Tyrone Wheatley becomes the twenty-second head football coach for MSU after ‘stored’ history

After more than a year search for a new head football coach, Tyrone Wheatley, assumes the position.

Penelope Blackwell, Editor-in-Chief

After five coaches in seven years, Morgan State University officially welcomed the new football head coach, Tyrone Wheatley, and announced its commitment to refurbish the current track and field before the 2019 football season.

Wheatley, who served as running back coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars over the past two seasons, said he plans to “bridge the history to the future.” He wants to build on the success of Morgan’s past and inspire current team members to reach the heights of the school’s four NFL Hall of Famers.

Morgan President David Wilson welcomed the new coach and said that after a “long and stored athletic history, Morgan needed a cultural shift.”

Wheatley’s press conference on Tuesday lasted 30 minutes, but the search to bring him here lasted a little over a year after former head coach Fred Farrier was fired on Dec.17, 2017. The administration slowly considered the next hire and acknowledged it need to bring in a stellar candidate based on its past hires.

“Here, at Morgan we never want to forget our past,” Athletics director Edward Scott added. “We always acknowledge where we are in the present, but we are always building for the future…and that’s why we took the time that we did.”

After a long search, Morgan “will enter the season, for the first time in about seven years with no Academic Progress Rate (APR) or National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) infractions,” Scott said.

In 2017, the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions found two major infractions cases, where Morgan improperly certified the eligibility of 94 student-athletes and provided financial aid to students.

Wheatley’s hire is expected to provide balance for a football program searching for stability.

Scott also added that during the recruiting season: “Not a single person has left [the] program.” He believes this speaks volumes to the current state of the program and what lies ahead with Wheatley as the leader.

Wheatley has also worked as the running back coach for both the NFL’s Buffalo Bills from 2013 to 2014 and Syracuse University from 2010 until 2012.

He also played 10 years in the NFL for the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders from 1995 to 2004 after finishing his Michigan football playing career as the program’s second-leading rusher (he’s now fifth), and also earned All-America honors in the 110-meter hurdles as a track athlete in 1995.

After Wheatley’s experience on the collegiate, professional and coaching level, he considers it a privilege to lead the men of Morgan through the game of football.

“My goal is for [the team] to play great football, graduate and bridge the historic greatness of the past to now…that’s what I want to build here and I want it to transcend forever,” he said.

Wheatley asked during his press conference that the Morgan community offer physical support and give the team the chance to demonstrate improved results.

“We need your support,” he said. “The support to fill those stadiums in blue or orange, that’s what we need now.”