Ole Miss has a new defensive coordinator, and it’s going to cost them.
The Rebels officially announced the hiring of Auburn defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff on Friday.
According to The Oxford Eagle’s Davis Potter, McGriff signed a three-year deal worth $1 million his first season. His salary will increase to $1.1 million in his second season and $1.2 million in his third, according to the report. The former Auburn defensive backs coach was making $500,000 in 2016 with the Tigers.
McGriff will make more than former Ole Miss defensive coordinator Dave Wommack made in 2016. According to a USA Today database, Wommack — who announced his retirement in late November — made $800,000 in 2016.
“Wesley is the total package — an outstanding leader, creative coach and dynamic recruiter,” Coach Hugh Freeze said in a statement. “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 comes to Oxford after one season as Auburn’s defensive backs coach. He helped lead the Tigers to a Sugar Bowl appearance this season, and aided Auburn in finishing with a top-3 SEC defense in scoring defense (11th in 2015/26 points per game to 2nd/15.6), rushing defense (11th/182.7 to 3rd/124.8) and third-down conversion defense (13th/44.9 to 2nd/34.0).
His stint on The Plains came after three seasons as defensive backs coach with the New Orleans Saints. He also spent the 2012 season as Ole Miss’ co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach, helping the Rebels defense finish second in the SEC in tackles for loss (7.7) and sacks per game (2.8).
He has also coached at Vanderbilt, Miami, Baylor and Kentucky.
“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.”