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Wesley McGriff

Wesley  McGriff

Hometown:
Tifton, Ga.

Position:
Defensive Coordinator

Alma Mater:
Savannah State, 1990

03/28/2017

Breeland Speaks, Ole Miss Defense Getting Physical this Spring

Rebels Increase Energy, Physicality on Defense

02/01/2017

Hugh Freeze Signing Day Press Conference

Freeze on the 2017 Ole Miss Football Signing Class

12/16/2016

Ole Miss Announces New Offensive and Defensive Coordinators

Phil Longo from Sam Houston State as OC, Wesley McGriff from Auburn as DC

12/16/2016

Press Conference: Hugh Freeze Talks New Coordinators

Freeze Transcript on the Hiring of Phil Longo and Wesley McGriff

02/12/2013

Rebel Assistant Coaches Reel In National Honors

Kiffin, McGriff, Harris Recognized Nationally For Recruiting Efforts

Wesley McGriff, a highly respected leader, defensive coach and dynamic recruiter, returned to Ole Miss for his second stint on Hugh Freeze's staff when he was tabbed defensive coordinator on December 16, 2016.

McGriff returns to Ole Miss after gaining valuable experience at the NFL level with the New Orleans Saints and as Auburn’s co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach.

In his one season at Auburn, McGriff helped guide the Tigers to a Sugar Bowl berth and helped turn around a defense that struggled during a 7-6 season (2-6 SEC) the year before he arrived.

With McGriff’s influence, Auburn went from the bottom third of the SEC in 2015 to top three in the league in 2016 in scoring defense (11th/26.0 to 2nd/15.6), rushing defense (11th/182.7 to 3rd/124.8) and third-down conversion defense (13th/44.9 to 2nd/34.0). The Tigers have given up far less explosive plays of 10+ yards (190 in 2015, 144 in 2016) and have been locked down when it comes to allowing touchdowns in the red zone (51.0 percent to 34.2 percent). Auburn ranks fourth nationally in total red zone defense (71.1 percent) and fifth in scoring defense in 2016.

McGriff came to Auburn after three seasons with the NFL's New Orleans Saints, working with the defensive backs. In his first two years, McGriff oversaw the development of young players such as safeties Rafael Bush, Kenny Vaccaro and Pierre Warren and cornerback Terrence Frederick, as well as veterans like safety Jairus Byrd and cornerback Keenan Lewis. In 2015, Lewis led the Saints with 13 passes defensed, while adding two interceptions. Vaccaro led the New Orleans secondary with 113 tackles and added one sack and two interceptions. McGriff also worked the undrafted rookie Warren into the starting lineup for the final six games due to injuries in the secondary and he responded, tying for the team lead with three takeaways.

In his first season in New Orleans, the Saints ranked fourth in the NFL in total defense (305.7 ypg), second in opponent passing yards per game (194.1 ypg) and fourth in scoring defense (19.0 ppg), posting an 11-5 record and advancing to the divisional round of the playoffs.

McGriff spent 2012 as co-defensive coordinator/cornerbacks coach at Ole Miss, helping the young Rebel defense finish second in the SEC and top 15 in the NCAA in tackles for loss (7.7) and sacks per game (2.8). Linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche was named to the FWAA All-America and SEC All-Freshman teams, defensive tackle Issac Gross earned conference all-freshman honors and was named to the CollegeFootballNews.com Freshman All-America team, and safety Trae Elston was named to the ESPN SEC All-Freshman team.

As a member of Hugh Freeze’s first Ole Miss staff, McGriff helped Ole Miss go from 2-10 the year before to 7-6 and a win over Pitt in the 2013 BBVA Compass Bowl.

McGriff spent the 2011 season as defensive backs coach/recruiting coordinator at Vanderbilt, where he helped the Commodores to only their fifth all-time appearance in a bowl. His secondary produced 12 interceptions, three returns for touchdowns, eight tackles behind the line of scrimmage and more than 20 pass breakups. McGriff helped current San Diego Chargers CB Casey Hayward become the first Vanderbilt All-American in four years, posting seven interceptions, the third-highest season total ever by a Commodore.

McGriff's season in Nashville was preceded by four at Miami (Fla.), where he mentored some of the ACC's top defensive backs. In 2010, the Hurricanes ranked second in the nation in pass defense, allowing just 164.3 yards per game. The Miami defense ranked 16th nationally and 21st in scoring defense. In 2009, he tutored All-America defensive back Brandon Harris, seven-year NFL veteran safety Kenny Phillips (2007 All-American and first-round NFL draft pick) and Green Bay defensive back Sam Shields, as the Hurricanes ranked 29th in total defense.

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. One of McGriff's pupils, Artose Pinner, led the SEC in rushing and played six years in the NFL.

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 in the sixth round in 2003.

From 1995-99, McGriff served as assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Kentucky State. The Thorobreds had the No. 1 defense in the nation in 1995 and the No. 1 pass yardage defense in 1997. He was named the AFCA's NCAA Division II National Assistant Coach of the Year in 1998.

He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Savannah State, from 1990-94. Starting as a graduate assistant, McGriff tutored running backs before coaching the secondary in 1991-92 and then serving as defensive coordinator in 1993-94. He was the team's interim head coach for three months in spring 1993.

A native of Tifton, Georgia, 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 and earned a master's in public administration from Georgia Southern in 1993. 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 is a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

    • Ole Miss Wins Oxford Regional

      Sunday, May 21, 2017 - Softball

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    • Oxford Regional: Ole Miss 2, Arizona State 0

      Saturday, May 20, 2017 - Softball

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    • Oxford Regional: Ole Miss 8, Southern Illinois 0

      Friday, May 19, 2017 - Softball

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 16.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #333333; -webkit-text-stroke: #333333; background-color: #ffffff} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 16.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #333333; -webkit-text-stroke: #333333} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height:... read more

    • Game 3: Ole Miss 6, Texas A&M 3

      Sunday, May 14, 2017 - Baseball

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    • Game 2: Ole Miss 6, Texas A&M 4

      Saturday, May 13, 2017 - Baseball

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    • We Meet Again

      Thursday, May 11, 2017 -

      As the Ole Miss men's tennis team gets set for its NCAA first round match against UC Santa Barbara Friday, we throw it back to 1997, the first ever meeting between the two schools that kicked off an NCAA Tournament... read more

    • From the Tennis Court to Dr. Rangel

      Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - Women's Tennis

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    • Carter Breaks Course Record at Texas Shootout

      Friday, April 28, 2017 - Women's Golf

      By Alex Sims for OleMissSports.comIt was a special day for a Rebel great. Ole Miss Women's Golf alumna Dori Carter tied the lowest round of her career on Friday to break the course record at Las Colinas Country Club and... read more

    • Final Thoughts From The Tee Box

      Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - Women's Golf

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    • Mock Draft Roundup

      Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - Football

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    • Game 3: Ole Miss 9, Missouri 6

      Sunday, April 23, 2017 - Baseball

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    • From The Tee Box - 2017 SEC Championships - Day 2

      Saturday, April 22, 2017 - Women's Golf

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    • Game 2: Ole Miss 3, Missouri 1

      Saturday, April 22, 2017 - Baseball

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    • From The Tee Box - 2017 SEC Championships - Day 1

      Thursday, April 20, 2017 - Women's Golf

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    • NFL Releases Official Pro Day Numbers

      Monday, April 10, 2017 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} The NFL released some of the official numbers from Ole Miss' Pro Day last week. We knew Ole Miss... read more

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