D.J. McCarthy joined the Florida Atlantic University staff in February of 2017 as the Director of Player Development. He comes to FAU as a seasoned veteran of the coaching world, with 16 years of experience, having mentored 11 receivers into NFL careers, including most recently Bethune-Cookman’s K.J. Stroud, now playing with the New York Jets. McCarthy brings the distinction of a national title as both a player (Washington) and as a coach (LSU) to his position at FAU.
At Florida A&M
Served as the wide receivers’ coach for the Florida A&M Rattlers during the 2016 season. McCarthy saw 17 receivers record a reception in 2016 with Brandon Norwood leading all with 468 yards and Montavius Williams adding 422, both of whom earned All-MEAC honors. Also, served as the Rattlers’ Special teams Coordinator. Punter Koby Blanton was All-MEAC as was Punt Return specialist Kereem Smith.
McCarthy served as the assistant Head Coach, director of player personnel and wide receivers coach for Bethune-Cookman University for four seasons.
In 2013, it was thanks in part to McCarthy and the Wildcat receivers, B-CU garnered its second consecutive MEAC crown, going 7-1 in league play and defeating its first-ever Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent in FIU. In his first year with the program, McCarthy helped elevate the Bethune-Cookman passing game, as the 2012 Wildcats' offensive unit finished atop the MEAC in several statistical categories, developing into one of the nation’s most prolific and high-powered offenses. The Wildcats were not only the MEAC’s top offensive team, they were the league’s top scoring team as well, averaging 29.4 points per game, ranking them in the top 40 nationally as well.
Prior to his Collegiate Coaching Return
McCarthy served as the Co-Founder and National Director of WRA-Receiver Academy which has two locations: Annapolis Junction, MD and Vienna, VA. In addition to his work with the Receiver Academy, McCarthy oversaw the high-powered attack as offensive coordinator at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Fla. His top three receivers combined for 1,200 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns in consecutive years under his tutelage.
Prior to Atlantic High and WRA, McCarthy spent three seasons at LSU as the wide receivers and kick/punt returners coach, guiding the development of several talented receivers into conference and national honors, and later professional careers.
McCarthy coached three seasons at LSU as the Tigers’ wide receivers coach and was recognized as one of the top-five recruiters in the SEC and nation for the 2009 class. He helped develop Brandon LaFell into one of the top receivers in LSU’s history, while also overseeing the emergence of Terrance Toliver as one of the up-and-coming young receivers in college football. LaFell ended his collegiate playing career with the Tigers finishing among the top five in school history in three career receiving categories – receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
In 2008, LaFell earned All-SEC honors after leading the SEC in total receptions (63) and receiving TDs (eight), and ranking second in yards (929). LaFell, a junior in 2008, became the fifth LSU player this decade (2000-10) to earn First Team All-Conference honors. Senior Demetrius Byrd ranked second on the squad with 37 catches for 513 yards and four TDs.
In his first year with the Tigers, McCarthy’s influence on the Tiger receivers was evident early as the squad was forced to play without senior Early Doucet for five games. In Doucet’s absence, the Tigers’ young receivers grew up in a hurry as LaFell and junior college transfer Byrd became LSU’s “go-to” guys.
LaFell, in his first season as a starter in 2007, caught 50 passes for a team-best 656 yards and four scores, while Byrd ranked third on the team with 35 receptions for 621 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns. Byrd caught the game-winning TD with only one second left in LSU’s win over Auburn.
Doucet, despite missing five games with an injury, led the Tigers with 57 receptions while adding 525 yards and five touchdowns. Doucet, who finished his career ranked third in LSU history in receiving TDs (20), fourth in receptions (160), and ninth in receiving yards (1,943), went on to become a fourth round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2008 NFL Draft.
During his one season with the Bruins, McCarthy helped UCLA to a 7-6 mark and a berth in the Emerald Bowl. The Bruins capped their 2006 regular season with a stunning 13-9 win over second-ranked Southern Cal.
Prior to joining the Bruins, McCarthy held the position of wide receivers coach at Central Florida for two years. While at UCF, McCarthy tutored two outstanding wide receivers, both of whom earned All-Conference USA acclaim in 2005.
Brandon Marshall caught 74 passes for 1,195 yards and 11 touchdowns while Mike Walker had 64 catches for 856 yards and eight scores for the Golden Knights in 2005. Marshall, who was a fourth round pick of the Denver Broncos in the 2006 NFL Draft, had seven games of at least 100 yards and finished the year ranked No. 22 nationally in receiving yards per game (91.9). UCF posted an 8-5 overall mark in 2005 and went on to play in the Aloha Bowl that year.
In his first season with the Golden Knights, McCarthy tutored a group of wideouts that included Tavaris Capers, who finished ranked in the top 10 in UCF history in career touchdown receptions. McCarthy also assisted in the development of Luther Huggins, who led the team with 42 receptions for 585 yards.
Before arriving at UCF, McCarthy was the receivers coach at Nevada for four seasons (2000-2003) and was instrumental in the development of record-setting receiver Nate Burleson, who led the nation in receptions in 2002 with 138 catches for 1,629 yards and 12 touchdowns. Burleson set numerous Nevada and Western Athletic Conference records, including receptions in a game with 19 and receiving yardage in a game with 326.
Two of McCarthy's wide receivers at Nevada were picked in the NFL Draft following the conclusion of their collegiate careers: Burleson was a third round pick of the Minnesota Vikings, while Maurice Mann was a fifth round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Oakland Raiders/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
McCarthy spent two years as a defensive coaches' assistant in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders (1998-99) prior to moving to Nevada. He also served as an intern with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the summer of 1998.
At Boca Raton High School
McCarthy began his coaching career at his alma mater, Boca Raton High School, where he spent two years (1994-95). He then coached at Fort Lauderdale High School before moving into the college ranks at West Hills Community College in Coalinga, Calif., where he coached the secondary and special teams.
Collegiate Playing Career
McCarthy graduated from the University of Washington in 1994, where he played receiver for the Huskies for three seasons. He was a member of the 1991 National Championship team and was part of two Rose Bowl teams. McCarthy ranked second among wide receivers in touchdown receptions his senior season. Prior to transferring to Washington, he attended Long Beach City College for two years.
Born: July 26, 1971 in Providence, R.I.
Hometown: Boca Raton, Fla.
Education: Washington, ’94
Family: Trisha (wife), and three sons Guy, Nathan and Dillon
2016 – Florida A&M (Assistant Coach/WR)
2012-15 – Bethune Cookman (Director of Player Personnel and Assistant Head Coach)
2010-11 – Co-Founder WRA (WR academy)
2007-10 – LSU (Wide Receivers)
2006 – UCLA (Wide Receivers)
2004-05 – Central Florida (Wide Receivers)
2000-03 – Nevada (Wide Receivers)
1998-2000 – Oakland Raiders (Defensive Assistant – Secondary/Special Teams)
1997-98 – West Hills College (Secondary/Special Teams)
1997 – Boca High School (Assistant Coach)
1996 – Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) High School (Wide Receivers/Special Teams)
1994-95 – Boca Raton (Fla.) High School (Wide Receivers/Secondary)