Feb. 1, 2005
Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden announced Tuesday the hiring of Mark McHale as offensive line coach for the Seminoles. McHale was assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Marshall for the past three seasons. He has been promoted from offensive line coach to offensive coordinator at three different schools during his career.
“Mark (McHale) is exactly what I was looking for in an offensive line coach,” said Bobby Bowden. “His maturity and experience will be a great addition to our staff. He’s an excellent recruiter and I think the chemistry will be good on the staff.
“Marshall’s offenses have been so successful and they’ve put a number of offensive linemen into professional football, as well as quarterbacks Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich. I’ve followed Mark’s progress since he was a graduate assistant at West Virginia. He coached Southern Miss’ offensive line when they beat us in Jacksonville, and I’ve watched his success down through the years. I know how much Bob (Marshall head coach Bob Pruett) thinks of him and that says a lot.”
McHale, 54, joined the Marshall staff in 2000 as the offensive line coach and served in that capacity for two seasons before being elevated to Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator prior to the 2002 season. Marshall ranked among the nation’s top three in total offense in 2001 and 2002, and ranked third nationally in passing offense in both those seasons. The Thundering Herd ranked 18th nationally in total offense in 2003.
“It’s an honor to be working with a legend like Bobby Bowden,” said McHale. “I’m looking forward to working with a great coaching staff here and to have an opportunity to be affiliated with a program that can win the national championship each year.”
McHale played offensive line at Shepherd College before graduating in 1973. He earned a master’s degree from West Virginia in 1975 while serving as a graduate assistant on the football staff. He was named offensive coordinator at Shepherd College in 1975 and coached there until leaving to coach the offensive line at Appalachian State in 1980. McHale then served as Appalachian State’s offensive coordinator in 1984 and 1985.
Following his stint at Appalachian State, McHale served as the offensive line coach at East Carolina and Southern Mississipppi. He was promoted to offensive coordinator at Southern Mississippi in 1989 and served in that capacity through the 1991 season. McHale then worked as the offensive line coach for seven different teams (Montreal Machine of the WLAF, South Carolina, Shreveport Pirates of the CFL, Frankfurt Galaxy of the WLAF, Amsterdam Admirals of the WLAF, Southern Mississippi and Louisville). He was the head coach at Warren County High School from 1998-99 before moving on to Marshall in 2000.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich played at Marshall under McHale. “He’s a great guy,” said Leftwich. “He knows the game of football. He was great with the offensive line. He was great with coming up with game plans and in the running game. He understood fronts and what defenses were trying to do to attack us. A lot of what I learned, I learned from him. I was able to pick his mind. He was the guy who recruited Brett Favre (for Southern Mississippi). He understands how the game should be played from an offensive standpoint.”