Auburn, Ala.-- Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is now down to just one vacancy on his football coaching staff after hiring NFL assistant coach Wesley McGriff to be in charge of the secondary and serve as co-defensive coordinator with new hire Kevin Steele.
McGriff is making the move back to college from New Orleans, where he coached for the Saints the previous three seasons.
“I’m really excited to be working with Coach Malzahn and his staff at Auburn,” McGriff said. “I’ve always had a high regard for Auburn and the football program and I’m looking forward to helping them win championships.”
McGriff takes over for Travaris Robinson, who left Auburn for the University South Carolina where he will be defensive coordinator for Will Muschamp, who is the new head coach at South Carolina. Muschamp coordinated the Auburn defense in 2015.
“I’m very pleased to add Wesley to our staff at Auburn,” Malzahn said. “He has a tremendous amount of experience and success in developing players at the college and NFL levels. Wesley’s a true professional and a man of character that will be a great coach and mentor for our players.”
McGriff, a 1990 honor graduate of Savannah State where he played football from 1986-89, is making a return to the SEC. In 2012 he served as co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach at Ole Miss. The Rebels defense was second in the SEC in tackles for loss that year with 7.7 per contest and second in sacks per game at 2.8.
In 2011 he coached the defensive backs and was recruiting coordinator at Vanderbil, helping the Commodores make the fifth bowl appearance in school history. Prior to that he spent four seasons as secondary coach of the University of Miami. In 2010 the Hurricanes ranked No. 2 nationally in passing yards allowed per game (164.3) and 16th in total defense and 21st in scoring defense.
From 2003-2006 he was the defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Baylor.
His first coaching job in the SEC was for two seasons at Kentucky after making the move to Lexington from Eastern Kentucky, where he coached defensive backs. From 1995-99 he coached at Kentucky State where he was named NCAA Division II?National Assistant coach of the Year. His jobs there included secondary coach, defensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
Prior to that he coached at his alma mater from 1990-94. McGriff moved from a role as graduate assistant and was promoted to running backs coach, secondary coach and later defensive coordinator. He also became the interim head coach.
A native of Tifton, Ga., he was a three-year starter at linebacker for Savannah State and was named conference1989 Male Academic Athlete of the Year. McGriff added a master’s degree from Georgia Southern in 1993. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1990 and was a member of the Army Reserves until 2001.