Gary Tranquill Named Offensive Coordinator at Virginia
February 8, 1999
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – University of Virginia head football coach George Welsh announced today that Gary Tranquill, an assistant football coach at Michigan State University for the last four seasons, has been named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Virginia. Tranquill takes the place of offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Sparky Woods, who recently accepted a similar position at Mississippi State University.
In Tranquill’s four seasons as offensive coordinator at Michigan State, the Spartans averaged 161.5 yards rushing, 220.9 yards passing and 27.6 points per game. Michigan State averaged nearly 30 points per game each of the last three seasonsits top scoring averages of the decade.
This is Tranquill’s second stint at UVa and his third with Welsh. He was quarterbacks coach at Virginia from 1987-90 and worked with some of the most successful signal callers in school history, including Scott Secules and Shawn Moore.Tranquill was a member of Welsh’s staff at Navy from 1973-76, working as quarterbacks and receivers coach. He took over the head coaching reins at Navy in 1982 when Welsh was named head coach at Virginia and guided the Midshipmen to a 20-34-1 record in five seasons.
A native of Avella, Pa., Tranquill began his coaching career at Wittenberg, his alma mater, where he coached from 1962-69. He spent the 1970 season as secondary coach at Ball State, before moving to Bowling Green for two seasons (1971-72) as defensive coordinator. Tranquill has also been an assistant coach at Ohio State (under the legendary Woody Hayes in 1977-78) and West Virginia from 1979-81.
He moved to the NFL’s original Cleveland Browns where he coached Vinny Testaverde and Bernie Kosar as quarterbacks coach from 1991-93. He returned to the college ranks in 1994, spending one season as offensive coordinator at Virginia Tech before departing for Michigan State.
“It was a difficult choice to leave Michigan State,” said Tranquill. “My family situation played a major role in my decision to return to Virginia. This move enables me to be closer to my children and grandchildren, and that’s really important. And when the time comes for me to retire, Virginia is the ideal part of the country for my family and me.”
“I am happy to have Gary rejoin the Virginia program,” Welsh said. “We have worked together successfully in the past. I am familiar with his coaching style and I feel that he has one of the finest offensive minds in the college game.”
Tranquill received his bachelor’s degree in business and master’s degree in education from Wittenburg, where he played football and baseball. He and his wife Shirley have two children – a son, Christopher and a daughter, Kari.