Ascension of former University of Akron QB Luke Getsy doesn't surprise former coaches

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) talks with former quarterback coach Luke Getsy during a preseason game.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) talks with former quarterback coach Luke Getsy during a preseason game.

A former Akron Zip will get the opportunity to guide the career of a former Ohio State Buckeye in the NFL.

The Chicago Bears, undergoing an offseason revamp after the firing of General Manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy, hired former UA quarterback (2005-06) Luke Getsy to be their next offensive coordinator.

Getsy will build an offense around former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, whom the Bears selected in the first round of last spring’s NFL Draft.

"He's smart, innovative, tough, energetic, passionate, loves the game,” Matt Eberflus, the Bears new coach, told Bears.com when asked why he chose Getsy. “He's going to fit right in here with the Chicago Bears, with the rest of the staff. I'm excited to see him grow and develop as a play-caller and as an offensive coordinator.”

Former University of Akron quarterback Luke Getsy led the Zips to the Mid-American Conference championship and the Motor City Bowl in 2005. The Chicago Bears hired Getsy on Sunday to be their offensive coordinator. [Mike Cardew/Beacon Journal]
Former University of Akron quarterback Luke Getsy led the Zips to the Mid-American Conference championship and the Motor City Bowl in 2005. The Chicago Bears hired Getsy on Sunday to be their offensive coordinator. [Mike Cardew/Beacon Journal]

First-time coordinator

It will be Getsy’s first time in such a role in the NFL. His career has taken him from UA and Pitt as a graduate assistant. He worked at Western Michigan as wide receivers coach in 2013 before being plucked by the Green Bay Packers as an offensive quality control coach under Mike McCarthy, current Dallas Cowboys coach, in 2014. Getsy remained with the Packers until joining Moorhead’s Mississippi State coaching staff as offensive coordinator in 2017. Getsy returned to Green Bay in 2019 as quarterbacks coach and worked with Aaron Rodgers.

More: Joe Moorhead named football coach at University of Akron

Moorhead got to learn both sides of Getsy, who initially began his college career at Pitt, as a player and coach.

Former University of Akron quarterback Luke Getsy, right, celebrates with receiver Jabari Arthur after a touchdown in the 2005 Motor City Bowl. [Mike Cardew/Beacon Journal]
Former University of Akron quarterback Luke Getsy, right, celebrates with receiver Jabari Arthur after a touchdown in the 2005 Motor City Bowl. [Mike Cardew/Beacon Journal]

Getsy will be remembered as the leader of the only Zips team to claim a Mid-American Conference championship. They won the title in 2005, only to lose to Memphis in the Motor City Bowl, a game in which Getsy earned most valuable player honors.

Seeing Luke Getsy’s strengths

Moorhead served as assistant head coach, pass game and recruiting coordinator on that 2005 team before moving in 2006 when he was the Zips quarterbacks coach. He saw the potential in Getsy back then, he said during a phone conversation Monday.

More: ‘The process comes before the prize’: An interview with new UA football coach Joe Moorhead; NYKA podcast

“It was like coaching a coach,” he said. “Seriously, the level of understanding, preparation and execution as a college player was, it was incredibly high and advanced.”

Former UA coach J.D. Brookhart, who was hired from Pitt, agreed.

Former Green Bay Packers quarterbacks/passing game coordinator Luke Getsy, left, talks with coach Matt LaFleur during a game this season. [Tony Avelar/Associated Press]
Former Green Bay Packers quarterbacks/passing game coordinator Luke Getsy, left, talks with coach Matt LaFleur during a game this season. [Tony Avelar/Associated Press]

“When we recruited Luke to Pitt … he didn’t have a big arm, he wasn’t overly fast, but he understood the nuances of the game, was a student of the game, very cerebral,” Brookhart said during a phone conversation Monday. “So that’s the key. He made himself a good player by working at it and adding all of the intangibles. But he was a natural to become a coach.”

Football was Luke Getsy's classroom

Brookhart said Getsy treated the field and meetings as if they were his classroom and football was his major, accounting for where he is now.

He pointed to Getsy’s 36-yard, game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Domenik Hixon in the MAC Championship Game as an example as to why Getsy has reached his current status. A shoulder fake to draw in a safety allowed him to find Hixon and led to a 31-30 victory, Brookhart said.

“That play, in a nutshell, describes Luke,” he said, “all the little things it takes to be good.”

Getsy completed 477-of-905 passes for 6,117 yards, 41 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in his UA career.

Former Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy, left, talks with backup quarterback Jordan Love during training camp before the 2021-22 season.
Former Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy, left, talks with backup quarterback Jordan Love during training camp before the 2021-22 season.

Luke Getsy left an impression

He left enough of an impression that Brookhart hired him as a graduate assistant in 2007 when he helped on the offensive side of the ball for the Zips. That allowed Moorhead to know him that much better. He’s not surprised that Getsy continues to ascend the NFL coaching ranks.

“He was our GA here and I hired him as my full-time offensive coordinator at Mississippi State,” Moorhead said. “Luke has always been a rising star and a guy that's achieved at a high level whether as a player or a coach.”

More: Five football coaches the Akron Zips should consider after firing Tom Arth

Moorhead said he expects to see influences from across Getsy’s career in the offensive system he develops for Fields and the Bears.

“I think Luke has been around a wide variety of systems and philosophies going back to Walt Harris at Pitt, the system we ran here under J.D. Brookhart,” he said. “He saw what we did at Mississippi State. Luke's a smart guy. He understands it's a personnel game and I think he'll take what his beliefs and what he likes to do systematically and kind of combine that with things that were good from the people he's been around and put together a nice little package for the Bears.”

Reach George M. Thomas at gthomas@thebeaconjournal.com or on Twitter @ByGeorgeThomas.

Former University of Akron quarterback Luke Getsy was hired on Sunday by the Chicago Bears to be their offensive coordinator.
Former University of Akron quarterback Luke Getsy was hired on Sunday by the Chicago Bears to be their offensive coordinator.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Former Akron Zips QB Luke Getsy at home in Chicago Bears den