Garrett and coaching staff add 12 on defense, 11 on offense and one on special teams
Garrett and coaching staff add seven on defense and eight on offense
Lafayette places five on the first team and four on the second
Lafayette vs. Lehigh game notes
Lafayette vs. Colgate game notes
Photos by Rick Smith
Photos from Lafayette football vs. Colgate (11/11/17)
Photos by Rick Smith
Photos by Lafayette Athletics Communications
Photos by Rick Smith
John Garrett enters his second season as the Fred M. Kirby II '42 Head Football Coach at Lafayette College. Garrett, who took over the head coaching reins Dec. 21, 2016, brought with him more than 25 years of coaching experience in the collegiate and professional ranks.
Garrett's first season at Lafayette was marked by a vast culture change, highlighted by the program's renewed focus. That uncompromising approach permeated the entire coaching staff and team roster and was spurred by Garrett's love for details of the game of football.
The focus on the smallest details showcased in the realm of ball control in the first year implementation of the intricate, pro-style offense. The offense led the Patriot League in fumbles lost, fewest penalties, fewest penalty yards and fewest penalty yards per game.
Garrett, who handled all of the offensive play-calling duties, helped speed the maturation of freshman quarterback Sean O'Malley, a walk-on recruit who started all 11 Lafayette games. O'Malley was the first Lafayette rookie in the Patriot League era (since 1986) to start the opening game at QB. He set a Lafayette single-season record with 241 completions while his 397 attempts ranked him second. O'Malley was twice named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week.
On the other side of the ball, the head coach presided over a Lafayette defense that allowed just 15.8 points per game (second best in the league) in 2017 down from 37.3 the year prior (worst in the league). The defense also made significant strides in takeaways, as Lafayette was ranked 27th in the nation in turnovers gained and led the Patriot League just a season removed from being last in the same category. Team captain Brandon Bryant finished the season ranked third in the nation in tackles per game (12.1) and ninth in solo tackles per game (6.3). Classmate Phillip Parham was equally adept at corner, leading the nation in interceptions per game (7 for 0.6 pg) and pass breakups per game (12 for 1.7 pg). Both earned All-America honors and were two of nine Leopards to earn All-Patriot League honors.
Prior to arriving at Lafayette, Garrett was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Richmond for the 2016 season, posting a 10-4 record while helping lead the Spiders to the NCAA FCS Playoff quarterfinals under Danny Rocco. Richmond averaged 28.6 points and 410 yards of total offense per game, both second-best in the 12-team Colonial Athletic Association. Garrett's pro-style passing offense led the CAA with 271.5 yards per game.
Garrett spent the 2015 season as a quality control specialist for the offense at the University of Florida and served as the offensive coordinator at Oregon State University during the 2014 season. While at Oregon State, Garrett coached under current Nebraska head man Mike Riley, when OSU averaged nearly 26 points per game and put up 35 in a signature win against a top-10 Arizona State team.
His most recent NFL coaching assignment was in 2013 as the wide receivers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was also on the staff for the Dallas Cowboys from 2007-12 where his brother, Jason, is the head coach. Garrett was the Cowboys' tight ends coach for six years and the passing game coordinator for the final two seasons.
Garrett's coaching in the professional ranks followed a playing career in the NFL. He was a member of the practice squad and active roster for the Cincinnati Bengals in 1989, and on the practice squad for the Buffalo Bills in 1991. Garrett also spent training camp with the Cowboys in 1988 and with the Bengals in 1990.
Garrett was born in Danville, Pa., attended high school in Cleveland and lived part of his early years in Monmouth Beach, N.J. He began his coaching career in 1990 as a volunteer at his alma mater, Princeton University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1988. In 1992, he made the move to the NFL ranks as a personnel assistant, college scout and coaches' assistant for the Buccaneers, a position he held through 1994.
In 1995, he was named the offensive assistant/wide receivers coach with the Bengals, staying with the team through the 1998 season. Garrett was the Arizona Cardinals' quarterbacks coach for the 1999 and 2000 campaigns before returning to the Bengals as an offensive assistant coach in 2001, tight ends coach in 2002 and a scout in 2003.
He re-joined the college ranks in 2004, where for three years he was the University of Virginia's wide receivers coach and in 2006 added the title of assistant head coach for offense. The next season he moved to the Cowboys organization.
Garrett's father, Jim, spent 38 years in the NFL as a scout and assistant coach. His brother, Judd, is the current Director of Pro Scouting for the Cowboys. John and his wife, Honor, have four children (John Jr., Honor, Olivia and Caroline).