Greg McMahon

New Orleans Saints special teams coach Greg McMahon walk-on the field before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

LSU’s staff is inching closer to being complete.

The school officially announced the hire Friday of Greg McMahon as special teams coordinator, a long expected move that coach Ed Orgeron revealed last month.

McMahon, a 58-year-old who spent 11 seasons in that role with the Saints, is being elevated from his spot last season as a special teams analyst. McMahon could not be hands on in his support staff role. Consultant/analyst positions include mostly film room and office work. They are not allowed to coach on the field, per NCAA rules, but they can coach through the full-time assistants.

He’ll be hands on now and heavily involved in a special teams group that, at times in 2017, struggled. LSU operated its special teams last season from an unusual setup, having McMahon as the off-the-field leader and strategist with five position assistants overseeing each special teams unit. 

LSU kickers, Connor Culp and Jack Gonsoulin, missed more field goals (11) than all but one team in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Their 59 percent make rate (16 of 27) was the worst at the school since 2005, something that led to the signing of Division II kicker Cole Tracy. Tracy, a graduate transfer from AssumptionCollege in Massachusetts, will arrive in the summer.

The Tigers coverage units ranked 54th (punt) and 50th (kickoff) nationally, and they were 32nd in punt returns, despite some woes from returner DJ Chark. They returned the third-fewest kickoffs in FBS and ranked 114th overall in yards per kick return.

They ranked 91st in punting and 26th in kickoffs.

“It’s an honor to work at LSU and it’s an honor to be part of Coach (Ed) Orgeron’s staff,” McMahon said in a statement released by the school. “This is one of the top programs in the country and I can’t wait to get started.”

McMahon, a graduate of Eastern Illinois, served on the coaching staff at Illinois for 13 years before transitioning to the NFL. At Illinois, McMahon coached wide receivers for five years and then spent eight years coaching special teams and the tight ends. McMahon was part of the 2001 Illinois staff that won the Big 10 and faced LSU in the Sugar Bowl.

The hire is somewhat similar to that of Jerry Sullivan, brought on board as pass game coordinator. They are both seasoned former NFL assistants who have not coached in college for more than a decade. Both spent the last year on the team's support staff. 


  • Ed Orgeron, head coach
  • Dave Aranda, defensive coordinator/linebackers/associate head coach
  • Steve Ensminger, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
  • Jerry Sullivan, senior offensive assistant/pass game coordinator
  • Mickey Joseph, receivers
  • James Cregg, offensive line/run game coordinator
  • Tommie Robinson, running backs/assistant head coach/recruiting coordinator
  • Dennis Johnson, defensive line
  • Corey Raymond, defensive backs
  • ???????, defensive assistant (potentially focusing on safeties)
  • Greg McMahon, special teams coordinator

*not official in italics 

LSU’s 2017 special teams units



 National rank

 Punt returns

 10.05 ypr


 Kickoff returns

 18.33 ypr


 Punt coverage

 6.27 ypr


 Kickoff coverage

 20 ypr



 40.25 ypp



 63.24 ypk


 Field goals



Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.