Open main menu

Todd Darren McNair (born August 16, 1965) is an American football coach and former player. McNair previously worked for six years as the running backs coach for the USC Trojans football team, until the NCAA issued a one-year show-cause penalty against him as part of sanctions related to the ineligibility of one of his former players, Reggie Bush. McNair currently has a lawsuit pending against the NCAA for libel, slander, breach of contract and four other alleged offenses.[1]

Todd McNair
refer to caption
McNair walking with the USC Trojans to a stadium before a game
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Position:Running backs coach
Personal information
Born: (1965-08-16) August 16, 1965 (age 54)
Camden, New Jersey
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:196 lb (89 kg)
Career information
NFL Draft:1989 / Round: 8 / Pick: 220
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:803
Rushing touchdowns:3
Receiving yards:2,435
Receiving touchdowns:7
Kick return yards:1,100
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early yearsEdit

McNair was born in Camden, New Jersey, to Todd McNair, Sr. and Carole Y. McNair. He lived in Pennsauken Township, New Jersey and played high school football at Pennsauken High School.[2] He was a 1988 graduate of Temple University where he played football.

McNair is the uncle of former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Isaac Redman. Younger brother Scott McNair was also a running back at Temple.

Professional football careerEdit

McNair played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Oilers. During his career he filled a variety of roles, including acting as lead blocker, special teams, and third-down back.[3] By the end of his career, he ran for 803 yards with 3 touchdowns, caught 252 passes with 7 touchdowns and averaged 18.6 yards on kickoff returns, retiring as the Chiefs' 10th all-time receiver.

Coaching careerEdit

McNair retired from professional football in 1996 and began coaching at Camden High School in Camden, New Jersey. McNair was the running backs coach for the Cleveland Browns from 2001 to 2003, and joined USC Trojans from 2004 to 2009.[4] In his first season, he served as Running Backs Coach, and took on the additional position of Special Teams Coordinator in 2005. McNair was considered one of the most effective recruiters in college football.[3] He was named one of the nation's top-25 recruiters by[5]

McNair's contract at USC expired June 30, 2010 and was not renewed after 6 years.[6] He played a key part in the NCAA's investigation of the school's athletic department dealing with former Trojans running back Reggie Bush.

The 2004 and 2005 USC Trojans football teams have had wins vacated and a BCS National Championship stripped following NCAA rulings that running back Reggie Bush was ineligible due to improper benefits. These sanctions have been criticized by some NCAA football writers,[7][8][9][10][11] including ESPN's Ted Miller, who wrote, "It's become an accepted fact among informed college football observers that the NCAA sanctions against USC were a travesty of justice, and the NCAA's refusal to revisit that travesty are a massive act of cowardice on the part of the organization."[12] It bears mentioning that Miller wrote this, not in the context of a commentary on the NCAA's legitimacy, but in a lamentation on that season's PAC10 title game matchup.

The NCAA ruled that McNair had engaged in unethical conduct,[13] claiming that McNair had known about some of Bush's improperly received benefits,[14] and sanctioned him with a show-cause penalty, prohibiting his interactions with football recruits for one year.[13] Following a failed appeal of his sanctions,[13] McNair announced an intent to sue the NCAA, accusing the body of libel, slander and misconduct.[14]

On January 20, 2013, it was reported that McNair would be the new running backs coach of the Arizona Cardinals. However, 12 days later, McNair stated that he would not be joining the Cardinals' coaching staff. On January 10, 2019, McNair agreed to terms to become the new running backs coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Lawsuit against the NCAAEdit

On June 6, 2011, McNair filed suit against the NCAA, alleging that the collegiate athletics governing body wrongfully caused him to lose his job with the Trojans because of punishment handed down in 2010 in the Reggie Bush case.[1] The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks unspecified damages for libel, slander, breach of contract and four other alleged offenses. It also takes issue with the one-sided examination policy established by the NCAA, which doesn't allow those targeted by investigations to cross-examine witnesses used.

The disputed issues in McNair's appeal centered on the believability of one of the NCAA's key witnesses in the case, Lloyd Lake, the would-be sports marketer who allegedly provided substantial amounts of money to Reggie Bush's family over a two-year period while the star running back played for the Trojans. McNair, the NCAA ruled last June, either knew or should have known about Bush's relationship with Lake and purposely misled investigators. But McNair said that he did not know about the relationship between Lake and Bush, and that the NCAA itself committed misconduct in the process of its investigation.

In November 2012, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Frederick Shaller ruled that the NCAA was "malicious" in its investigation of McNair. In his ruling, the Judge stated that e-mails between an investigative committee member, an NCAA worker, and a person who works in the agency's appeals division "tend to show ill will or hatred" toward McNair. In an e-mail, one staffer called McNair "a lying morally bankrupt criminal, in my view, and a hypocrite of the highest order." Judge Shaller said he would unseal the entire inquiry into McNair in December.[15][16]

On December 3, 2018, McNair petitioned for a new trial,[17] which was granted in January 2019 with the Los Angeles Times noting, "The judge wrote that the infractions committee's report was false "in several material ways."[18]


  1. ^ a b Ex-USC coach Todd McNair sues NCAA ESPN, June 6, 2011
  2. ^ Staff. "A BIT OF BROAD STREET IN K.C. DRAFT REUNITES MCNAIR WITH TEMPLE FRIENDS", The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 25, 1989. Accessed May 30, 2013. "'I think it will be a real good situation for me,' McNair said from his Pennsauken home."
  3. ^ a b Matt Hayes, When McNair makes pitch, USC gets catch, Sporting News, June 7, 2007.
  4. ^ Klein, Gary. "Ex-USC assistant Todd McNair seeks vindication from Reggie Bush saga".
  5. ^ Jeremy Crabtree, Top-25 Recruiters,, February 12, 2007.
  6. ^ Gary Klein, USC parts ways with running backs coach Todd McNair, Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2010
  7. ^ Jay Bilas, "Anyone know what NCAA's standards are?",, July 1, 2010.
  8. ^ Bryant Gumbel, "Student/Athlete Behavior", Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, September 21, 2010.
  9. ^ Bryan Fischer, " Trojans never stood a chance after taking NCAA's best shot",, May 26, 2011.
  10. ^ Pete Fiutak, "USC paying for NCAA's inconsistency?",, May 26, 2011.
  11. ^ Stewart Mandel, "What USC's sanctions mean for Ohio State",, April 27, 2011.
  12. ^ "What we learned in the Pac-12: Week 14". December 4, 2011.
  13. ^ a b c "NCAA appeals committee upholds sanctions against former USC running backs coach Todd McNair", Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2011
  14. ^ a b "Former USC assistant Todd McNair sues NCAA over Reggie Bush case", Sports Illustrated, June 6, 2011
  15. ^ Editors (November 21, 2012) "USC investigation: Judge calls NCAA report on Todd McNair 'malicious'." Sporting News. (Retrieved 12-6-12.)
  16. ^ Sports XChange (November 28, 2012) "Report: Three violated NCAA ethics code in USC appeal." Yahoo Sports. (Retrieved 12-6-12.)
  17. ^ Fenno, Nathan. "Former USC assistant coach Todd McNair files motion for new trial in lawsuit against NCAA".
  18. ^ Fenno, Nathan. "Ex-USC assistant coach Todd McNair granted new trial in lawsuit against NCAA".

External linksEdit