Wesley McGriff
Wesley McGriff

Position:
Co-Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks

Alma Mater:
Savannah State, 1990


02/12/2013

Rebel Assistant Coaches Reel In National Honors

Kiffin, McGriff, Harris Recognized Nationally For Recruiting Efforts

02/07/2013

Chris Kiffin Named 2013 Recruiter Of The Year

Kiffin Helped Rebels Reel In Historic Recruiting Class

01/09/2012

Ole Miss Adds Three More To Football Staff

McGriff Oversaw DBs, Recruiting For Vanderbilt In 2011

In Wesley McGriff, Hugh Freeze provided his first Ole Miss staff with SEC experience and a proven track for developing defensive backs and recruiting high caliber talent. McGriff was named co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach on January 9, 2012.

McGriff joins the Rebels after a one-year term at Vanderbilt, where he served as defensive backs coach/ recruiting coordinator and helped the program to its fifth bowl appearance in 2011.

McGriff's secondary produced 12 interceptions, three returns for touchdowns, eight tackles behind the line of scrimmage and more than 20 pass breakups. The group was also responsible for returning interceptions for TDs in three consecutive games for the first time in school history.

McGriff tutored senior Casey Hayward to All-America status from several sources, including the Walter Camp Foundation and Rivals.com. He finished the regular season fourth in the SEC interceptions. In addition, junior Trey Wilson put together his finest year with career highs in interceptions, passes defended and total tackles.

McGriff's season in Nashville was preceded by four at Miami, where he mentored some of the ACC's top defensive backs. He coached former Hurricane All-American safety and 2009 NFL first-round draft pick Kenny Phillips for two seasons, as well as All-ACC cornerback Brandon Harris and safety Ray-Ray Armstrong. McGriff also helped mold Sam Shields from a wide receiver to a defensive back, who is now starting for the Green Bay Packers.

McGriff's 2010 unit helped Miami rank second nationally in pass defense allowing just 164.3 yards per game. The Hurricanes, who posted their third straight winning season and a Sun Bowl appearance, also ranked No. 16 nationally in total defense (317.2 ypg) and No. 21 in scoring defense (19.7 ppg). Strong play in the secondary helped the Hurricane defense rank sixth nationally in quarterback sacks.

Before joining the Miami staff, McGriff served four years at Baylor as recruiting coordinator and defensive backs coach. With McGriff's assistance, the Baylor defense notched 16 interceptions and ranked 13th in pass efficiency in 2005. As a recruiter, McGriff was responsible for signing offensive lineman Jason Smith, who left Baylor as an All-America tackle and the No. 2 pick of the 2009 draft.

McGriff earned his first SEC coaching experience at Kentucky, where he coached running backs in 2001 and cornerbacks in 2002 under Head Coach Guy Morris. One of McGriff's pupils, Artose Pinner, led the SEC in rushing and played six years in the NFL.

McGriff began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, Savannah State, where he coached the Tigers' running backs in 1990 before moving into a full-time role as secondary coach in 1991-92. He then served as Savannah State's defensive coordinator in 1993-94, and he was the team's interim head coach for three months in spring 1993.

From 1995 through 1999, McGriff served as assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Kentucky State, where his defenses posted numerous top-10 statistical rankings, including leading the nation in total defense in 1995 and pass yardage defense in 1997. In 1998, he was named the American Football Coaches Association's NCAA Division II National Assistant Coach of the Year.

McGriff spent the 2000 campaign as the secondary coach at Eastern Kentucky, where he mentored Yeremiah Bell, a first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference pick who went on to be drafted by the Miami Dolphins.

A native of Tifton, Ga., McGriff played cornerback, running back and wide receiver for the Tift County High School state championship team. He played at South Carolina State for one year before transferring to Savannah State, where he started at outside linebacker for three seasons and was named the conference's 1989 Male Academic Athlete of the Year.

He received his bachelor's degree in criminal justice, graduating cum laude, from Savannah State in 1990. In 1993, he earned a master's in public administration from Georgia Southern.

McGriff was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1990 and was a member of the Army Reserves until 2001. He and his wife, Karen, have a son, Jaylen.

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