East Carolina University head football coach Scottie Montgomery announced on Friday that Tabs Rodrique Wright will join ECU as the new defensive line coach for the team.
Wright will terminate his current position at Sam Houston State University in Texas prior to joining the Pirates’ staff. He has worked at SHSU for four years overseeing the Bearkats’ defensive line for the past two seasons.
"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.
During his time at SHSU, the Bearkats rolled to a 46-12 overall record and a 31-4 Southland Conference mark. They reached the semifinals of the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship (FCS) playoffs three times, and the quarterfinals in another year. Though the team never won a FCS championship, he also helped SHSU to two Southland Conference (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 the nation's top-20 in third down defense (32.9 percent), earned a No. 6 seed in the playoffs and defeated South Dakota University and Kennesaw State University before falling at North Dakota State University in the semifinals on Dec. 15.
Under Wright’s watch, Bearkat defensive lineman P.J. Hall earned a selection to more than 10 All-American squads in the past three seasons, including the Associated Press FCS team. He was also a three-time finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, equivalent to the FCS Defensive Player-of-the-Year honors.
Prior to joining the SHSU staff in February 2014, Wright worked a combined three seasons as a student assistant and defensive special assistant for the University of Texas beginning in 2011.
From 2002-05, Wright was a player for the University of Texas Longhorns, an All-American performer and All-Big 12 defensive end under head coach Mack Brown. Wright played a key role in capturing the 2005 BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl for UT. He made a total of seven appearances as either a player or coach while at UT.
"He has 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,” Montgomery said.
Wright earned All-Conference honors in 2003, 2004 and 2005 while playing for the Longhorns and was also a two-time winner of the Longhorn’s Outstanding Defensive Lineman Award in 2003 and 2004. He was a Lombardi Award finalist and named AP and Walter Camp First-Team All-America in 2005.
Wright played for four years in the NFL after being drafted by the Miami Dolphins and later experienced action for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the Dallas Vigilantes of the Arena Football League. As a prep athlete, Wright was a Parade All-American 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 and will continue his defensive line coaching career at ECU in the fall of 2018.