Gary Tranquill is beginning his second season as Boston College's offensive coordinator. He has more than 47 years of college and professional coaching experience.
In 2009, Tranquill had to overcome more obstacles than perhaps any coach in the country. He was coaxed out of retirement by Coach Frank Spaziani, who calls him "one of the best coaches in the country. I have coached with him and against him, and I like coaching with him better. He is the epitome of a teacher. He can coach players, and he can coach coaches. He does it all." When Tranquill took over in the spring, he was faced with the task of finding a starting quarterback among four players who had virtually no experience at all. Further, he faced an offensive line that had four different coaches in three years.
Things went from bad to worse when Dominique Davis - the only quarterback with any experience - was forced to transfer for academic reasons. Tranquill and his staff found and recruited 25-year-old true freshman Dave Shinskie, who had been playing minor league baseball for nearly seven years. Although the offense started slowly at the beginning of the season, Shinskie eventually won the full-time job as the starting signal caller, the offensive line gelled into a solid, cohesive unit, and several individuals excelled. Tranquill is one of the main reasons the Eagles, who were picked to finish last in the ACC's Atlantic Division in the league's preseason media voting, and were predicted to finish 2-10 by one heralded ESPN prognosticator, finished 8-5 and played in a bowl game for the 11th consecutive seasons.
Sophomore running back Montel Harris broke William Green's BC sophomore rushing record and reeled off eight consecutive 100-yard games. Harris earned numerous honors for his performances, including Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week, College Football Performance Awards National Player of the Week and ACC Offensive Back of the Week. Senior wide receiver Rich Gunnell broke Pete Mitchell's records to become BC's all-time receiving leader, and place-kicker Steve Aponavicius became BC's all-time scoring leader.
Before coming to BC, Tranquill was most recently the quarterbacks coach of the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe for the 2007 season.
Tranquill's experience as an offensive coordinator spans 14 seasons at five different schools and he was also the head coach at Navy for five years from 1982-86. He has worked with some of the best quarterbacks to come through the Atlantic Coast Conference during his stint at Virginia, including Scott Secules, Shawn Moore and Matt Blundin.
Before his time with the Rhein Fire, Tranquill was the offensive coordinator of the University of North Carolina from 2001-05. In his five years at Carolina, he coached Darian Durant and Ronald Curry, who set numerous passing records at UNC. Durant finished his career with 51 school records, including every major career passing mark. He finished first in career pass attempts, completions, touchdowns, career completion percentage, passing yards and total offense.
Tranquill had his second stint at the University of Virginia as offensive coordinator under George Welsh from 1999-00. He was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Nick Saban's Michigan State Spartans from 1995-98. Michigan State averaged 161.5 yards rushing, 220.9 yards passing and 27.6 points per game during his tenure. The Spartans averaged almost 30 points per game in each of his last three seasons there, its top scoring averages of the decade.
During the 1994 season, Tranquill was the offensive coordinator for Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech. Before his stint with the Hokies, he coached the quarterbacks for the Cleveland Browns under Bill Belichick from 1991-93. In his first season with Cleveland, Bernie Kosar was one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
As Virginia's quarterbacks coach from 1987-90, he helped develop some of the top passers in conference history, including Secules and Moore. Moore was a first-team All-American, the ACC Player of the Year in 1990 and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting that season.
Tranquill got his start as a defensive coach for his alma mater, Wittenberg University, from 1962-69. He became Ball State's defensive coordinator in 1970 before heading to Bowling Green State to be the defensive coordinator for two years (1971-72). From 1973-76, he coached the quarterbacks and receivers at Navy under George Welsh. Tranquill was named the secondary coach for two seasons (1977-78) under legendary coach Woody Hayes at Ohio State. At West Virginia (1979-81) he spent one season as the defensive coordinator and two seasons as the offensive coordinator. In 1982, Tranquill succeeded his former boss, George Welsh, to become head coach at Navy and coached there for five years.
Tranquill is a 1962 graduate of Wittenberg, where he lettered four years in football and baseball. He was later inducted into Wittenberg's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986.