After an off-season full of shake-ups to the NC State Wolfpack Football coaching staff, Dave Doeren apparently had one last move to make, adding former East Carolina Head Coach Ruffin McNeill to the staff in a Special Assistant role.
McNeill, who went 42-34 in six seasons at East Carolina, will serve as the Special Assistant to the Head Coach.
In the official release from NC State Athletics, Doeren describes McNeill as one of his closest friends and a mentor.
“I’ve known Ruffin since the beginning of my coaching career,” Doeren said. “Not only is he one of my closest friends in the profession, but he’s been a mentor to me since I was 24 years old. We’ve crossed paths on the recruiting trail many times over the past 22 years and have been friends and competitors. Having a former head coach on our staff who I can trust and have known for almost my entire career is a huge benefit for me personally, as well as for our entire program.
”As a North Carolina native and a former coach at Appalachian State and ECU, Ruffin has great relationships and ties across our state. I am looking forward to working with him and want to welcome him and his wife Erlene to the Wolfpack family.”
As to the scope of his responsibilities within the program, from the same release:
In his role with the Wolfpack, McNeill will serve as an advisor to Doeren and will contribute to and lead special projects. He will be a source of outreach for Wolfpack football to campus, alumni, and community groups on behalf of the program. He will also help provide player development analysis.
Despite spending his entire career as an assistant coach focusing on the defensive side of the ball, McNeill has continually been associated with high-scoring offenses. He spent a decade working under Mike Leach at Texas Tech before taking the East Carolina job, where he hired and mentored Lincoln Riley. Most recently, he served as Assistant Head Coach on Riley’s staff at Oklahoma.
The addition of a successful former head coach from the state who is known for talent evaluation, development (for both players and coaches), and upset victories - not to mention someone so highly respected in the coaching industry - is nothing short of a complete win for the program.