Miles College announced Friday that Reginald Ruffin will take the helm of the Golden Bears athletic program. Ruffin has spent the last seven years as the head football coach for the Golden Bears and will remain in that position. The change is effective immediately. He replaces Phillip Wallace, Jr., who served as Director of Athletics for the past eight years. Wallace will remain in his position as head women’s basketball coach.
“I am truly humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead Miles College Athletics under the guidance and leadership of President George T. French, Jr,” Ruffin said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for my family. I understand the responsibility I now have to continue to uphold the high standards for excellence for our scholar-athletes set by former Athletics Director Phillip Wallace, Jr. I’m looking forward to being part of the world-class tradition of excellence that characterizes the student-athlete experience at Miles College.
“It’s a great day for the future of Miles College Athletics.”
Ruffin has led one of the most successful eras in Miles College football history. He enters his eighth season as the head football coach for the Golden Bears with two Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships as well as an additional SIAC Championship game appearance. Over seven seasons, Ruffin has won 60 percent of his games, going 45-30 overall.
Coach Ruffin is a 1998 graduate of the University of North Alabama and holds a Master’s degree in Education Administration from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. After graduation from UNA, Ruffin served as athletic director and head football coach at Choctaw County High School in Butler, Ala. He has also had successful assistant coaching stints at North Alabama, West Georgia, and Tuskegee.
His success as a coach and administrator followed one of the most decorated careers a student-athlete has enjoyed at North Alabama. During Ruffin’s playing days at the UNA, he became the Lions’ second three-time All-American and is the only Lion to be named All-America at two different positions: as a defensive end in 1995 and 1996, and as a linebacker in 1997. A four-year starter, he established a school record with 34 career sacks and the school single-season sack record with 11 in 1994. The Lions went 43-9 during his career and won two Division II National Championships.
The Miles College athletic department saw unprecedented growth under Wallace. In the classroom, the athletic program had a cumulative grade point average over 3.0 for the past eight years. The Golden Bears landed eight student-athletes on the 2017-18 SIAC All-Academic Team with three squads – baseball, women’s basketball, and men’s golf – each having the top cumulative grade point averages among conference schools in their sport. This year, 32 percent of all Miles student-athletes made either the President’s List or the Dean’s List. Graduation and retention rates have also been on the rise.
On the field, the Golden Bears won two SIAC titles in football and softball and additional league championships in baseball and men’s golf during Wallace’s tenure. The athletic department also saw the hiring of new coaches in football, baseball, men’s basketball, volleyball, cross country, track and field, and men’s golf; two full-time female head coaches, and two full-time athletic trainers. He has put an emphasis on rules education, annually sending Miles coaches and administrators to attend the NCAA Regional Rules Seminar.
Courtesy: Miles Athletics