Oklahoma's Riley hires Ruffin McNeill as assistant coach

Ruffin McNeill and Lincoln Riley (Lincoln Riley Twitter photo)

NORMAN, Okla. - Ruffin McNeill gave Lincon Riley a job at East Carolina University as offensive coordinator. Wednesday, Riley returned the favor.

Riley, the new Oklahoma head football coach, announced McNeill will join the Sooners' staff as an assistant head coach and defensive tackles coach. McNeill hired Riley the day after he was announced as the new ECU coach on Jan. 21, 2010.

"I'm very excited that Ruffin McNeill is joining our coaching staff," said Riley, in a press release from "Personally, I have a great history with him from our time together at Texas Tech and East Carolina. We're getting an extremely high-quality person and coach. Our team and fans will love the personality and energy he'll bring to our program. "Ruffin possesses a distinguished record defensively, and I'm excited to see him work alongside defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and the rest of our staff on that side of the ball. I view the defensive line as one of the most important -- if not the most important -- position groups on the field, and he'll be a big benefit to our student-athletes and to our program as a whole."

Sooner Nation welcome home Coach Ruffin McNeill! So proud to have this great man as a part of our staff #OUDNA #ChampU

-- Lincoln Riley (@LincolnRiley) June 14, 2017

.@LincolnRiley's first hire as OU head coach is @RuffinMcNeill. Great experience, reputation. Details: #Sooners

-- Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) June 14, 2017

Ruffin McNeill is one of the best people, not only in the world of coaching, but also in the world, period. ...

-- Bronco Mendenhall (@UVACoachBronco) June 14, 2017

Riley was named head coach at Oklahoma last week, taking over as the school's 22nd head football coach after Bob Stoops retired.

McNeill comes to Oklahoma after serving a season as assistant head coach and defensive line coach at Virginia in 2016.

"I had a great experience working for (head coach) Bronco Mendenhall at Virginia and really enjoyed that," said McNeill on Wednesday in a press release. "Now having a chance to work for Lincoln, it's a proud moment for me because I'm very proud of Lincoln.

"It's an exciting moment as well. I've been in coaching a long time and I'm very honored to be joining the Oklahoma family. There's obviously outstanding tradition here and I got to know Coach (Barry) Switzer very, very well. I'm extremely excited."

McNeill coached at Texas Tech in 2009 before taking over at ECU, where he went 42-34, taking four teams to bowl games.

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