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Mark Speir Adds Reuben Wright to Football Staff

May 10, 2017

Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina head football coach Mark Speir has added Reuben Wright to his coaching staff as the running backs coach. Wright, who played collegiately at Catawba College in the early 1990s, worked alongside current Catamount offensive coordinator Brad Glenn at two different high school coaching stops.

Wright replaces former assistant coach Jason Nichols who took a similar position at his alma mater, East Carolina, in late February. Wright officially started in Cullowhee on May 8, and inherits a wealth of talent including three-time 2016 postseason All-America selection, Detrez Newsome.

"Reuben is a tremendous football coach with a ton of coaching experience," said Speir. "He has spent a lot of time coaching on the defensive side of the football which I feel will prove highly beneficial as we scheme offensively in having his perspective in the offensive meeting room. We are thrilled to have him and his family join our Catamount family."

Wright comes 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. He is married to Dena Wright, and has two children, daughter Kennedy and son Cade.

Catamount football season tickets for all five home dates in 2017 are on-sale now through the WCU Athletics Ticket Office and online at Returning season ticket holders must renew their season tickets by mid-June, 2017. Fans can call the ticket office toll free at (800) 34-GOWCU or (828) 227-2401.

Fans can keep track of Catamount football through the Catamount Athletics social media outlets on Facebook (, Instagram (wcu_catamounts), and Twitter (@catamounts), as well as video updates on the department's YouTube channel (CatamountSports).