John McEntee, who lost his White House job as Donald Trump’s assistant, started 12 games for UConn in 2011 and gained fame as a trick-shot QB.
The White House staff member who was fired Monday has a unique sports past: Before becoming President Donald Trump’s assistant, he was a starting quarterback (and football-trick-shot artist) at UConn.
John McEntee, whom The Wall Street Journal reported was escorted out of the White House on Monday because of an “unspecified security issue,” started 12 games for the Huskies in 2011 after initially joining the team as a walk-on. Known then as “Johnny,” he completed 172 of 335 passes for 2,110 yards with 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions, then started three games the following season.
“(It) was always a dream that I would play,” he said in 2011, according to The Norwalk Hour . “I thought a lot of these guys were too good and there was no way I’d ever play. I stuck with it and tried to get a little better every year.”
Though McEntee spent one season as a starter, he made more headlines for something he accomplished off the field: An elaborate trick-shot compilation that has been viewed more than 7 million times on YouTube.
“We posted it on YouTube on Tuesday and then the next day it was on the front page of Yahoo,” McEntee told CNBC in 2011, shortly after the video went viral. “I was going to have a heart attack. I couldn’t believe it.”
McEntee told the network that some of the shots took him as many as 25 attempts to perfect.
Though he is departing the White House, the 27-year-old will continue to work for the president in a different capacity. Trump’s campaign announced Tuesday that McEntee will join the president’s 2020 reelection efforts as a senior adviser for campaign operations.
Contact Tom Schad at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Tom_Schad .