It doesn't take much to motivate Thomas McGaughey Jr. to start his work day.
For starters, the special teams coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers gets a kick out of seeing five Vince Lombardi trophies displayed in his the lobby of his new office.
McGaughey tweeted a photo of the entrance to the SAP Performance Facility last month.
"When I get to work every morning now," the coordinator wrote in the caption, "This is 1st Thing I see! #HighStandards #TheBest #Tradition #History #GoNiners."
McGaughey elaborated on his connection to the 49ers in a recent 1-on-1 interview with 49ers Studios. The coach with 18 years of experience under his belt got his first coaching opportunity thanks to legendary Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh. McGaughey, a former practice squad player for the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles, earned an NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship with the Kansas City Chiefs. The program was created in the namesake of Coach Walsh.
So with that in mind, it's no surprise that McGaughey takes immense pride in wearing the 49ers oval on his chest.
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"You stand on the shoulders of the people who've come before," McGaughey said. "When you walk around the building, you start to think, 'Bill Walsh used to walk out onto this deck, and Jerry Rice used to practice on those fields with Steve Young, Ronnie Lott and all of those guys.'
"You really think about those things, and you know you have big shoes to fill. It makes it easy for you to go in, pull that computer up and get to work because you know you have a job to do. I look forward to that challenge and it really is a privilege to wear this logo."
With that logo, McGaughey has been hard at work along with special teams assitant coach Richard Hightower. The two coaches have been devising special teams schemes to be installed during offseason workouts.
Hightower, according to the 49ers coordinator, has long been admired in NFL circles.
"For years we competed against each other in the NFC East, and I've always respected his work from afar. He's done a great job wherever he's been. He has a great reputation around the league, so being able to bring him into the fold was a huge plus for us."
McGaughey and Hightower look to carry out Jim Tomsula's vision for the 49ers coaching staff. Both special teams coaches want to bring a consistent, genuine approach. It's the very same style that has endeared the 49ers roster to Tomsula over the past eight seasons as the franchise's defensive line coach.
With respect to special teams, McGaughey outlined a very detail-oriented approach to coordinating the important phase of the game.
"We're going to be a huge fundamental and technique team," he said. "I think that's one thing that really brings me and Jim together. We're both big into fundamentals and techniques. When you execute the fundamentals and techniques at a high level, that's when the big plays will come. That's going to be our focus."