Looking for Experience, Dave Warner, and Mac McWhorter Hired as OC and AHC/OL For Madrid Bravos

The Madrid Bravos who just hired their head coach last week has just hired their first offensive play caller. A man who has spent over 35 years as a coach, including 30 years spent overseeing quarterbacks, serving as an offensive coordinator, or passing game coordinator. this is a huge win for the new franchise as Rip Scherer builds his staff for 2024.

History of Developing NFL Talent

During his time at Michigan State Dave Warner has overseen three recent NFL quarterbacks; Brian Hoyer, Kirk Cousins, and Connor Cook. All of those players would go on to start an NFL playoff game.

Working alongside Jim Bollman as a Co-Offensive Coordinator Warner helped lead his team to a 56-23 record, including two Big Ten Championships. Warner isn’t just known for producing NFL Quarterbacks either. He coached running backs when two more NFL prospects played for MSU. Jeremy Langford, and LJ Scott.

After his time at MSU he was hired by UTEP in 2021 and during his first year with the team he led them to 393 yards of total offense per game. This included Ronald Awatt and Deion Hankins combing for 1,302 yards and 12 touchdowns while quarterback Gavin Hardison passed for 247.9 yards per game. Jacob Cowing also set franchise records in receiving yards. Keep an eye on all four of those names as potential players for the Bravos.

Success with UTEP

Unfortunately after year one UTEP’s high flying passing attack came back down to Earth. Hardison passed for just over 2,000 yards with 11 tds and 8 interceptions. Awatt, Hankins, and now Reynaldo Flores combined for 1,711 yards and 10 touchdowns. Flores is another intriguing name who produced as a receiver as well. Tyrin Smith was the top wideout with 71 receptions for 1,039 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Overall as a team the offense averaged 217.7 yards per game passing, and 167.2 yards per game rushing or 384.9 yards per game. After the 2022 season Warner chose to retire. For context here is what the team did without him in 2023 so far:

In 2023 UTEP struggled to stay healthy at quarterback, where they ultimately watched four different men suit up. Gavin Hardison, Cade McConnell, Kevin Hurley, and Jake McNamara all attempted passes in 2023. They combined for 9 tds to 9 ints while throwing for 1,813 yards total.

Their run game had two players sit atop the pack with Deion Hankins and Torrance Burgess Jr. taking the majority of the carries. They would produce 1,208 yards and 5 touchdowns. No receiver topped the 32 receptions for 645 yards and 4 touchdowns produced by Kelly Akharaiyi. Proving that Warner truly made the best out of the players he was given.

Returning from Retirement for the Madrid Bravos

This coaching staff for Madrid could be one of the most experienced staffs assembled in the ELF so far. Between Scherer and Warner they hold around 90 years of combined coaching experience at the collegiate or NFL level. In 2024 they take on a new challenge, building their first professional expansion team from scratch. It wouldn’t shock me at all to see Michigan State, UTEP, and UAB well represented on this roster in 2024 and beyond. Coming from the college ranks is a distinct advantage for this staff when it comes to roster building. They aren’t done yet.

Madrid Bravos Also Hire Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Mac McWhorter

Mac McWhorter is keeping with the theme of older experienced coaches joining the staff. McWhorter retired from coaching twice prior to the 2014 season before returning to the coaching ranks in 2023 with the Paris Musketeers. In 2024 he will jump over and oversee the offensive line, and assist head coach Rip Scherer.

Coach McWhorter started coaching before he even left the college ranks. As a senior at Georgia, he not only played, as a guard, but also served as a graduate assistant. In 1975 he officially began coaching full-time with Douglas County High School. He stayed with the school until the 1979 season when he was hired by another High School in the area. By 1980 he had found his first job in the college ranks with Georgia Tech, once his rival, now his employer.

McWhorter stuck with Tech for 7 seasons until 1987 when he was hired by Alabama. Spending two seasons with Alabama, he again wound up back in the state of Georgia for a third time in 1989 when he was hired by West Georgia. This trip was short lived, as the very next season Duke came calling. Duke gave McWhorter his first job coaching strictly offensive line, and it paid off for McWhorter in the long term.

From then on, he coached offensive line at every stop in his career. After just one year at Duke he wound up in Georgia a fourth time, this time coaching with his alma mater again. Hired as the offensive line/tight ends/special teams coach. After five seasons with Georgia he moved on to Clemson for three seasons also overseeing tight ends. In 1999 with Memphis he received his first, and only chance to call plays, serving under Rip Scherer.

Change of Trajectory

In 2000 he jumped to Georgia Tech for a two season stint as their offensive line coach. In 2001, his head coach walked away after hiring him, instead jumping to Notre Dame just before a scandal came out about using ineligible players due to missteps in the administrative side of the football program. This was not attributed to the staff. In his wake, McWhorter stepped in as the Interim Head Coach. He would coach just the one game, but find victory, and with this perfect win percentage, he rode off into the sunset that was Texas in 2002. He still stands as the only undefeated coach in Georgia Tech History, the only coach to come close to this feat happened in 1901 when Coach Cyrus Strickler coached 5 games, and tied in one of them.

Hired as the offensive line coach for Texas in 2002, McWhorter oversaw many future NFL Draft picks over a nine season stint with the team. This list included; Derrick Dockery (2003 3rd round pick), Jonathan Scott, (2006 6th round pick), Justin Blalock (2007 2nd round pick), Kasey Studdard (2007 6th round pick), Tony Hills (2008 4th round pick). Following the 2008 season he was named the Top Assistant Coach in the Country. After the 2010 season Texas decided to move on and this prompted McWhorter to retire for the first time. This lasted just one season, until Penn State Head Coach Bill O’Brien lured McWhorter back to the game for the 2012 season.

He would last just two seasons with Penn State before ultimately retiring once again due to James Franklin choosing not to retain the veteran coach. This time his retirement lasted ten years. He didn’t return to coaching until the 2023 season with the Paris Musketeers. Paris another new ELF franchise also wanted veteran coaches that could help lead this team in their first season. Now, McWhorter reunites with a man he worked for in 1999 to help build another program from scratch. His second is as many seasons.

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that the Madrid Bravos value experience. McWhorter is heading into his 40th season of coaching, and the two men previously hired have about 90 years of experience combined. This is quickly becoming the most experienced staff in the league.

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