WVU Announces Hiring Of New Outside Linebacker Coach

Dontae Wright

WVU Announces Hiring Of New Outside Linebacker Coach


Dontae Wright is headed to West Virginia to take over as the Mountaineers’ outside linebacker coach.

“Dontae is an excellent addition to our coaching staff and comes highly recommended,” WVU head coach Neal Brown said. “He brings years of defensive experience and has an ability to recruit with success in different areas of the country. I was impressed with his leadership and player development at each of his stops. We are looking forward to Dontae joining the Mountaineer Football program.”

Wright comes to Morgantown after serving as the safeties coach at Western Michigan for the past two seasons. He replaces Al Pogue, who left WVU to become the defensive back coach at Auburn.

He reportedly will earn $175,000 per year from WVU and will have a two-year contract.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity for me to be a member of Neal Brown’s staff, work with a great group of players and be a part of a program with the tradition of West Virginia University,” Wright said. “I’m looking forward to competing against the best in the conference, competing against the best in the nation in recruiting and assisting everyone in the football building to elevate our program. Growing up right outside West Virginia, I understand and respect what this state is about. I look forward to getting started.”

His safeties helped WMU turn around its scoring defense in 2019, yielding 25.9 points per game, the best for the program since surrendering just 19.8 in 2016, and nearly nine points per game better than the 34.5 points a contest allowed in 2018.

The unit was led by senior Justin Tranquill’s 83 tackles and two interceptions and junior A.J. Thomas’ 47 stops and six pass breakups. The group held three of its final five opponents to less than 150 passing yards. The 2018 season saw Wright guide Tranquill to 82 tackles and two pass breakups while Thomas finished with 47 stops.

Prior to WMU, Wright served as an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech for two seasons (2016-17), mentoring the specialists and the defensive ends. At the beginning of the 2017 season, Wright was promoted to defensive coordinator.

In 2017, the Golden Eagles yielded 15.8 points per game, dropping more than 11 points from the 2016 average of 26.9. Wright guided the 2016 defensive squad to five Ohio Valley Conference wins. The program ended the campaign on the upswing with consecutive victories against Tennessee State and Murray State.

Dontae Wright

Before joining Tennessee Tech, Wright spent three seasons (2013-15) at Morehead State. He was the defensive coordinator for the 2015 season and worked with the defensive line, special teams and was a recruiting coordinator during his tenure.

As the defensive coordinator, he lowered Morehead State’s points allowed per game by 18.3, which was the second-largest improvement for all Division I schools, FBS and FCS, from the year prior. The Eagles ranked in the top 10 in the FCS for interceptions (18) and turnovers (28) and in the top 20 for tackles for loss.

Wright also made a coaching stop at Centre College and spent two seasons (2010-11) at North Alabama, helping the Lions to a combined 18-8 record and an NCAA Division II playoff appearance.

Wright was a graduate assistant at Kentucky from 2007-09, working with the linebackers his first season and the defensive line the last two. During his time in Lexington, the Wildcats made two Music City Bowl appearances and one Liberty Bowl trip.

As a player, Wright was a linebacker at Miami (Ohio) from 2003-06 and was a part of two Mid-American Conference East Division championship teams. The RedHawks won the conference outright in 2003, earning a spot in the GMAC Bowl. They won a division crown in 2004 and participated in the Independence Bowl.

A native of Louisa, Kentucky, Wright earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Miami in 2007.

Performance Incentives

IncentiveAmount
Big 12 Champ
Game Appearance
$10,000
Big 12 Champ
Game Win
$10,000
Big 12 Low Tier
Bowl Appearance
$10,000
Big 12 Low Tier
Bowl Win
$5,000
Big 12 High Tier
Bowl Appearance
$15,000
Big 12 High Tier
Bowl Win
$5,000
New Year's Six
Bowl Appearance
$20,000
New Year's Six
Bowl Win
$5,000
CFP Semifinal
Appearance
$25,000
CFP National
Championship
Appearance
$25,000
CFP National
Championship Win
$25,000
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