Ole Miss makes McGriff, Longo hires official

Posted on Dec 16 2016 - 10:18am by Brian Scott Rippee

Ole Miss announced the hiring of Phil Longo as offensive coordinator and Wesley McGriff as defensive coordinator. Longo comes to Oxford by way of Sam Houston State, where he led one of the most prolific offensive attacks in the country.

“We explored every name for this position, but Phil has been on my radar for a long time, and it was clear that he is the man that can take our offense from good to great,” Hugh Freeze said. “Over the past three years, he has authored one of the most prolific and innovative offenses in all divisions of college football. Specifically, his units have excelled in three key areas that we need to address: rushing offense, third down efficiency and red zone success. From Chip Kelly to Joe Moorhead, we have seen offensive coordinators make successful transitions from FCS to FBS, and I expect Phil to continue that trend.”

McGriff returns to Oxford for a second stint, as he was defensive backs coach in 2012 in Freeze’s first season. McGriff comes back to Oxford from Auburn, where he coached the secondary and served as co-defensive coordinator.

Coach Hugh Freeze speaks at Monday's press conference about this week game against Memphis. (Photo by Ariel Cobbert)

Coach Hugh Freeze speaks a press conference. (Photo by Ariel Cobbert)

“Wesley is the total package — an outstanding leader, creative coach and dynamic recruiter,” Freeze said. “The defenses have been outstanding at every place he has been, and his most recent experience at Auburn has him well-prepared for this opportunity. He helped lead a unit that was tremendous at stopping the run, limiting explosive plays and being stingy in the red zone, and we look forward to Wesley applying those same principles to our young men on that side of the ball.”

McGriff spent three years with the New Orleans Saints before his lone year at Auburn. He helped revamp a Tiger defense that had struggled mightily in 2015, turning it into a top three defense in the SEC.

“I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to return to Ole Miss and work with Coach Freeze again,” McGriff said. “Obviously, I am familiar with the history and tradition of success here. This is an elite program, and I look forward to helping this team win championships.”

Brandon Marcello of Auburn247 reported that McGriff will remain with Auburn through its Sugar Bowl matchup with Oklahoma.

The school announced there will be a press conference at 11 a.m. with Hugh Freeze, with teleconferences with the coordinators following that.