Stockstill names McCray to head defense

19-year veteran spent last four years at Wisconsin

February 12, 2010 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Stockstill announced today the hiring of Randall McCray as the Blue Raiders' defensive coordinator. McCray takes over for Manny Diaz who took the same job at Mississippi State.

"I am really excited about Randall and his family joining our staff," said Stockstill. "I have known and followed his career for the last 15 years. He will bring a great work ethic, enthusiasm, and knowledge to our defense as well as being very well respected in the country as a recruiter. Wisconsin was ranked extremely high in the final NCAA rankings in all the major categories and the experience he gained there should help our current defensive coaches to build on our defensive philosophy."

McCray, who recently completed his 19th year of coaching at the collegiate level, spent the past four seasons at Wisconsin. He coached the Badger defensive line in 2006 and 2007 before taking over as recruiting coordinator and outside linebackers coach in 2008 and handling the safeties in 2009. In four years at Wisconsin, McCray helped the Badgers to four bowl games and two bowl victories.

"My family and I are really excited about this opportunity and getting to Murfreesboro," said McCray. "Coach Stockstill is a great guy with a tremendous reputation in the business. He does all the little things that it takes to win games and he treats his players the right way. I am very anxious to get there, get started, and meeting the coaching staff and players."

In 2006 McCray guided a solid unit that helped Wisconsin become one of the nation's best defenses. Two of his playersMatt Shaughnessy (second team) and tackle Jason Chapman (honorable mention)earned All-Big Ten honors. The Badgers, who won a school-record 12 games in 2006, were No. 2 nationally in scoring defense (12.1 ppg) and fifth in the country in total defense (253.1 ypg).

Three of McCray's defensive linemen earned postseason accolades in 2007 as the Badgers participated in the Outback Bowl. Shaughnessy was a consensus second-team All-Big Ten choice while DT Nick Hayden earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. DE Kirk DeCremer was a first-team freshman All-American.

In 2008, McCray coached a pair of seniors, DeAndre Levy and Jonathan Casillas, who earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. The duo ranked second and third, repectively, on the team in tackles. McCray coached all-conference players Jay Valai and Chris Maragos in 2009 as the Badger defense became the first Wisconsin team to hold every Big Ten opponent under 100 yards rushing.

Four of his players are currently in the NFL with Shaughnessy a member of the Oakland Raiders, DeAndre Levy with the Detroit Lions, and Nick Hayden on the Carolina Panthers roster. Jonathan Casillas just won a Super Bowl ring with the New Orleans Saints.

Prior to joining the staff at Wisconsin, McCray coached the defensive line and linebackers during a three-year (2003-05) stint at Toledo. He left Toledo for Rice, where he spent two weeks as recruiting coordinator and safeties coach, just before moving to Wisconsin.

McCray coached Toledo's defensive line in 2005, helping the Rockets to a 9-3 record (MAC West Division co-champions) and a 45-13 GMAC Bowl win over UTEP. Toledo was 21st nationally in total defense in 2005 (316.8 ypg) and led the MAC in scoring defense (21.8 ppg), total defense, pass defense efficiency (111.0), tied for first in sacks (31) and finished second in rushing defense (125.6 ypg). Among McCray's top players was DE J.P. Bekasiak, who is now with Hamilton of the CFL. McCray coached the Rockets' linebackers during his first two years at Toledo. The Rockets won the MAC title in 2004.

In his first season at Toledo, McCray was faced with replacing two first-team All-MAC linebackers, David Gardner and Tom Ward, from the previous season. The two players who stepped in, Anthony Jordan and Brock Dodrill, finished the 2003 season ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in the MAC in tackles. In 2004, Jordan and David Thomas finished second and third, in tackles on the team, with 107 and 91, respectively. Jordan's total placed him 15th in the league.

McCray was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Illinois State in 2002 after serving as defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach for the Redbirds from 2000-02. In 2002, McCray guided Gateway Defensive Player of the Year Boomer Grigsby to three All-America nods and a third-place finish for the Buck Buchanan Award (top defensive player in Division I-AA football). McCray also coached two other All-Americans at linebacker, Galen Scott at Illinois State and Ronnie Merritt at Murray State.

McCray handled inside linebackers at Murray State (1997-99) and became the Racers' defensive coordinator in 1999; defensive ends at Bethune-Cookman (1996); was in charge of quality control at Clemson (1995); defensive line at Tennessee-Chattanooga (1993-94) and was a graduate assistant at South Carolina from 1991-92.

A two-year letterwinner as an outside linebacker and running back at Appalachian State, McCray was a member of the Mountaineers' 1987 Southern Conference Championship team, as well as two teams that advanced to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs.

McCray earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Appalachian State in 1991 and a master's degree in higher education from South Carolina. A native of Monroe, N.C., McCray and his wife, Michelle, have a son, Matt, and a daughter, Mallory.

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