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Coaches

Tyrone Wheatley
Running Backs Coach

Biography

Tyrone Wheatley was hired as the running backs coach for the Jaguars on Jan. 16, 2017. He joins the team after two years in the same role at the University of Michigan.

Tyrone Wheatley was hired as the running backs coach for the Jaguars on Jan. 16, 2017. He joins the team after two years in the same role at the University of Michigan.

Wheatley served under Head Coach Doug Marrone at Syracuse University (2010- 12) and with the Buffalo Bills (2013-14).

In 2016, Wheatley led a running back group that featured four rushers with 400-plus yards and accounted for a combined 25 TDs: De’Veon Smith (846 yds., 10 TDs), Chris Evans (614, four), Karan Higdon (425, six) and Ty Isaac (417, five). Wheatley’s group finished second in the Big Ten with 212.9 rushing yards per game, while Smith earned Big Ten co-Offensive Player of the Week after he tallied a season-high 23 rushes for a career-high 158 yards in Michigan’s win against Indiana on Nov. 19.

The 2015 Wolverine backs surpassed 2,000 rushing yards on the season, gaining 2,057 yards on 203 carries (4.2 avg.) with 27 touchdowns. The offense produced 200-yard rushing efforts in five games during the year, led by 254-yard outputs against UNLV and BYU and nine different Wolverines scored rushing touchdowns, led by Smith (six) and FB Sione Houma (five). Tailback Drake Johnson contributed four rushing scores and three others reached the end zone twice on the ground. Houma carried the ball 43 times for 184 yards (4.3 avg.) and scored fie touchdowns in 2015 after having never carried the ball prior to the year.

Wheatley finished his illustrious Michigan football playing career as the pro- gram’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 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, Dearborn Heights Robichaud 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 NFL seasons 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 back field 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 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.             

 

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