Michael Gray Named Defensive Line Coach

<center>Media Release</center><br> EUGENE – Michael Gray, who was a two-year starting defensive lineman at the University of Oregon before embarking on a 12-year coaching career in the professional and collegiate ranks, has been named the Ducks' defensive line coach according to an announcement Wednesday by head coach Mike Bellotti.

Gray comes to Oregon following two years as defensive line coach at Kentucky and replaces Steve Greatwood, who was shifted to coach Oregon's offensive line following four seasons on the defensive side of the ball.

"I am pleased and excited with the addition of Michael to our staff," Bellotti said. "He is a graduate of the University of Oregon and has coached in the Pac-10 as well as in the professional ranks. At each of his coaching stops, he has continually produced results on the field as a teacher and improved the performance of the defensive line in addition to proving to be an impressive recruiter. It's nice to add someone to our staff with Oregon ties who has been successful and truly wants to join our program and help us win."

The 45-year-old Gray has encountered tremendous success in nine years of coaching at the Division I level, including six seasons of experience in the Pacific-10 Conference. Over the last seven campaigns, the Baltimore, Md., native has been responsible for the development of five first-team all-conference standouts in addition to assisting with the structuring of units which twice ranked among the top 15 in the country in rushing defense since 2000.

He enjoyed a bulk of his notoriety in six seasons as defensive line coach at Oregon State (1997-2002) when the school went to three bowl games in his final four seasons there. In 2000, Oregon State led the Pac-10 in total defense (314.4 avg.) and scoring defense (18.5 avg.), while ranking second against the run (93.1 avg.). On a national scale, the defense finished 20th, 19th and 13th, respectively, with the Beavers capping their 11-1 record with a 41-9 Fiesta Bowl rout over Notre Dame.

In 2002, he assisted units that ranked second in the league in total defense (11th nationally) and scoring defense (t27th), as well as third in rushing defense (9th).

"As a former Duck, I have always dreamed of the opportunity to coach at my alma mater," Gray said. "Not only am I ecstatic, my whole family is very excited about getting back to the West Coast and the Pac-10.

"I believe in playing the game with a passion and that's what I hope to bring to the table," he emphasized. "When I played at Oregon, we were known more for our defense. I remember a lot of 7-3 and 10-6 games and took a lot of pride in winning that type of game. Although the Pac-10 is known more for its scoring now, I want to return to the type of defenses we had then. It takes the entire defense to be successful, but up front is where it all starts. You have to be able to stop the run, have to play with an attitude and be aggressive on defense to be successful. That's why we were successful at Oregon State. I've continued to follow Oregon since I've been away and think they came close to being that way a couple of years ago. And I think they have the personnel there to do that now."

At Kentucky, Gray played a role in the overall improvement of the defense in 2003 over the previous year, with Sweet Pea Burns earning first-team all-Southeastern Conference accolades while leading the league in tackles for loss, and Lamar Mills' selection as a first-team Freshman All-American. In 2004, Ricky Abren was named a second-team Freshman All-American.

Gray broke into the coaching ranks as an assistant for two years with British Columbia of the Canadian Football League (1993-94), where he was associated with winning a Grey Cup championship in 1994, before migrating to Weber State (1995) and the St. Louis Rams (1996) of the National Football League.

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