Mitchell named Pirates' defensive coordinator|John Wiley tabbed ECU associated head football coach

Published 7:04 pm Tuesday, January 26, 2010

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
 GREENVILLE — Brian Mitchell, who spent 11 seasons as a defensive assistant at Brigham Young and most recently served four years as the cornerbacks coach at Texas Tech, has been appointed defensive coordinator at East Carolina University according to an announcement from head football coach Ruffin McNeill Monday.
 Before reuniting with McNeill by accepting his offer to direct the Pirate defense and guide the secondary, Mitchell was also previously announced as Memphis' new cornerbacks coach Jan. 18.
 "Brian's a very knowledgeable and experienced coach who has the ability to relate exceptionally well with his players," McNeill said. "He's been able to draw on his experiences as a player at BYU and in the NFL and bring those leadership qualities into the coaching profession."
 The Red Raiders were solid at the corners each of the last four seasons under Mitchell. Jamar Wall led the group with 62 tackles and two interceptions in 2008. His biggest pick was a game-saving interception in overtime against Nebraska on Tech's homecoming. Wall was named to the All-Big 12 second team in 2009, and ranked second in the league and tied for second nationally with 17 passes defended.
 The Texas Tech pass defense ranked best in the Big 12 Conference in 2006 and 2007, limiting opponents to 188.4 yards per game in 2007 – the only Big 12 program to hold opponents below 200 yards per game. The unit didn't skip a beat during his first season in 2006 as Red Raider corners picked four of the team's 11 interceptions. Starters Antonio Huffman and Chris Parker snagged two each as the Texas Tech pass defense ranked first in the Big 12 Conference. Parker, in his first season as a starter in the secondary, blossomed under Mitchell by posting 50 tackles and six pass breakups.
 Following a brief career in the NFL, Mitchell returned to his alma mater, BYU, and earned a degree in clinical social work in 1994, before landing a position as defensive backs coach the following year on legendary collegiate coach LaVell Edwards' staff.
 Mitchell, 41, enjoyed success in 11 overall coaching seasons with the Cougars, helping guide the team to five bowl appearances and a high ranking of No. 5 at the conclusion of the 1996 season. BYU played in the Cotton Bowl that year, knocking off Kansas State, 19-15. Additionally, the 1994 (18th) and 2001 (24th) teams finished among the top 25. Furthermore, the Cougars captured back-to-back Western Athletic Conference championships during his stay, which included the '96 squad that rolled to a 14-1 record.
 He coached several outstanding players on the Cougar defense, including safety Aaron Francisco. Francisco, who helped BYU to a No. 8 national pass defense ranking in 2003, was a two-time First-Team All-Mountain West Conference selection before going on to play for the Arizona Cardinals. Brian Gray and Jenaro Gilford were all-conference performers in 1999 and 2001, respectively.
 Mitchell, a native of Waco, Texas, played at BYU from 1987-90 and was a seventh-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1991. He spent three seasons in the NFL, splitting time with Atlanta and the Dallas Cowboys. The All-WAC cornerback played in four bowls while with the Cougars and ran the opening leg of BYU's All-America 400M relay team. He still holds the school record for the longest interception return, a 97-yard effort against New Mexico in 1989. His 13 career interceptions stand fifth in the school's record book, while his five picks in 1989 were a season high.
 Mitchell and his wife, Carri, have two daughters, Mikenzi and Halie, and a son, Brian.
Veteran Appalachian State Defensive Coordinator Also Accepts Role As Pirates' Linebacker Coach
John Wiley named ECU associated Head football coach
ECU Sports information 
GREENVILLE — Veteran Appalachian State defensive coordinator John Wiley, the architect of a Mountaineer unit that produced 87 All-Southern Conference performers and played a integral role in three Football Championship Subdivision National Championships, has been named associate head football coach at East Carolina University according to an announcement from head football coach Ruffin McNeill Monday.
 Wiley, who will also assume a direct position coaching role with the Pirate linebackers, closes out a 19-year tenure at ASU that included seven SoCon titles and 12 FCS post-season appearances.
 "John has been around a lot of success and that's not by coincidence," McNeill said. "I was impressed with his manner and standing in the profession when we coached together, and his reputation has only continued to prosper from there. He's a great addition to our program, undoubtedly one of the people we need on our bus."
 After capturing FCS national titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007, Appalachian State rolled to a combined 16-0 league mark in 2008 and 2009. The Mountaineers advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division I playoffs a year ago before falling in the semifinals last December and concluding the season with a No. 3 national rank.
 In addition to the 87 all-league selections, Wiley also mentored seven ASU defensive backs who earned All-America honors, including 2008 and 2009 consensus first-team pick Mark LeGree who netted a combined 17 interceptions during those respective campaigns. While a total of eight Mountaineers have been chosen Southern Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year under Wiley's leadership, three have earned the award in the last four years with Marques Murrell (2006), Corey Lynch (2007) and Jacque Roman (2008).
 Wiley's units topped the Southern Conference statistical standings in total defense during the 2000 and 2006 seasons, and recently wrapped up 2009 by tallying 18 interceptions on the way to an 11-3 record.
 As Appalachian State's secondary coach, which began with a two-year stint from 1989 to 1990, Wiley developed five NFL Draft picks – Keith Collins (1990), Gary Dandridge (1992), Matt Stevens (1996), Corey Hall (2001) and Corey Lynch (2008). Lynch recently closed out a stellar career in which he became ASU's all-time leader in takeaways with 31 and the career FCS leader with 52 passes defended.
 Wiley, 48, opened his career at Texas in 1987 where he helped the Longhorns to a Bluebonnet Bowl appearance as a defensive backs coach. After another season in Austin and two campaigns at Appalachian State, Wiley worked with the secondary and special teams units at Iowa Wesleyan in 1991 and helped the Tigers to a No. 5 NAIA ranking and national playoff appearance. A year later, he served on the Valdosta (Ga.) State staff in the same capacity, helping the Blazers to a Top 20 national ranking in NCAA Division II before re-joining the Mountaineer program in 1993.
 Wiley was a three-year football letterman at East Texas State University and part of the Lions' 1983 Lone Star Conference championship team before earning a bachelor's degree in 1984.
A native of Texas City, Texas, Wiley is married to the former Kelly Ponder and the couple are the parents of three children – daughter Megan and sons Jax and Luke.