Oklahoma Sooners assistant head coach and outside linebackers coach Ruffin McNeill is leaving the program to take care of his sick father in North Carolina. The coaching veteran made the announcement via an OU Athletics press release. According to said release, the search for a replacement on the staff is currently underway.
McNeill originally came to Norman in 2017 following Lincoln Riley’s elevation to head coach, with the idea being that the new head man’s former mentor could help him with his new role. Following OU’s October 2018 loss to Texas and the firing of Mike Stoops, he was given the interim DC tag, which he held for the remainder of the 2018 campaign. In 2019, he was moved from defensive tackles to outside linebackers following the hire of Alex Grinch as the program’s new DC.
From 2010 to 2015, McNeill was head coach at East Carolina, where he led the Pirates to a 42-34 (.553) record and four bowl appearances (ECU has gone 13-35 in the four seasons since his firing). Riley, of course, was McNeill’s offensive coordinator from 2010-14, and the two pair also worked together from 2003-09 seasons at Texas Tech, where the they held various roles on offense and defense, respectively.
Where Oklahoma goes with its next move is yet to be determined. According to our own Kamiar Mehrabian, OU was previously in pursuit of Baylor associate HC and defensive ends coach Joey McGuire to fill this expected staff opening, but on Wednesday it was reported that McGuire would be staying on new coach Dave Aranda’s staff. Additionally, OU is looking to fill the spot left by former running backs coach Jay Boulware, who is now at Texas.