Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Family of USF Bulls football assistant Phil McGeoghan has strong loyalty to Notre Dame

Skip Holtz isn't the only USF coach with strong family ties to Notre Dame football.

Receivers coach Phil McGeo­ghan grew up in Massachusetts a big Notre Dame fan (as his name suggests, his family has roots in Ireland). That loyalty has a particularly memorable spot in his family's history: Five years ago this week, McGeoghan's uncle, David Killeen, was watching a Notre Dame-Penn State game on television when he suffered a massive heart attack, killing him at age 62.

"He was the biggest Notre Dame fan in the family," McGeo­ghan, 32, said. "He passed away in his Notre Dame stuff, which is how he wanted to go."

USF's quarterbacks coach, Peter Vaas, was on the Notre Dame staff at the time. He had coached McGeoghan in NFL Europe, and when he was told of Killeen's death, Vaas took the Notre Dame baseball cap he had worn on the sideline that day, got autographs from quarterback Brady Quinn, receiver Jeff Samardzija and other players, and sent it by overnight delivery to McGeoghan.

"The wake was on Tuesday," said McGeoghan, who grew up with Notre Dame quarterback Tony Rice as his favorite player. "We buried him in the hat. It was unique, and my family was so appreciative of the gesture from coach Vaas."

Killeen's last Notre Dame game was a good one. Quinn threw three touchdown passes, one to Samardzija, in a 41-17 victory, matching the most lopsided loss for Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno over the past five years.

Family of USF Bulls football assistant Phil McGeoghan has strong loyalty to Notre Dame 09/02/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 2, 2011 9:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No more looking at Jim Harbaugh, but should we look at Notre Dame?


    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Overheard Sunday morning in a hotel elevator, among two Penn State fans: "Did you see Coach Harbaugh's interview? He looked shellshocked. One of those coaches with his job on the line."

    Jim Harbaugh and Michigan are falling out of the national conversation; Sunday they fell out of the AP rankings after a blowout loss to Penn State. [Detroit Free Press/TNS]
  2. NFL Week 7: What we learned


    Are the Purple People Eaters back in Minnesota? The Vikings sacked Joe Flacco five times and held the Ravens to 208 total yards in a 24-16 home victory, their third straight win. QB Case Keenum looked ordinary with a 67.7 passer rating after completing 20-of-31 for 188 yards and an interception. Kai Forbath …

    Trainers, top, check Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas after Thomas was hurt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) OHTD122
  3. Bills' comeback against Bucs a win for the process


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It hasn't taken Sean McDermott long to understand how to play to his base. Asked if the Bills had "gotten away with one" Sunday, the first-year coach gushed about his team reflecting the character of the town.

    Under first-year coach Sean McDermott, the Bills are 3-0 at home for the first time in six years. “I love playing here,” he says.
  4. No. 18 UCF closes in on USF, which drops to No. 17


    USF remained ahead of UCF in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday — just barely.

  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.