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Found this article on the Arky 24/7 site.
When George McDonald was a young coach trying to navigate his way around south Florida, he got a helping hand from a guy named Bret Bielema.
George McDonald feels like Arkansas has the tools to attract top-notch athletes from around the country.
That helping hand actually extended a map.
“When I was a young coach and he was an assistant coach, he kind of showed me around south Florida and where the schools are at,” McDonald said Thursday of his relationship with Bielema, his new boss at Arkansas. “I’ve known coach for a long time. He actually gave me some maps when I was getting lost down here in south Florida, trying to find some of these high schools. So we’ve known each other for a while.”
McDonald is much more familiar with south Florida these days. No map needed after spending two years as the Miami Hurricanes’ wide receivers coach.
And he and Bielema are about to get to know each other a lot better.
Bielema hired McDonald to be his wide receivers coach, a move announced Wednesday night.
When talking to reporters during a Thursday teleconference, McDonald revealed that he not only knows Bielema quite well but is also familiar with other coaches he’ll be working with at Arkansas.
McDonald said Bielema “has been really influential in my coaching career.”
He also pointed out that he worked with Sam Pittman, Arkansas’ new offensive line coach, at Northern Illinois back in 2003 and has “developed a great relationship with him.”
“He’s really been a mentor to me as I’ve progressed throughout my career,” McDonald said.
McDonald also got to know Arkansas defensive line coach Charlie Partridge while the two were recruiting south Florida, and he’s familiar with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney dating to Chaney’s coaching days at Purdue while McDonald played at Illinois.
“I’m very excited and I’m very grateful and very humbled to be able to work for the University of Arkansas and have Coach Bielema include me on his staff,” McDonald said. “I’m excited about getting to Arkansas and getting there and working with Coach Chaney and Coach Pittman and the rest of the staff that Coach Bielema’s putting together.”
McDonald cleaned out his Miami office Thursday and is hoping to be in Fayetteville by Jan. 1.
Since becoming a full-time coach in 2001, McDonald has worked in south Florida, in the Midwest and on the West Coast, and he says that’s an asset to him when it comes to recruiting.
“Obviously, my most natural recruiting area is down here in south Florida,” McDonald said. “From every stop I’ve been at, I’ve had south Florida, which would be Broward County, Dade County. I’m in Orlando this year. I’m recruiting Virginia, North Carolina. I’m kind of diverse in the South.
“I’ve done some junior college recruiting in California in some spots. I’ve done Midwestern recruiting when I was at Northern Illinois.”
McDonald also essentially recruited every receiver at Miami the past two years. If a receiver wasn’t in his territory but the scholarship offer had been approved by the head coach and coordinator, McDonald would take over the recruiting of that receiver.
“So in essence, I recruited all the receivers,” he said. “But I also recruited other positions, DBs and other areas where I had the strong relationships.
“Whether I’m in Florida, whether I’m in Chicago, whether I’m in Canada, I’m excited to be at Arkansas, and I know that we have the resources and the product that’s going to allow us to compete at a high level for recruits.”
McDonald doesn’t consider himself a salesman when he’s recruiting. He said the thing he works the hardest at is building trust with players.
“I think trust is a big thing anytime you’re dealing with people, especially in recruiting,” he said. “I want to develop a relationship and I want them to let them know I’m trying to present them information that’s going to help their career.”
McDonald said he’s not trying to sell a dream. He’s trying to “present the information, develop a great relationship with them, and show them how whatever university I’m representing, that it’s a great opportunity for them to better their lives and better themselves as a student athletes.”
He feels Arkansas has the tools to help attract top-notch athletes, regardless of where they’re from. That includes the Miami area, McDonald said.
“Obviously everything’s about the fit,” he said. “You’ve got to find the right kid that has the right fit to fit into the lifestyle in Fayetteville. But the one thing I do know is after seeing those facilities that are currently there and the facilities that are being built, you can go anywhere in the country and get a kid to come to Arkansas because those facilities are awesome.”
New wide receivers coach George McDonald hit on a number of topics Thursday during a teleconference, including his ties to current Hog coaches and his recruiting background.
This post was edited by MrHurricane305 19 months ago
It's all about the U!
He won't be able to come in South Florida and pick who he wants. He has some ties but I don't expect this to come back n bite us at any point. Best of luck to him
Here is the cliffsnotes version: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
good luck to him...I dont think Beliema's style and demeanor can hang in the SEC #sharks
It's All About The U
So he takes a lateral to live in ARKANSAS? He thinks they have a better chance to win a NC and can get better players than Golden? I notice he changes jobs every two years. What is that about? So he tells the truth to recruits and wants them to do the right thing? That seems to be a character trait he lost long ago. The right thing would have been to stay at UM with Golden who brought him here and then leave after we win a NC in two years. It would have been smart too. Personally, I think MacDonald is a train wreck waiting to happen.
Yeah a recruit is going to reject Miami, FSU, Florida, Bama,AU, & Georgia to go all the way to Fayetteville??? Rightttttttt
Bump for being classy.
Golden is better then Jimbo... I feared it was true. He is going to hoist a crystal ball there - fsufsu
this is a joke, i live in fayetteville and have seen the campus, its not that great
Isn't it rumored he's leaving Arkansas now? If the rumor is correct, I guess this article is rubish!!
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