Oklahoma’s defensive coaching staff took another hit on Thursday when Ruffin McNeill announced that he would be temporarily stepping away from football to help care for his father.
McNeill is Oklahoma’s assistant head coach and has the responsibilities of coaching outside linebackers. He has also coached defensive tackles for the Sooners but is probably best known for being named interim co-defensive coordinator for the final eight games of 2018 after the firing of Mike Stoops.
Making it clear that he didn’t see his coaching days as being behind him, McNeill is choosing to put family ahead of football right now.
“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.”
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