Gary Tranquill
Gary Tranquill
Player Profile
Position:
Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach

Working with several of the most successful signal callers in Virginia and Atlantic Coast Conference history as a Cavalier assistant coach from 1987-90, Gary Tranquill rejoined the UVa coaching staff in 1999 as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He possesses 37 years of college and professional coaching experience.

During Tranquill's first season back at Virginia last fall, UVa ranked third in the ACC in scoring offense (29.5 points per game) and rushing offense (191.5 yards per game), and fourth in total offense (402.5 ypg). In addition, junior quarterback Dan Ellis ranked third in the conference and eighth nationally in passing efficiency in his first season as a starter.

From 1995-98, Tranquill served as offensive coordinator at Michigan State. During those four seasons, 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 seasons of Tranquill's tenure—its top scoring averages of the decade.

This is Tranquill's second stint at UVa and his third with Cavalier head coach George Welsh. 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. Tranquill guided the Midshipmen to a five-year record of 20-34-1 from 1982-86.

During his previous four seasons as quarterbacks coach at UVa, Tranquill worked with Cavalier standouts Scott Secules and Shawn Moore. A first-team All-ACC selection, Secules led the conference in passing as a senior in 1987. Moore started at quarterback each of the next three seasons, establishing himself as the all-time leading passer in Virginia history with 6,629 yards. In 1990, Moore became the first ACC quarterback to lead the nation in passing efficiency. He finished fourth in balloting for the Heisman Trophy that season while earning first-team All-America and ACC Player of the Year honors.

From 1991-93, Tranquill was the quarterbacks coach with the NFL's original Cleveland Browns. While there, he coached Vinny Testaverde and Bernie Kosar.

Tranquill returned to the college ranks in 1994, spending one season as offensive coordinator at Virginia Tech before departing for Michigan State.

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.

A 1962 graduate of Wittenberg, Tranquill won four letters in both football and baseball. He played on two Ohio Conference baseball championship teams and two NCAA regional winners in that sport. In 1960, his junior year, Tranquill earned the conference's top football player award. In 1986, he was inducted into Wittenberg's Athletic Hall of Fame.

Tranquill's Biography-at-a-Glance

  • Born: April 13, 1940, in Avella, Pa.
  • Family: Married to the former Shirley Anderson of Milwaukee, Wis.; two children: a daughter, Kari, and a son, Christopher.
  • Education: Graduated from Avella High School in 1958; received his bachelor's degree in physical education from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, in 1962; received his master's degree in secondary school administration from Wittenberg in 1964.
  • Coaching Background: Graduate assistant football coach at Wittenberg (1963-64); assistant football coach at Wittenberg (1965-69); assistant football coach at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., in 1970; assistant football coach at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio (1971-72); quarterbacks and receivers coach at the U.S. Naval Academy (1973-76); secondary coach at Ohio State University (1977-78); assistant coach at West Virginia University (1979-81), serving as defensive coordinator for one season and as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks and receivers coach for two seasons; head football coach at the U.S. Naval Academy (1982-1986), where his teams compiled a five-year record of 20-34-1; quarterbacks coach at the University of Virginia (1987-90); quarterbacks coach with the Cleveland Browns (1991-93); offensive coordinator at Virginia Tech in 1994; offensive coordinator at Michigan State (1995-98); named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Virginia on February 8, 1999.