Reports: Ole Miss hires Phil Longo, Wesley McGriff as coordinators

Published 11:25 am Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ole Miss’ search for new coordinators is over, according to reports.

FootballScoop, citing anonymous sources, reported Thursday the Rebels plan to hire Wesley McGriff as defensive coordinator and Phil Longo as offensive coordinator and that the hires are expected to be officially announced no later than Friday once deals are finalized.

ESPN later reported McGriff and Longo had been hired. An Ole Miss spokesman would not confirm or deny the various media reports Thursday afternoon.

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The defensive coordinator position came open when Dave Wommack announced his retirement from a 38-year coaching career before the Egg Bowl. Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Werner was fired last week.

McGriff is a familiar name in Oxford. He’s never been a coordinator at the FBS level but coached Ole Miss’ cornerbacks on Hugh Freeze’s staff in 2012. McGriff, who has nearly three decades of coaching experience at the collegiate and professional levels, was the secondary coach at Auburn this season.

It isn’t known if McGriff would stay to coach with Auburn through the Sugar Bowl, which will pit Auburn against Big 12 champion Oklahoma on Jan. 2. McGriff’s experience in the Southeastern Conference also includes coaching stints at Kentucky and Vanderbilt.

McGriff left Ole Miss after the 2012 season to coach defensive backs for the New Orleans Saints, a role he served for three seasons before being hired at Auburn in January.

Longo just finished his third season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Sam Houston State, an FCS playoff semifinalist two of the last three seasons. The Bearkats’ up-tempo offenses have been prolific under Longo, accumulating 15,128 yards of offense in 2014 and 2015 and leading the FCS with 7,115 yards this season.

The Bearkats are second nationally in scoring (49.5 points per game), second in passing (368.3 yards per game) and 37th in rushing (179).

Longo has never coached at the FBS level. His other coaching stops include Slippery Rock, Youngstown State, Southern Illinois, Minnesota-Duluth and LaSalle, where he was the head coach from 2004-05.