When I first met John in 1996, I was a young coach who was thirsting for knowledge. He had coached under Dan Henning both with the Falcons and Boston College, so he was obviously well-versed in one-back football. He had been at places like Florida State, and was a Division I offensive coordinator. In short, I had nothing to offer him, but he decided to help me. He saw something in me, luckily, and opened me up to a wealth of knowledge. John also had countless friends in the profession, and was an avid student of the game. He taught me the phrase "if you're not learning, you're just dying." I took this advice to heart, which is why I strive for continuous improvement; this is why there are always "tweaks" in the system.
Because of Coach McGregor, I had VIP access to the Bruce Arians-led Browns offense, and Mike Martz's "Greatest Show on Turf" in their heyday. I was able to sit in installation and "7 on 7" meetings with the Rams, which was an experience like no other. Because of John, I had the latest NFL or college coach's film to study every year for almost 20 years. He would give me his honest opinion on everything, and was always a great sounding board for new ideas. Moreover, John would do what he told you he would. It sounds simple enough, but one could only imagine how much better this world would be if everyone did that.
Most of all, John believed in me. He has seen me through the most trying of time both personally and professionally. He never wavered in his support, though he would tell me when I was wrong and needed to change. Lastly, he never stopped believing in me as a coach. Our last several conversations were on film I sent him on my son, and things to improve on mechanically. We spoke just last week, and he told me to tell Austin he was proud of how he was growing up. You see - he was so much more to me than a coaching buddy.
He was a mentor. A friend. He was family.
When I urge coaches to be the best they can be for their players, conversations with John are what I think of. He will be missed.