Sean McGowan
Sean McGowan
Title: Joel E. Smilow ’54 Defensive Coordinator, Associate Head Coach (DB)
Recruiting Areas: Oklahoma, Texas (North/West of Austin)

Sean McGowan enters his fourth season of coaching defense at Yale in 2018. He coached linebackers from 2015 to 2017 but switched to defensive backs in 2018. 

As defensive coordinator in 2017, McGowan led a record-setting defense that touted seven All-Ivy selections on the way to winning the Ivy League championship. He also coached 2017 Bushnell Cup winner Matthew Oplinger. McGowan, who coached at seven different schools and has been a defensive coordinator at three, brought a wealth of experience as Yale’s defensive coordinator.

McGowan, who has 19 years of college coaching experience, came to Yale from Boston College, where he helped the Eagles win seven games in 2014 and earn a trip to the Pinstripes Bowl.

In the first of his two seasons at BC, McGowan orchestrated a special teams unit that included the nation’s best in field-goal percentage and a first-team All-American kicker (Nate Freese) who was perfect on 20 field goal attempts in 2013. The 2014 kick-return unit finished fourth in the nation with 26 yards per return, while the kickoff coverage was 19th with an 18.5 average. He also worked with the Eagles' linebackers.

Before that he served as inside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator under Steve Addazio (2011-12) at Temple.

McGowan spent seven (2004-10) seasons at the University of New Hampshire as a defensive coach. He coached the defensive backs his first two seasons before being promoted to defensive coordinator while helping New Hampshire to seven consecutive NCAA playoff appearances, including six appearances in the quarterfinals.

The Wilcats, who had 16 all-conference selections coached by McGowan, were 65-25 in those seven seasons including 5-1 against FBS squads.

His other coaching assignments included West Virginia Tech (2003, DC), Duquesne (2002, DC), Pittsburgh (1999-2001, grad assistant) and Occidental College (1998, QBs). In his one campaign with Duquesne, his charges ranked first in I-AA in total defense.

McGowan, a quarterback and safety at Fordham from 1995-98, grew up in Cheshire, Conn., and attended Cheshire High School. He earned his B.A. in business from Fordham in 1998.

He and his wife, Ashley, have three children, Liam, Owen and Aden.