Football Coaching Staff
Ruffin McNeill
Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Tackles
Coach Info:
Position: Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Tackles
Hometown: Lumberton, N.C.
Alma Mater: East Carolina
Graduating Year: 1980
Experience: 1 Year

• Named Oklahoma's assistant head coach and defensive tackles coach on June 14, 2017.

• In first year with the Sooners, helped 2017 OU defense improve by 37 yards per game from 2016. OU allowed 394.9 yards per contest (432.0 in 2016) to rank fourth in Big 12, 238.4 passing yards per game (269.4 in 2016) to rank third and 156.5 rushing yards per game (162.6 in 2016) to rank sixth. The Sooners also held opponents to a 38.0-percent conversion rate on third downs (42.6 percent in 2016) to rank fourth in the league.

• Came to Norman from Virginia, where he served the 2016 season as assistant head coach and defensive line coach.

• Named the 20th head coach at East Carolina, his alma mater, on Jan. 21, 2010, and served in that capacity for six seasons (2010-15). Riley was his offensive coordinator for the first five of those seasons before he was hired at OU.

• Posted a 42-34 record at ECU. His teams played in four bowl games and beat Ohio 37-20 in the 2013 Beef O'Brady's Bowl.

• In 2014, East Carolina began the season with a 6-1 record and resided in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll for six weeks. ECU used an explosive offensive unit that rated among the nation's top five in passing (third), first downs (fourth) and total yards (fifth). Defensively, only 10 FBS teams were better against the run, as the Pirates allowed just 111.8 yards per game.

• East Carolina recorded 10 victories in 2013, which ranks as the second-highest single-season win total in school history. That squad also broke or matched 52 individual and team single-game, single-season and all-time standards, while both sides of the ball combined to rank among the top 15 nationally in 12 statistical categories. The Pirates finished 7-1 in Conference USA that year.

• Under his watch, East Carolina walk-on wide receiver Justin Hardy became the most productive pass catcher in FBS history with 387 career catches, breaking the NCAA record previously held by OU’s Ryan Broyles (349). Hardy's record was broken by Zay Jones, who played for McNeill for three seasons (2013-15). Jones finished with 399 catches.

• Prior to East Carolina, spent 10 seasons at Texas Tech, where he first worked with Riley. During his time with the Red Raiders, McNeill coached linebackers (2000-02), special teams (2003-06) and defensive tackles (2007).

• Served as Texas Tech's interim defensive coordinator in 2007 before being promoted to the spot full-time for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Concluded the 2009 campaign as the Red Raiders' interim head coach by rallying No. 21 Texas Tech to a 41-31 victory over Michigan State at the Valero Alamo Bowl with Riley making his debut as offensive play caller.

• Coaching career began at Lumberton High School (1980-84) and he went on to work at Clemson (1985-86), Austin Peay (1987), North Alabama (1988), Appalachian State (1989-91, 1993-96), East Carolina (1992), UNLV (1997-98) and Fresno State (1999). He also spent time with the Miami Dolphins as a summer intern in 1996.

• McNeill and his wife, Erlene, have two daughters and a granddaughter. Renata McNeill Petrekin and son-in-law Lincoln Petrekin reside in Coral Gables, Fla., with their daughter Isabella, while Olivia McNeill works at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS A PLAYER
• Four-year letterwinner at East Carolina from 1976-80 under legendary head coach Pat Dye.
• Three-year starter at defensive back and team captain for two years. 
• Helped lead ECU to the Southern Conference Championship in 1976 and an Independence Bowl berth in 1978.

PROMINENT PUPILS
• Zay Jones (East Carolina), Bills; All-America First Team; NCAA record holder for single-season and career receptions
• Justin Hardy (East Carolina), Falcons; Burlsworth Trophy; All-Conference USA First Team; All-AAC First Team
• Shane Carden (East Carolina) Conference USA MVP; AAC Offensive Player of the Year
• Dominique Davis (East Carolina), Winnipeg Blue Bombers; Conference USA Newcomer of the Year
• Dwayne Harris (East Carolina), Giants; All-Conference USA First Team
• Cam Worthy (East Carolina)
• Lawrence Flugence (Texas Tech) Third Team All-American; All-Big 12 Second Team
• John Saldi (Texas Tech) Honorable Mention All-Big 12; Defensive MVP Tangerine Bowl
• Mike Smith (Texas Tech) All-Big 12 Second Team
• Alex Trlica (Texas Tech) All-Big 12 First Team
• Wes Welker (Texas Tech) Freshman All-American; All-Big 12 First Team; Texas Tech Hall of Fame
• Colby Whitlock (Texas Tech) Freshman All-American; All-Big 12 Second Team