The hits keep coming for the Virginia football program.
According to a report Wednesday afternoon, defensive line coach Ruffin McNeill is leaving Charlottesville to take a similar position at the University of Oklahoma. He’ll join Lincoln Riley’s staff at OU. Riley was the offensive coordinator for McNeill at East Carolina from 2010 - 2014.
Carey Murdock of SoonerScoop.com first reported the news.
Can confirm Lincoln Riley will hire Ruffin McNeill as a defensive line coach. Will share DL duties with Calvin Thibodeaux.— Carey Murdock (@CareyWWLS) June 14, 2017
McNeill’s departure is a major loss for UVA’s staff under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. In addition to his defensive line coaching duties, McNeill served as Mendenhall’s assistant head coach. He was also one of only two assistants on the staff with significant East Coast ties.
McNeill’s decision opens up a potential promotion for graduate assistant Vic So’oto. So’oto has worked with Mendenhall for two years after enjoying a four-year career in the NFL. He was an All-Mountain West defensive end for Mendenhall at BYU. If Mendenhall goes in a different direction, look for him to either bring in someone from his BYU days or someone with East Coast recruiting experience.
FBS programs will be able to hire a 10th assistant coach starting in January 2018.