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John Donovan (American football)

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Sport(s)  Football
2001–2004  Maryland (RC)
Positions  Defensive back
1998–2000  Georgia Tech (GA)
Role  Coach
1997  Villanova (DB)
Name  John Donovan
1993–1996  Johns Hopkins
2005  Maryland (RB)

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Born  September 11, 1974 (age 41) River Edge, New Jersey (1974-09-11)
Team coached  Penn State Nittany Lions football (Offensive coordinator, 2014–2015)
Education  Johns Hopkins University, Georgia Institute of Technology
Similar People  James Franklin, Bob Shoop, Christian Hackenberg

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John Donovan (born September 11, 1974) is a professional football coach. Currently, he serves as an Offensive Quality Control Coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.


John Donovan (American football) John Donovan Fired by Penn State Latest Comments and Reaction

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Coaching career

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After playing for three years for the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays football team, Donovan worked as an intern for the Carolina Panthers. Shortly after, he moved on to take an assistant secondary coaching spot for the Villanova Wildcats football team in 1997. That season, the Wildcats posted a 12–1 record and were ranked number one in Division I-AA. He later moved on to finish earn his master's degree from Georgia Tech, while simultaneously serving as an assistant coach under head coach George O'Leary. He was temporarily promoted to coach the running backs in the 2000 Peach Bowl after Ralph Friedgen's departure to Maryland. Between 2001 and 2004, he primarily served as a recruiting coordinator, under both O'Leary and Chan Gailey.

In 2005, Donovan was reunited with former offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen, moving to the Terrapins football program to becoming the running backs coach. He moved to the quarterback coach for the next two seasons, before being reassigned back to the running backs in 2008 amidst multiple coaching changes in the coaching staff. Friedgen himself was later removed as head coach of the Terrapins in December 2010, leaving many Maryland assistants to look for jobs elsewhere. With offensive coordinator James Franklin moving to take the head coaching position at Vanderbilt, Donovan was assigned with the play calling duties for the Military Bowl, Friedgen's final game as coach. The Terrapins won the game 51–20, the most points ever scored by Maryland in a bowl game.

On January 13, 2011, Donovan was named as offensive coordinator for the Vanderbilt Commodores football team, rejoining former Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin.

In January 2014, Donovan followed Franklin to Penn State as the offensive coordinator.

Donovan came under heavy criticism from the Nittany Lion fan base for questionable play calling. However, a former graduate assistant who worked on the staff during the 2014 season claimed on Twitter that the offense was largely designed by the "HFC" and's David Jones wrote an article headlined "John Donovan was scapegoat for rebuild that will take longer than fans can accept." In November 2015, he was fired from the Penn State program.

On March 21, 2016, he was hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars to be Offensive Quality Control Coach.

Personal life

Donovan married his wife Stacey (née Spicer) in May 2005. The couple has three children named John Patrick, Cate, and Shea.


John Donovan (American football) Wikipedia