The slogan says that “Football is Family” but you should always put your actual family above the game. Oklahoma assistant coach Ruffin McNeill is doing that.
McNeill, the Sooners’ assistant head coach and outside linebackers coach, is temporarily stepping away from the game to care for his aging father in North Carolina. Oklahoma announced the news this evening.
McNeill has been on the OU staff for the last three seasons and says he has no intention of retiring.
“This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make,” McNeill said. “But in the end, being near my dad was a necessary choice. Right now I need to be a son again and I need to help my brother and other family members take care of my dad, who is battling significant health issues. This is not retirement for me. I still want to coach in some form or fashion. But right now that can’t be the case. My focus needs to be on my dad back in North Carolina.”
McNeill to temporarily step away from football.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) January 23, 2020
McNeill coached defensive tackles for Oklahoma in 2017 and 2018 and was the interim defensive coordinator for the final eight games of 2018. Prior to coming to Norman, he was the assistant head coach and defensive line coach at Virginia in 2016.
From 2010-15, McNeill was the head coach at East Carolina, compiling an overall record of 42-34 with four bowl appearances. He was an assistant coach at Texas Tech from 2000-09.
We send McNeill and his father our best wishes.