Moving the Chains with . . . Western Illinois quarterback Sean McGuire

Moving the Chains with . . . Western Illinois quarterback Sean McGuire
Western Illinois senior quarterback Sean McGuire shares his head coach's greatest strength, his own morning routine, his social media habits and more. (photo courtesy of WIU Athletics)

Sean McGuire seized his opportunity as a sophomore when the quarterback won the starting job, was voted team captain and set the WIU season record averaging 264.9 passing yards per game. The 6-foot-3, 228-pounder kept things rolling last season by leading Western to the FCS playoffs and earning honorable mention all-conference accolades for the second straight year. 

This past weekend McGuire moved into second place on the all-time WIU list for passing yards and passing touchdowns. Yet, there's far more to the man who threw for the 14th most yards in FCS a season ago (and tied for the second most touchdowns in a single WIU season).

Learn more about McGuire in this week’s Moving the Chains feature.


Hometown:  Franklin, Wisc.

High School: Franklin


Do you feel that you have a bigger role than ever given the fact the team lost so many players to graduation?

Yes and no. Quarterback in general, you always have a big role. Managing the game is your responsibility. You’re trying to make the players around you better, but at the same time, we have a very talented roster to fill those spots. No question that (departed receiver) Jaelon Acklin was a special player and we had a veteran offensive line. I have no doubts that the (new) guys will step up, and they already have.

You had a special bond with Acklin, accounting for 84 receptions and 10 touchdowns. With him gone, how concerned are you with your receiving corps this season?

We have two that have produced already, and they’ve only gotten better--Zeke Lesure and Brandon Gaston. It’s important to have some experience in that (receiver) room. Tony Tate is a slot receiver who had a great spring and fall camp.

We all knew that he (Acklin) was our big receiver and we didn’t spread it around as much as maybe we would have liked. Obviously the defense keyed on him. Now we have guys that have stepped up and produced and they’ll do even more as we get into the year . . . the ball will be spread around a lot and I think that will be a big advantage for us.

You immediately expressed your excitement when Jared Elliott was named to replace Charlie Fisher as Western head coach. Why did the hiring make so much sense to you?

I’ve had a really good relationship with Coach Elliott ever since he got here. We’re extremely close and our team has been really lucky to have him as a coach.

What is Coach Elliott's greatest strength?

His balance. He’s got a poise or composure to where he’s not always that authority figure. He knows how to be light, in a good mood. He does things at the right time. It’s funny how he can do that, keep that balance. It wasn’t too long ago that he was a player just like us. He’s had to go from a more relaxed position coach to more of that authority figure of a head coach, but he’s balanced it all very well.

How often do you go the movies?

Pretty often, I love going to the movies. I watch them at home, or I’ll go to the theater.

Is there a particular movie that in your opinion was “the movie of the summer”?

I’m not sure it was the movie of the summer, but one that I just saw was Deadpool II. That was one I really liked a lot. It was different. I’m not into superheroes that much, but that one was funny and had a little of everything.

What is your morning routine like?

I wake up at 6:30 and just try to wake up a bit and go to breakfast. I always have a cup of coffee in the morning. Have a good meal. Then I go get loose, stretch after I’m up for awhile. We have our position meetings and get ready to go to practice.

If you consider yourself to be a daydreamer, what is it that you think about more than anything else?

Definitely football. I always think about a two-minute drive or I think about going out and running somebody over. I try to visualize success, like a two-minute drive on the road and us winning.

How often do you post on social media?

Not that much. If you look at my Twitter, it’s all pretty much WIU retweets. I never feel that anything I’m thinking is important enough to tweet, that anyone else would care about it.

What is your dream vacation spot?

I want to do a road trip over the northern part of America and then the Northwest. The mountains and Wyoming and Montana. I want to hit all those spots, go hiking and fishing.

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