BALTIMORE, Md. — Morgan State University Director of Athletics, Edward Scott has announced the hiring of Tyrone Wheatley as its 22nd head football coach effective February 21, 2019. Wheatley brings an extensive coaching résumé to Morgan State and has experienced tremendous success, both as a player and as a coach, at the professional and collegiate levels.
He comes to the Morgan State Bears after serving the last two seasons under head coach Doug Marrone, as the running backs coach for the National Football League’s (NFL) Jacksonville Jaguars. Wheatley also worked with Marrone at Syracuse University from 2010-12, and then with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills from 2013-14.
As a college assistant coach, Wheatley was one of Michigan’s best recruiters and ranked No. 6 nationally on 247Sports “recruiter rankings.”
“We are thrilled to bring a person and football coach of Tyrone Wheatley’s caliber to Morgan State,” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Edward Scott. “Tyrone is an outstanding recruiter and understands the game of football at every level, both as a player and a coach. We are confident Tyrone can build broad support and engagement in our program while continuing to advance our football program in the classroom and on the playing field.”
“It is with great pleasure and honor that I accept the Head coaching position at Morgan State University. I would like to thank President David Wilson and Mr. Scott for this incredible opportunity,” said Tyrone Wheatley. “I consider it a privilege to lead the young men of Morgan State using football as a vehicle to implement a continuation of development, mentorship, and productivity beyond the field and when their playing days are over. I can’t wait to become united with the city of Baltimore and become woven in the fabric of the community.”
The University will host a press conference on February 12, 2019, at 11 a.m. in the University Student Center to officially introduce Wheatley as Morgan’s new head football coach. The press conference will also be live streamed via the University’s main and athletic websites.
Wheatley finished his Michigan football playing career as the program’s second-leading rusher (now fifth). He was the Big Ten’s “Offensive Player of the Year” in 1992, and also earned All-America honors in the 110-meter hurdles as a track athlete in 1995. He enjoyed a 10-year career in the NFL before starting his coaching career.
Wheatley guided the running backs for the Buffalo Bills from 2013-14 under head coach Doug Marrone. During his time with the Bills, he mentored pros like Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. The Bills averaged 3.7 yards per rush in 2014 and 4.2 yards per rush in 2013.
Prior to coaching in the NFL, Wheatley spent five seasons in the collegiate ranks. From 2010-2012, he coached running backs at Syracuse University. While with the Orange, he coached Delone Carter to a 1,000-yard season in 2010 and a second-team All-Big East selection. He also helped Syracuse win two Pinstripe Bowls during his tenure (2010, 2012).
Wheatley spent one year each at Eastern Michigan University (2009) and Ohio Northern University (2008) as the running backs coach. At EMU he also served as the program’s recruiting coordinator.
Wheatley got his start in coaching at his high school alma mater, Robichaud located in Dearborn Heights, Mich. in 2007. He took a team that had gone 0-9 before his arrival and led them to a 9-2 record and appearance in the state playoffs. He also coached track and field.
Shortly after retiring from the NFL, Wheatley held two appointments as a Minority Coaching Fellow in the league, first with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2006) and then with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2008). While completing his degree at U-M in kinesiology, Wheatley served as a volunteer assistant with the Michigan track and field program (2005-06).
Wheatley played 10 seasons in the NFL after being selected 17th overall by the New York Giants in the 1995 draft. He played in New York through the 1998 season, and then joined the Oakland Raiders. Wheatley played with the Raiders from 1999-2004 and appeared in the 2003 Super Bowl. During his playing career he amassed 6,562 all-purpose yards as a running back and kick returner, and he scored 47 touchdowns.
Wheatley had a distinguished career in the Michigan backfield from 1991-94, including three straight All-Big Ten selections (1992-94). As a sophomore in 1992, he won the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year award and capped that season with a 235-yard game in the Rose Bowl, earning him the game’s MVP award. He rushed for 1,357 yards and 13 touchdowns while adding three receiving TDs and one on a kickoff.
He would break the 1,000-barrier in both his junior and senior seasons as well, totaling 1,129 and 1,144, respectively. Wheatley finished his Michigan career with 4,187 rushing yards, 510 receiving yards, and 53 total touchdowns.
He also had a standout track and field career in the Maize and Blue winning three letters (1993-95). He earned an All-America citation for his eighth-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1995 NCAA Championships. He won the Big Ten’s Outdoor title in the 110-meter hurdles in 1994. Wheatley still owns top-five times in Michigan history in the 100-meter dash (5th) and 110-meter hurdles (4th).
A native of Inkster, Michigan, Wheatley earned his bachelor’s degree in 2008 from the University of Michigan. He and his wife Kimberly have five children: Tyrone, Jr., Terius, Tyrique, Tiana, and Tamari.
He was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution offering more than 100 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
Leonard Haynes, Athletics