Freeze Transcript on the Hiring of Phil Longo and Wesley McGriff
Ole Miss Opens 2015 Season Next Saturday
Rebel Assistant Coaches Pleased with Progress
Numerous Players Standing Out Early in Practice
Rebels Travel To Athens To Take On SEC East Leaders
This marks Werner’s second term at Ole Miss, having worked alongside Freeze on the Rebels’ offensive staff in 2006 and 2007.
With Werner helping direct the offense in 2015, Ole Miss set program records for scoring (531), touchdowns (68), total offense (6,731), passing yards (4,351), passing touchdowns (35), 50+ point games (4) and games with more than 600 yards of offense (3). The Rebels led the SEC and were top 10 nationally in scoring (40.8), total offense (517.8 ypg) and passing (334.7 ypg).
Werner, a 2015 Broyles Award nominee for the nation’s top assistant, coached first-year signal caller Chad Kelly to a record-breaking season. The Manning Award finalist led the SEC in passing yards (4,042), points responsible for (246) and total offense (4,542), setting school records and ranking third all-time in league history with his passing and total offense yardage numbers. Kelly was repsonsible for a school-record 41 touchdowns and tied Eli Manning’s best Ole Miss mark of 31 scoring passes.
The quarterback developement did not start with Kelly. Under Werner’s tutelage, Bo Wallace broke Ole Miss school records for career total offensive yards (10,478), 300-yard passing games (11), completion percentage (63.0) and pass efficiency (140.8) and went 24-15 as the Rebels’ starting quarterback. In just three years as a starter, Wallace ranked in the SEC’s top 10 all-time in total offense and passing yards.
Wallace was named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Award after passing for 22 touchdowns and putting up more gaudy stats in 2014. He finished fourth in the SEC in passing (245.7 ypg) and total offense (261.0). He also ranked fifth in completion percentage (60.1), passing touchdowns (22) and pass efficiency (142.2).
Wallace also excelled in 2013 under the leadership and guidance of Werner, who was a nominee for the Broyles Award that year too. Wallace finished third in the SEC and 26th nationally with 257.4 passing yards per game, and was also third in the SEC and 26th nationally in total offense with 284.7 yards per game as an individual.
As a unit, the Ole Miss offense again scored more than 30 points per game. Ole Miss broke then-school records for total offense (473.3 ypg), pass completions (310) and pass attempts (490). The Rebels ranked third in the SEC in passing offense (283.3 ypg) and fifth in total offense, while finishing top 25 in the NCAA in both categories.
In 2012, Werner helped turn around a Rebel offense that ranked at or near the bottom of the SEC in every statistical category in 2011 to rank top five in the SEC and top 50 in the nation in scoring, total offense and passing.
Wallace shined in his first year under Werner’s tutelage. The 2012 Conerly Trophy winner ranked fifth in the SEC and 45th in the NCAA in total offense (260.3 ypg), fourth in the SEC in points responsible for (14.3/game) and fifth in passing (230.3 ypg).
In his first stint in Oxford, Werner’s offense fueled BenJarvus Green-Ellis to a record-breaking two-year run. The future NFL running back became only the second player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard single-season mark twice, and he ended his tenure No. 5 on the Rebels’ career rushing list.
As quarterbacks coach, Werner developed Seth Adams from a walk-on to the SEC’s seventh-ranked passer with 1,979 yards in 2007. That year also saw future NFL receivers Mike Wallace and Shay Hodge each haul in six TD passes, while Dexter McCluster and Marshay Green were key offensive weapons.
Werner boasts three decades of coaching experience, including a total of eight years in two terms at the University of Miami when he tutored outstanding quarterbacks and directed some of the best offenses in college football.
Werner helped Miami to eight bowls, four national championship games and three national titles during his combined tenure. He also played an integral part in the development of several of the Hurricanes’ greatest QBs, including 2001 Maxwell Award winner Ken Dorsey, 1992 Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta as well as Heisman candidates Steve Walsh and Craig Erickson.
The Miami passing game flourished under Werner’s guidance. In 2001 and 2002, Dorsey posted totals impressive enough to place high in voting for the Heisman Trophy both years. In 2004, he tutored Brock Berlin to a resurgence, as Berlin moved into the Miami record book with single-season rankings of seventh in touchdown passes, ninth in passing yards, and 10th in total offense.
Over his last five seasons (2001-05) at Miami, Hurricane quarterbacks threw for more than 14,500 yards and 114 touchdowns under Werner, giving balance to an offensive philosophy predicated on equality between the run and the pass. The 2005 Canes finished 9-3 and ranked third in the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring offense (27.1) and pass efficiency (133.6).
Werner’s second stint in Coral Gables was preceded by a spectacular 2000 season as offensive coordinator at Murray State. He built the Racers offense into one of the most potent on the FCS level, as the team ranked 11th nationally in total offense (452 yards per game) and 13th nationally in passing yardage (276 yards per game).
Prior to his lone season at Murray State, Werner was an offensive consultant to Auburn Head Coach Tommy Tuberville during the 1999 season. Before the job at Auburn, Werner was an assistant coach at James Madison University for four seasons from 1995-98. He began his tenure at JMU as assistant head coach/quarterback coach/passing game coordinator in 1995. In 1997 he was promoted to offensive coordinator/assistant head coach. From 1991-94, Werner coached at Louisiana Tech, where he was an assistant coach in charge of running backs and inside receivers. In 1993, he was promoted to offensive coordinator/quarterback coach.
Werner joined the coaching staff at UNLV in the spring of 1990. At UNLV, he was an assistant coach in charge of quarterbacks. In the fall of 1990, Werner left the college game for one season to serve as offensive line coach at Miami’s Southridge High School.
As a graduate assistant at Miami during the 1987-88 seasons, Werner worked with UM quarterbacks Steve Walsh, Craig Erickson and Gino Torretta during an era in which the Hurricanes went 23-1 and won the 1987 national championship. In 1989, he was a volunteer assistant coach working with the wide receivers on another Miami national championship team.
Werner began his college coaching career in 1986 as an assistant at Cornell University. Prior to that, Werner coached five seasons on the high school level.
Werner graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education in 1983. He attended Parkway Central High School.
He has two children, Maya and Ian.
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