Richard Wright enters his third season as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach after serving as Northwest’s defensive line coach and coordinator of special teams since 2004.
The 2012 Bearcat defense was nothing short of spectacular, ranking among the nation’s elite in scoring defense (second), turnover margin (third), pass efficiency defense (seventh), pass defense (12th) and total defense (17th).
In his first season as the defensive coordinator, Josh Lorenson became the 10th All-America defensive lineman to play under Wright. The 2011 season also saw his defensive unit hold opponents under 100 yards rushing four times and under 100 yards passing three times.
Northwest tied for the most sacks in the nation in 2009 when 19 Bearcats combined for 48 sacks. Former player and current graduate assistant Kendall Wright enjoyed one of the most decorated seasons as a return specialist in 2008, earning All-America accolades. During Coach Wright’s tenure, 10 Bearcats have combined to earn 14 All-MIAA honors as either a lineman or return man.
Two former players have been on NFL rosters, Dave Tollefson and Steve Williams. Each have spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots. Tollefson is a two-time Super Bowl Champion earning his first ring with the New York Giants in 2007 and again following the 2011 season.
Wright got his first taste of Bearcat football when he served as a graduate assistant at Northwest in 1995 and 1996 where he was the tight ends coach. Before coming back to Northwest in 2004, Wright served as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at St. Ambrose (Iowa) University from 2000-03.
Prior to St. Ambrose, Wright made stops at William Penn (Iowa) College and Central Methodist College (now University) and Dakota State University.
Wright began coaching during the 1991 season at Cortland State before spending time at Dana College (Neb.) from 1993-94. Covering several facets of coaching, Wright has been an offensive coordinator, linebackers coach, wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator.
A native of Hamilton, N.Y., Wright earned his bachelor’s degree at Dana College in 1995 and his master’s at Northwest in 1996. Wright resides in Maryville with his wife, Sarah, who is also a Northwest alum, and their daughters, Grace and Kate.