Morgan State on Wednesday announced the hiring of former Michigan star and NFL running back Tyrone Wheatley as its 22nd head football coach.
Wheatley, who will take over Feb. 21, comes to the Bears after serving the past two seasons under coach Doug Marrone as the running backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wheatley worked in same role with Marrone at Syracuse from 2010 to 2012, and was also the running backs coach with the Buffalo Bills from 2013 to 2014 and with Michigan from 2015 to 2016.
“We are thrilled to bring a person and football coach of Tyrone Wheatley's caliber to Morgan State," athletic director Edward Scott said in a statement. "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."
Wheatley, who will be introduced Feb. 12 at 11 a.m. in the University Student Center, finished his college career at Michigan as the program's second-leading rusher. 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.
Wheatley played 10 seasons in the NFL after being selected 17th overall by the New York Giants in the 1995 draft. After playing four seasons in New York, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins, but was cut before the 1999 season and joined the Oakland Raiders. Wheatley played with the Raiders from 1999 to 2004 and appeared in the 2003 Super Bowl. During his pro career, he amassed 6,562 all-purpose yards as a running back and kick returner, and scored 47 touchdowns.
"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," Wheatley said in a statement. "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.”
Wheatley, a native of Inkster, Mich., who earned his bachelor's degree from Michigan in 2008, spent one year as the recruiting coordinator at Eastern Michigan (2009) and running backs coach at Ohio Northern (2008). He got his start in coaching at his high school alma mater, Robichaud, in Dearborn Heights, Mich., in 2007.