|D.J. McCarthy Bio|
Entering his third year on the Bethune-Cookman staff, D.J. McCarthy moves into a new role during the 2014 season. After serving the previous two years as assistant coach in charge of wide receivers, he is now to serve as Director of Player Personnel and Assistant to the Head Coach.
Prior to his duties in 2014, McCarthy helped mold wide receivers for the Maroon and Gold such as KJ Stroud and Eddie Poole. McCarthy imparted to B-CU’s wide receivers his vast experience, having won BCS national titles as both a coach and a player, coming to the Wildcats after serving as Co-Founder and National Director at WRA-Receiver Academy.
In 2013, the B-CU wide receivers once again were some of the fastest and more skilled of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. A total of 19 players caught passes on the year, including 12 receivers and tight ends.
Eddie Poole led the group with a team-high 39 receptions, ending his career having caught a pass in a school-record 48 consecutive games. He finished the year with 682 receiving yards and three touchdowns, while teammate and newcomer Jontavious Carter began his B-CU career with 19 catches for 310 yards and two touchdowns (both coming against Virginia Union) in his first game for the Wildcats. Receiver Jhomo Gordon added 16 catches for 198 yards. For his efforts, Poole received All-MEAC Second Team honors to end the campaign.
It was with the help of McCarthy and the receivers that B-CU garnered its second consecutive MEAC crown, going 7-1 in league play and defeating its first-ever Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent in the form of FIU.
In just his first year with the program, McCarthy helped the Bethune-Cookman passing game as the 2012 Wildcats offensive unit finished atop the MEAC in several statistical categories, as well as serving as one of the nation’s most prolific and high-powered offenses overall.
Bethune-Cookman won its second Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title in three years, as well as going 8-0 in league play for the first time in school history. It was also the first unblemished league mark for the Wildcats since going 4-0 in 1984.
McCarthy’s receiving core was a big reason for that success. Six wide receivers had more than 100 yards for the year. The top four receivers all had 13 or more catches, while the receiving core accumulated 15 of the team’s 43 touchdowns on the campaign. Eddie Poole led the bunch with 32 catches for 439 yards and five touchdowns. He was followed by K.J. Stroud with 26 catches for 293 yards and a score.
The Wildcats were not only the MEAC’s top offensive team, they were the league’s top scoring team as well, averaging 29.4 points per game. That allowed them to rank in the top 40 nationally as well.
McCarthy is a seasoned veteran of the coaching world, with 15 years of experience, having mentored 11 receivers into NFL careers, including most recently KJ Stroud now playing with the New York Jets.
In addition to his work with the Receiver Academy, McCarthy oversaw the high-power offensive attack at Atlantic High School (Delray Beach, Fla.) as offensive coordinator, where the top three receivers collected 1,200 yards receiving and 13 touchdown receptions in consecutive years under his tutelage.
Prior to Atlantic and WRA, McCarthy spent three seasons at LSU as the wide receivers and kick/punt returners coach, guiding the development of several talented receivers into conference and national honors, and later professional careers.
With the Tigers, McCarthy helped develop Brandon LaFell into one of the top receivers in LSU school history, earning First Team All-SEC honors after leading the SEC in total receptions (63) and receiving TDs (8), with 929 yards, later finishing among the top five in school history in three career receiving categories; receptions, yards, and touchdowns. McCarthy also guided the rise of Terrance Toliver (2007 SEC All-Freshman) and coached Early Doucet.
In his first year with LSU, McCarthy’s influence on the Tiger receivers was evident early as the squad was forced to play without senior Doucet for five games. In his absence, the Tigers’ young receivers grew up quickly, with LaFell and Demetrius Byrd stepping in as the key targets, finishing the campaign in big fashion, helping the team to a 12-2 final record and a BCS National Championship win over the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (38-24). Doucet and LaFell caught key TD passes in the win, with Doucet leading all LSU receivers with 51 yards on seven receptions.
Despite missing five games with an injury, Doucet led LSU that year with 57 receptions for 525 yards and five touchdowns, going on to become a fourth round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2008 NFL Draft.
McCarthy’s ability to develop a strong receiving corps was evident in his first two years at LSU, with eight different receivers catching passes, with four of those catching TD passes, in consecutive seasons (2007-08).
During his one season at UCLA, McCarthy helped the Bruins to a 7-6 mark and a berth in the Emerald Bowl. The Bruins capped their 2006 regular season with a stunning 13-9 win over second-ranked Southern California.
Prior to joining the Bruins, McCarthy held the position of wide receivers coach at the University of Central Florida for two years. While at UCF, McCarthy tutored two outstanding wide receivers, both of whom earned Conference-USA all-league acclaim in 2005. Brandon Marshall made 74 receptions for 1,195 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Mike Walker made 64 catches for 856 yards and eight scores. Marshall had seven games of at least 100 yards and finished the year ranked No. 22 nationally in receiving yards per game (91.9).
In his first season with the Knights, McCarthy tutored a group of wide outs that included Tavaris Capers, who finished ranked in the top 10 in UCF history in career touchdown receptions. McCarthy also assisted in the development of Luther Huggins, who led the team with 42 receptions for 585 yards. Capers inked a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Huggins signed a free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins after his career in Orlando.
Before arriving at UCF, McCarthy was the receivers coach at Nevada for four seasons (2000-03) and was instrumental in the development of record-setting receiver Nate Burelson, who led the nation in receptions in 2002 with 138 catches; good for 1,629 yards and 12 touchdowns. Burelson set numerous Nevada and Western Athletic Conference records, including receptions in a game (19) and receiving yardage in a game (326). Three of McCarthy's wide receivers at Nevada joined the NFL ranks following their careers with the Wolf Pack. Burelson was a third round pick of the Minnesota Vikings, Maurice Mann was a fifth round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals and Willie Johnson signed a free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins.
McCarthy graduated from the University of Washington in 1994 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, playing receiver for the Huskies for three seasons. He was a member of the 1991 National Championship team at UW and was part of two Rose Bowl teams. McCarthy ranked second among wide receivers in touchdown receptions his senior season.
Following Washington, McCarthy played parts of four seasons in the Arena Football League. He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Boca Raton High School, where he spent two years (1994-95), and coaching at Ft. Lauderdale High School before moving to the college ranks at West Hills Community College (Coalinga, Calif.), coaching secondary/special teams.
McCarthy spent two years as a defensive coaches' assistant in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders (1998-99), setting the stage for his jump to the NCAA coaching ranks with his first position at Nevada. He also served as an intern with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the summer of 1998.
Hailing from Boca Raton, Fla., McCarthy was born on July 26, 1971, in Providence, R.I. He and his wife Trisha have three sons; Guy, Nathan, and Dylan.