McGeechan was born in Leeds to a Glaswegian father who was in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He attended West Park County Secondary School and trained to be a PE teacher at Carnegie Physical Training College (now part of Leeds Metropolitan University). Although his family mostly played football, he took to rugby while in school.
McGeechan played for Headingley and made his debut for Scotland in 1972. He won thirty-two caps, playing at fly-half and centre. He captained Scotland on nine occasions. He toured with the British and Irish Lions in both 1974 and 1977. During his playing career, he was also a PE teacher for over two decades.
In 1986, McGeechan became the assistant Scotland coach to Derrick Grant and in 1988 he was promoted to coach. In 1990, his team won a Grand Slam victory in the Five Nations Championship. His forwards coach and partner was Jim Telfer.
McGeechan was the British and Irish Lions Head Coach in 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2009. In 2005, he coached the midweek side on the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand on the invitation of Sir Clive Woodward.
McGeechan was appointed Director of Rugby at London Wasps in 2005 after an unsuccessful and unhappy period as the Scottish Director of Rugby. In his first season of 2005/06 he led Wasps to the Powergen Anglo Welsh Cup title, beating Llanelli Scarlets in the final at Twickenham. In his second season, London Wasps claimed the Heineken Cup and in his third season, London Wasps won the Premiership
In February 2010, McGeechan joined the coaching staff at Gloucester as an advisor to Head Coach Bryan Redpath and his coaching team. but moved to local rivals Bath Rugby to take up the post of performance director in June 2010.
In 2011, McGeechan took over as the director of rugby at Bath following Steve Meehan's departure.
In July 2012, McGeechan was appointed the executive chairman of Leeds Carnegie.
McGeechan taught sport and geography at Fir Tree Middle School and Moor Grange County Secondary School in Leeds. He was also Vice Head Boy, assisting his best friend, Head Boy David Boland in the 1960s. During the 1970s and 1980s he was a teacher at Fir Tree Middle School, Leeds, again specialising in geography and sport.
- Connor, Jeff (2011). Giants Of Scottish Rugby. Random House. ISBN 9781780572888.
- "McGeechan given Lions coach role". BBC News. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "McGeechan accepts Wasps position". BBC News (in BBC Sport). 15 April 2005. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- Geech to advise Gloucester Sky Sports, 11 February 2010
- Sir Ian McGeechan to work with Gloucester Rugby Gloucester Rugby Club, 11 February 2010
- "Sir Ian McGeechan joins Bath as performance director". BBC Sport. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- Wildman, Rob (29 March 2011). "Ian McGeechan". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 2012-06-09.
- "Leeds Carnegie appoint Sir Ian McGeechan as chairman". Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". theguardian.com. 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1)
- McGeechan, Ian Lion Man: The Autobiography (Simon and Schuster, ISBN 1-84737-602-9)
|Scotland national rugby union team coach
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