Norries Wilson is in his third season as the running backs coach for Rutgers and second as the assistant head coach. Wilson helped mentor running back Paul James to First Team All-American Athletic Conference status in 2013, as he totaled 881 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground in nine games. James led the nation in rushing early in the season and went on to lead the conference with 97.9 yards per game. Freshman Justin Goodwin also broke through under the tutelage of Wilson with 521 yards rushing, including three total touchdowns in a triple-overtime victory at SMU. In addition, RU ran for 273 yards in its home opener against Norfolk State, the highest rushing total for the Scarlet Knights since the 2008 International Bowl.
In his first season “On the Banks,” Wilson played a crucial role in the development of Rutgers’ young running backs. Wilson helped sophomore Jawan Jamison have one of the most successful seasons in school history, as the ball carrier became just the seventh player in program history to record 1,000 yards in a season and the third since 1976. He earned Second Team All-Big East honors.
Following his 1,000-yard season, Jamison was a seventh-round NFL Draft pick of the Washington Redskins.
Under Wilson’s guidance, both Jamison and sophomore running back Savon Huggins recorded 41 rushing attempts in single games in 2012, a school record. Jamison became the first Rutgers running back since Ray Rice to post six-straight 100-yard rushing games, and was just the third player in the program’s history to do so.
One of the top assistant coaches in the nation while at the University of Connecticut, Wilson became Columbia’s 18th head coach in December 2005. Wilson’s student-athletes earned 33 All-Ivy League honors in his tenure, including two Rookies of the Year and 12 first team selections.
After a 4-6 (2-5 Ivy League) season in 2010, Columbia had a total of eight student-athletes named All-Ivy League in football, the second most in school history.
In 2009, Wilson led Columbia to a fourth-place finish in the Ivy League, the Lions’ best league finish in six years. Columbia also posted its most wins in six years as eight players earned All-Ivy honors.
Wilson, who served as offensive coordinator at UConn for four seasons, was one of five finalists for the Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2004, a season in which the Huskies led the Big East in both total and scoring offense. In 2003, he guided UConn’s offense that posted 477.5 yards per game, which ranked eighth in the nation. In 2002, Wilson was promoted to the Huskies’ offensive coordinator after joining the UConn staff in 1999 as offensive line coach. He continued to work specifically with the Huskies’ centers and guards.
Before UConn, Wilson spent four seasons at Bucknell. He was the Bisons’ offensive line coach in 1995 and 1996 before a promotion to offensive coordinator in 1997 and 1998. He was also defensive coordinator at Livingstone College (1993), offensive line/tight ends coach at North Carolina Central (1991-92) and graduate assistant at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota (1989-90).
Wilson was a captain and two-year starter for the Gophers. In 1985, the team defeated Clemson to win the Independence Bowl and competed in the Liberty Bowl versus Tennessee the following year. He was a three-year letterwinner in football, and earned two letters and qualified for the NCAA Championships as a heavyweight in wrestling. He graduated from Minnesota in 1989 with a degree in psychology.
In addition to his college coaching experience, Wilson has served minority coaching fellowships in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs (1992), the Jacksonville Jaguars (1995) under two-time Super Bowl champion head coach Tom Coughlin and the Indianapolis Colts (2000).
Wilson and his wife, Brenda, have three children – Cecil, Trinity and Sahara.
THE WILSON FILE
Hometown: Markham, Ill.
Alma Mater: Minnesota, 1989
Children: Cecil, Trinity, Sahara
2013-present: Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs
2012: Running Backs
2006-11: Head Coach
2002-2005: Offensive Coordinator
1999-2001: Offensive Line
1997-98: Offensive Coordinator
1995-96: Offensive Line
1993: Defensive Coordinator
North Carolina Central
1991-92: Offensive Line/Tight Ends
1989-90: Graduate Assistant
Captain and two-year starter at Minnesota, helping UM to victory over Clemson in the 1985 Independence Bowl. Qualified for the 1986 NCAA Wrestling Championships in the unlimited weight class.