Clay McGuire enters his second season as running backs coach and special teams coordinator on Ruffin McNeill's staff at East Carolina.
McGuire, who enjoyed a total of nine bowl appearances as a player and staff member at alma mater Texas Tech before his move to Greenville on Feb. 2, 2010, was initially hired to solely direct the Pirates' rushing game, but took over special teams duties during the summer after post-spring staff reshuffling.
In addition to guiding Jonathan WIlliams (847/52) and Giavanni Ruffin (384/25) to single-season career-high ground yard and reception totals in 2010, McGuire also provided direct oversight to special teams units which ranked among the Top 35 nationally in punt return average (30th), punt return defense average (31st) and kickoff return defense average (29th).
McGuire also tutored a pair of first-year performers in placekicker Michael Barbour and punter Ben Ryan during notable campaigns, which included a No. 42 FBS standing with a 1.23 field goals per game average.
The Pirates also broke a single-game record which had stood since 1980 under McGuire's watch when ECU racked up 303 kickoff return yards against Southern Miss during a 44-43 victory on Oct. 9.
Before accepting the position to join McNeill's staff at East Carolina, McGuire had recently completed his second year as a Red Raider coach. The 2009 campaign however, marked his first heading the running backs corps - a position he lettered in for four years.
His move to the backfield followed service as special teams coordinator in 2008, an offensive graduate assistant in 2007 and a video intern in 2006.
McGuire's three primary running backs, which included two freshmen, all averaged over 5.0 yards a carry in 2009. Junior Baron Batch was Texas Tech's offensive MVP after racking up a team-high 1,279 all-purpose yards - 884 on the ground, 395 receiving - and 15 touchdowns.
He assumed the special teams coordinator role early in 2007 on an interim basis, after McNeill moved over to the defensive coordinator position before the fifth game.
McGuire experienced an interesting first season as, midway through, Matt Williams joined the kicking unit after winning an in-game promotion during the Massachusetts game. Williams perfectly hit a 30-yard field goal to win a year's free rent at a local apartment complex, but opted to join the Red Raiders when former head coach Mike Leach summoned the Weatherford, Texas native after the kick and invited him to join the team.
Williams proved to be one of the bright spots in McGuire's first season, connecting on all 33 of his PAT attempts. He joined newcomer Donnie Carona as the team's two primary kickers.
The special teams units responded to McGuire immediately when he took over in 2007 as the punt team thwarted any attempt at return opportunities for the opposition. Tech opponents averaged a mere 6.7 yards perreturn and returned only 18 of 30 punts. The kickoff coverage unit was also second in the Big 12.
McGuire appeared in 45 games at the H-Back position for the Red Raiders during the course of four seasons from 2000 to 2004. A big, physical player, he was noted for his effectiveness as a blocker in Tech's offense, and also factored into the passing game, catching 32 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns during his career.
He spent the 2006 season as an intern in the football program's video department, helping break down game and practice film for the coaching staff. As the offensive graduate assistant, his responsibilities included aligning and preparing each week's defensive scout team, working with both the offensive linemen and skill players, and helping the assistant coaches with weekly game plans.
McGuire earned a bachelor's degree in history from Texas Tech in 2004 before following with a master's in secondary education in 2007.
McGuire, 29, is a native of Crane, Texas, where he lettered in both baseball and football at Crane High School. He and his wife, Jeri, are the parents of two children - Jorja and Addison.