GREENVILLE, N.C. – Rodrique Wright has been named defensive line coach at East Carolina University according to an announcement from head football coach Scottie Montgomery on Friday.
His acceptance of the position on the Pirates’ staff concludes four years of service at Sam Houston State (Texas) where he had oversight of the Bearkats’ defensive line for the past two seasons after working exclusively with the end position in 2014 and 2015.
“We look forward to having Rodrique’s energy and level of engagement on our staff and the positive impact he will have on that particular position group and in recruiting,” Montgomery said. “He’s been surrounded by some of the legendary minds in our business and has been able to convey those invaluable experiences in effective and productive ways.”
During his tenure at SHSU, the Bearkats rolled to a 46-12 overall record, a 31-4 Southland Conference mark, reached the semifinals of the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs three times and the quarterfinals in another year. Wright also helped Sam Houston State to a pair of SLC championships and finished ranked among the top five teams in the FCS national rankings each season.
Most recently, Wright played a role in the Bearkats’ 12-2 campaign in 2017, which fell one game short of a FCS National Championship Game appearance. SHSU, which ranked in nation’s Top 20 in third down defense (32.9 percent), earned a No. 6 seed in the playoffs and defeated South Dakota and Kennesaw State before falling at North Dakota State in the semifinals on Dec. 15.
Under Wright’s tutelage, Bearkat defensive lineman P.J. Hall earned selection to over 10 All-America squads the past three seasons, including the Associated Press FCS team. He is also a three-time finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, which is symbolic of FCS Defensive Player-of-the-Year honors. Hall ranked among the nation’s Top 10 with 19.0 tackles for lost yardage as a senior and finished his career with a school and subdivision-record 84.0 TFLs.
Wright was invited to participate in the prestigious NFL Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship during the summers of 2016 and 2017, observing and learning in camp with the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, respectively.
Prior to joining the Sam Houston State staff in February, 2014, he worked a combined three seasons as a student assistant and defensive special assistant for the University of Texas beginning in 2011.
As a player for the Longhorns from 2002 to 2005, Wright was an All-America performer and All-Big 12 defensive end for coach Mack Brown and played a key role to help UT capture the 2005 BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl. In all, he enjoyed seven bowl appearances as either a player or coach while at Texas.
He earned Big 12 Freshman-of-the-Year honors and was a first-team selection for both the Football Writers Association of America and Sporting News Freshman All-America units in 2002.
Wright was a two-time winner of the Longhorns’ Outstanding Defensive Lineman Award (2003, 2004) and earned all-conference honors in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He was a Lombardi Award finalist and named AP and Walter Camp First-Team All-America in 2005.
Drafted by Miami, Wright played four years in the NFL for the Dolphins. He later experienced action for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL and the Dallas Vigilantes of the Arena Football League. As a prep athlete, Wright was a Parade All-America and all-state standout at Alief Hastings High School in Houston.
Wright earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in education from Texas in 2011.