullerton, Calif.|
|Recruiting Areas:||Orange County, San Fernando Valley and Hawai'i|
|Bowl Experience:||1994 Freedom, 1994 Fiesta, 1992 Hancock, 1990 Aloha, 1989 Copper (with Arizona); 1968 Bluebonnet (as an Oklahoma player).|