WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | Sports

Former UK, EKU assistant hired by Saints

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The New Orleans Saints have hired Wesley McGriff as secondary coach.

Coach Sean Payton announced the move Monday.

McGriff comes to the Saints after serving as co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach at the University of Mississippi last season.

McGriff, a veteran college coach, helped the Rebels improve from 2-10 in 2011 to a 7-6 record in 2012, including a 38-17 victory over Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

McGriff also has a track record for developing defensive backs on the collegiate level including New York Giants safety Kenny Phillips, Green Bay Packers defensive back Sam Shields, Houston Texans cornerback Brandon Harris and New York Jets defensive back Yeremiah Bell.

McGriff earned his first SEC coaching experience at Kentucky, where he coached running backs in 2001 and cornerbacks in 2002 under head coach Guy Morris. One of McGriff's pupils, Artose Pinner, led the SEC in rushing and played six years in the NFL.

From 1995 through 1999, McGriff served as assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Kentucky State, where his defenses posted numerous top-10 statistical rankings, including leading the nation in total defense in 1995 and pass yardage defense in 1997. In 1998, he was named the American Football Coaches Association's NCAA Division II National Assistant Coach of the Year.

McGriff spent the 2000 campaign as the secondary coach at Eastern Kentucky, where he mentored Bell, a first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference pick who went on to be drafted by the Miami Dolphins.


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