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Exclusive: Shannon hires DB Coach
By Gary Ferman, CaneSport Magazine – Rivals.com
Coach Randy Shannon has made another coaching hire.
After CaneSport reported the hiring of former Cane Michael Barrow earlier this week, CaneSport.com has now confirmed that Wesley McGriff will fill another piece of Shannon's coaching puzzle.
Shannon's staff also includes defensive coaches Tim Walton and Clint Hurtt along with offensive coaches Patrick Nix, Jeff Stoutland, Marques Mosely and Joe Pannunzio.
McGriff was hired away from Baylor in early January to become Kansas State's defensive backs coach.
Now he is at his third school in as many months.
McGriff sas Baylor's cornerbacks coach the last four years, spending the last three in a dual role as recruiting coordinator.
It remains to be seen if Shannon will also utilize McGriff as the team's recruiting coordinator. It's expected Shannon will formally announce his staff in the next couple of days. Last year's defensive backs coach Tim Walton will take over as defensive coordinator.
McGriff's defensive backs helped improve Baylor's pass defense significantly the last few years.
The Bears ranked 101st nationally in pass defense at the end of the 2003 season but climbed to No. 62 in 2004 and No. 57 in 2005. last year Baylor ranked No. 83.
After finishing 115th nationally in pass efficiency defense at the end of the 2004 campaign, Baylor jumped to 13th in 2005. The 2005 Baylor defense allowed just 14 touchdowns through the air, its fewest since 1998, and recorded its most interceptions (16) since 1994 with McGriff's corners accouting for 11 picks. The team ranked No. 73 in pass efficiency defense last year.
A defensive coach for most of his career, McGriff served as a defensive coordinator at two schools – Savannah State and Kentucky State.
McGriff began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, Savannah [Ga.] State. He coached the Tigers' running backs in 1990, then moved into a full-time role as secondary coach in 1991-92 and added duties as defensive coordinator in 1993-94. During the 1994 season, McGriff's unit ranked sixth nationally in total defense. He also was head coach of the school's baseball team for four seasons (1992-95), winning a pair of conference championships and twice being named league Coach of the Year.
From 1995 through 1999 he coached at Kentucky State in Frankfort, where he was assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and secondary coach. McGriff's defenses achieved numerous national top 10 statistical rankings, 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 just a few miles from Lexington as the secondary and punt return team coach at Eastern Kentucky. The 2000 Colonels ranked fourth nationally in total defense, fifth in scoring defense and ninth in passing yardage allowed. EKU posted four shutouts during the season.
McGriff spent the 2001 season as running backs coach at Kentucky. With his runners leading the way, the Wildcats averaged 4.1 yards per carry, the teams' best mark since the 1995 season. The UK running backs did not lose any fumbles to the opponents in 2001. In 2002, he returned to the defensive side of the ball as UK's cornerbacks coach.
He then joined Baylor's staff.
A native of Tifton, Ga., McGriff played cornerback, running back and wide receiver for the Tift County High School state championship team. He began his collegiate playing career at South Carolina State for one year, then transferred to Savannah State, where he started at outside linebacker for three seasons.
McGriff, who was a team captain, was chosen the team's defensive MVP and was named SSC's 1989 Male Academic Athlete of the Year. In addition to his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Savannah State in 1990, he holds a master's degree in public administration from Georgia Southern University (1993). McGriff graduated with distinction from GSU.
He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1990 and was a member of the Army Reserves until 2001. McGriff and his wife, Karen, have a son, Jaylen.
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