Gary McGraw joined the Bearkats as cornerbacks coach prior to the 2016 season and brings a wealth of experience to the Sam Houston football coaching staff for his second year.
Prior to coming to Sam Houston, McGraw served as defensive backs coach at Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, Texas since 2011. During his tenure there the Mustangs earned NCAA Division II playoff berths three times, won two Lone Star Conference championships, one Lone Star playoff title and rolled up a 42-12 record.
The 2015 Midwestern squad went 10-2 with three of McGraw's defensive backs, cornerbacks Dominique Rouse, Dominique Williams and safety Marqui Christian each earning all-America honors. Christian also garnered the 2015 Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Back of the Year in the Lone Star Conference, in addition to becoming McGraw's first NFL Draft pick after being selected in the 5th round by the Arizona Cardinals. Christian finished his career as the recipient of the Cliff Harris Award (Small College Defensive Player of the year in the Country).
The Mustangs led the Lone Star Conference in total defense in 2015 and 2013 and finished second in the league in 2014. They also led the conference in scoring defense in 2015, 2014 and 2013 and were second in 2011. McGraw coached 17 All-Lone Star Conference players and eight All-Super Region selections at Midwestern.
Before his time in Wichita Falls, McGraw was the defensive backs coach at Ferris State in 2010 after working for six years at Quincy University. He held positions at Quincy as defensive backs coach, special teams coordinator and co-linebackers coach prior to earning the promotion to defensive coordinator for the 2008 and 2009 campaigns. The Hawks set school records for most sacks and most turnovers forced in a season in 2009. He coached three NAIA All-Americans and 24 all-league performers at Quincy.
McGraw began his coaching career on the prep level in Oregon where he was the co-defensive coordinator and special teams coach at Marist (Ore.) High School in 2002 and 2003. While there, MHS compiled a 23-1 record and captured a state championship in 2003 with a 13-0 record.
As a player, McGraw started off his career at the junior college level Chabot JC (Calif.). He finished his career there leading the country with 12 interceptions in his sophomore campaign of 1999, breaking the school record for interceptions in a both season and single game. He went on to finish his career at the University of Oregon, where he became a valued player in the secondary for a team that compiled a 21-3 record from 2000-01 and both a Holiday and Fiesta Bowl victory.
A 2003 graduate of the University of Oregon, McGraw played safety for the Ducks in 2000 and 2001, helping the team win back-to-back PAC-10 championships. The Fremont, Calif., native was a member of the Ducks' 2001 squad that won the Fiesta Bowl and finished the year ranked second in the final Associated Press poll. McGraw has been inducted into the Hall of Fame at both the University of Oregon and Chabot Junior College. He earned his master's degree in educational leadership from Quincy in 2011. He is married to the former Christine Buhler.