Tyrone Wheatley

Tyrone Wheatley hired as Wayne State head coach

Former Morgan State head coach Tyrone Wheatley is back in the college coaching ranks.

DETROIT – Wayne State University Interim Director of Athletics Erika Wallace has selected Tyrone Wheatley as the next football head coach for the Warriors.  He will become the 20th head coach in program history, which enters its 106th year and 105th playing season (due to COVID in 2020).

“I am beyond excited to welcome Coach Wheatley and his family to the Wayne State community,” stated Wallace.  “Coach Wheatley has a passion for developing the student-athlete not only on the field, but off.  His ability to mentor men, develop talent, and recruit will elevate our football program.  I’m looking forward to watching his leadership as he guides our Warrior student-athletes into a new era.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t thank CarrSports Consulting for its professionalism and guidance throughout the search process as well as the search committee which consisted of staff, coaches, faculty and football alumni,” remarked Wallace.

“First of all I would like to thank Wayne State University, President M. Roy Wilson and athletic director Erika Wallace for the opportunity to lead a great university and its football team,” commented Wheatley.

“Throughout the interview process, Mrs. Wallace showed that Wayne State was well prepared and very detailed in what they wanted in the football program and the direction of the athletic department.  This made me really excited about the job.  I am looking forward to coming home, as they always say there is no place like home.  No matter where I have been, I’ve always tried to recruit the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit.  I am pleased, honored and blessed to be back home and to coach at Wayne State University.”

Wheatley is a 16-year coaching veteran, including five years in the National Football League.  He most recently served as the running backs coach for the Denver Broncos.

Prior to joining the Broncos, Wheatley served as Morgan State’s head coach for three seasons from 2019-21.  During his tenure, he led the program to five wins despite the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s cancelation of the 2020 fall football season (COVID-19).

Tyrone Wheatley

Overseeing Jacksonville’s running back room from 2017-18, Wheatley helped orchestrate a rushing attack that averaged 124.6 rushing yards per game over his two seasons. In 2018, the Jaguars posted the NFL’s best rushing attack (141.4 YPG) and tallied the second-most rushing touchdowns (18) that year.

Before Jacksonville, Wheatley spent the 2015-16 collegiate seasons coaching running backs for his alma mater, the University of Michigan. Wheatley was part of a coaching staff that guided the team to consecutive 10-3 seasons and back-to-back appearances in a bowl game.

In his first season at Michigan, the Wolverines rushing attack collected over 2,000 yards on the ground with 27 touchdowns. The following year, Michigan rushed for 212.9 yards per game and registered 304 rushes for 2,768 yards (4.8 avg.) with 41 scores.

Wheatley’s first stint in the NFL came as running backs coach for Buffalo from 2013-14.  In his first season with the team in 2013, the Bills produced the league’s second ranked rushing attack (144.2 YPG) and had two rushers (C.J. Spiller & Fred Jackson) who each collected over 850 yards rushing while combining for 11 rushing scores.

Preceding his time in the NFL, Wheatley spent five seasons coaching running backs in the collegiate ranks. He spent the 2008 season at Ohio Northern before spending one season (2009) at Eastern Michigan and three years (2010-12) at Syracuse.

Tyrone Wheatley began his coaching career at Robichaud High School where he served as head football coach for the Bulldogs in 2007.  That season, Robichaud went 9-2 in the regular season and was a perfect 6-0 in league play.

He earned three consecutive All-Big Ten accolades (1992-93-94) after graduating from Dearborn Heights Robichaud High School.

As a sophomore in 1992, Wheatley won the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year award and concluded 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 TD’s and one on a kickoff return.

Tyrone Wheatley would surpass the 1,000-yard rushing plateau each of his finals two seasons garnering 1,129 yards and 1,144 yards, respectively.   He completed his Wolverine career with 4,187 rushing yards, 510 receiving yards and 53 total touchdowns.

In addition, he had a standout track and field career for the Maize and Blue winning three letters (1993-95).  Wheatley 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-10 times in Michigan history in the 100-meter dash (8th / 10.46) and 110-meter hurdles (5th / 13.77).

He was a first round draft selection by the New York Giants in 1995 (17th overall) and concluded his 10-year professional career by spending the last six seasons with the Oakland Raiders.  Between the two organizations, Wheatley rushed for 4,962 yards and 40 touchdowns, while adding 900 receiving yards and 705 kickoff return yards.  He played in the 2003 Super Bowl as a member of the Oakland Raiders.

Tyrone Wheatley earned his bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology in 2008 from Michigan.  He and his wife Kimberly have five children:  Tyrone, Jr., Terius, Tyrique, Tiana and Tamari.  Tyrone Jr. is currently a member of the Cleveland Browns organization as an offensive tackle, while Terius played running back at Virginia Tech in 2018 and 2019, before finishing his collegiate career in 2021 at Morgan State playing for his father.

The Inkster native was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.  He was also selected as the top Michigan High School athlete of all-time by State Champs in 2017.

Tyrone Wheatley hired as Wayne State head coach
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