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Football Coaching Staff
Reuben Wright
Assistant Coach / Defensive Line
Coach Info:
Position: Assistant Coach / Defensive Line
Alma Mater: Catawba College
Graduating Year: 1994
Phone: 828-227-7395
Email: rywright@email.wcu.edu

Reuben Wright joined the Western Carolina football coaching staff as the running backs coach in mid-May, 2017. During the off-season prior to the 2019 campaign, Wright returned to the defensive side of the football, assuming the role as the defensive line coach.

A veteran assistant coach with a knack for defense, Wright returns to the defensive line where he inherits a youthful - but talented - side led by Adam Henderson (28 tackles) and Ricky Palao (24 tackles).

In 2017 and 2018, Wright worked with a very talented group of running backs that included All-America tailback Detrez Newsome. He helped mentor the eventual Los Angeles Chargers signee to his third-consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season in 2017. During the 2018 season, two tailbacks in Connell Young and Donnavan Spencer split the reps, both eclipsing the 500-yard mark respectively behind 1,000-yard rushing QB Tyrie Adams. Spencer scored four TDs while Connell had five scores - two on the ground, three through the air out of the backfield.

Wright came to Cullowhee with a wealth of coaching experience including eight different stops at the high school level. He most recently served as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for a season at Greenwood High School in Greenwood, S.C. Prior to that, he spent four seasons as the head coach on the sidelines at Carolina High School and Academy in Greenville, S.C., where he mentored Zykiesis Cannon who went on to play at Louisville.

Wright's coaching stints also include serving as the assistant head football coach at Eastside High in Taylors, S.C.

Between his numerous prep stops, Wright has also coached at the collegiate level, spending two seasons at Presbyterian College where he worked primarily along the defensive line. In his first season with the Blue Hose defensive linemen, he mentored end Sherman Burnett to All-State honors. His unit ranked inside the national top 20 for defensive tackles for loss. He also helped recruit current Arizona Cardinals three-time Pro Bowl selection, Justin Bethel.

Prior to making the jump to the collegiate ranks, Wright spent two years as the defensive coordinator at Blythewood High in Blythewood, S.C., just outside of Columbia where he was also the strength and conditioning coordinator. While at Blythewood, he helped mold the Bengals in their inaugural season in 2006, helping the squad to a 14-1 overall record and the 2006 South Carolina AAA state title. Wright's defense featured all-state performer and Georgia signee, Charles White, and held opponents to just 14.7 points per game in the 2006 season.

Additional prep coaching stops in the Palmetto state include defensive coordinator at Seneca High (2004-05), and as an assistant coach at Northwestern High (2001-04) where he helped the program to a Big 16 state runner-up finish in 2001. His career started at Greer High (1994-2000) where he patrolled the sidelines for seven seasons, working alongside Glenn at both Seneca and Greer. The two helped guide the Yellow Jackets to an undefeated, 15-0, season and the AAA state championship in 1994, and two Upper-State runner-up finishes in 1999 and 2000.

Captain of the 1993 Catawba football team, Wright earned his bachelor's degree in history from the college in 1994 before earning his Master's in education from Converse College in Spartanburg. Wright is married to Ms. Dena Wright, and has two children, daughter Kennedy and son Cade.