The coaching career of Gerald MacRath, an assistant graduate football coach at the University of North Carolina, came to abrupt halt after the 28-year-old was arrested for driving while intoxicated in the early morning hours of Monday, March 30.
According to local news station WRAL, MacRath was “slumped asleep in his running car,” located at the intersection of Garrett Road and Chapel Hill Boulevard, when police found him. MacRath was arrested and released from jail on a $1,500 bond, with a court date scheduled for April 20.
Being a high-profile football player during his college years and in the National Football League, and (up until very recently) an important member of UNC’s football community, it isn’t surprising that MacGrath’s DWI arrest grabbed the media’s attention so quickly (despite involving no injuries or property damage at all).
MacGrath immediately released a statement after the incident, announcing that he was voluntarily leaving his coaching position at UNC.
“I apologize for my actions and for bringing negative publicity and attention to the University of North Carolina and the football program,” the statement read. “I have decided to resign my position as a graduate assistant coach at UNC and move forward with my career.”
Prior to the DWI incident, it seemed that MacGrath had a very promising career in football, along with a good reputation off the field. He played college football under Larry Fedora (the current head coach of UNC’s football team) at the University of Southern Mississippi, and after college he played in the NFL Tennessee Titans team for four seasons.
MacGrath, who has a wife and a daughter, began his coaching career in 2014 and only recently joined Fedora’s coaching staff at UNC at the beginning of 2015. Nevertheless, it seems likely that his coaching career will not continue smoothly after this DWI incident, especially if he is convicted later this month.
“Our courts have held that a person found behind the wheel of a car that is running can be found guilty of driving while impaired,” says Raleigh DWI lawyer Damon Chetson. “The idea is to protect against situations where someone falls asleep in the middle of the road.