Brian Wright | Pittsburg State University

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Team: Pittsburg State University
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Head Coach
Hometown: Wooster, Ohio


Brian Wright recently completed his third season as head coach of the Pittsburg State University football program by leading the Gorillas to the 2022 MIAA Championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Wright, who was hired as the Gorillas' 15th all-time head coach on Dec. 7, 2019, has compiled a 22-6 (.786) record in three seasons leading the Pitt State program.

He guided the Gorillas to an 8-3 record in his first full season in 2021, after helping Pitt State post a 2-2 mark during his debut 2020 season that was shortened by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Gorillas were one of just 10 NCAA Division II program to play games during the fall of 2020.

In 2022, the Gorillas enjoyed their first 11-0 unblemished regular season since 2004. Pitt State capped the regular season on Nov. 12 with a 35-14 win over Fort Hays State and three days later Wright was honored as the 2022 MIAA Coach of the Year. The Gorillas earned the program's 19th all-time trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs, defeating Indianapolis (35-0) in the first round before falling to Ferris State (17-14) in a hard fought second round game.

Including four games as interim head coach at Florida Atlantic in 2013, Wright's career coaching record stands at 26-6 (.813) following the 2022 season.

Wright came to Pitt State after serving the previous four seasons as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at the University of Toledo. 

In his four seasons with the Rockets, Wright has helped guide offenses that have been among the best in the Mid-American Conference while boasting four NFL draft picks.

In his debut season at Toledo in 2016, Wright guided one of the nation’s most explosive offenses, helping the Rockets attain a 9-4 record and a berth in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. Toledo shattered school records for total offense (517.8 ypg) and passing offense (322.8 ypg). Under Wright’s guidance, Toledo finished the 2016 season in the top 10 nationally in five offensive team categories: passing efficiency (second-183.3); third-down conversions (fifth-51.1%); total offense (seventh-517.8 ypg); red-zone offense (ninth-92.0%); and passing offense (10th-322.8 ypg). Toledo led the MAC in total offense, passing offense, and passing efficiency.

In 2017, Wright helped guide a Toledo offense that drove the Rockets to a MAC Championship. UT finished with an 11-3 record and defeated Akron in the MAC Championship Game. Toledo ranked first in the MAC in total offense and passing efficiency, and second in scoring offense and passing offense. For his efforts, Wright was a nominee for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s top assistant coach.

As a team in 2018, Toledo led the MAC in scoring (40.4 ppg) and was second in total offense (443.8 ypg), while this past fall, Toledo has ranked second in the MAC in rushing (224.5 ypg) and fifth in total offense (434.1 ypg).

Prior to coming to Toledo, Wright coached at Florida Atlantic for four seasons as the Owls’ offensive coordinator. Wright stepped in as interim head coach for the final four games of the 2013 season, leading the Owls to four consecutive victories and bowl eligibility (6-6) for the first time since 2008.

Before his stint at Florida Atlantic, Wright spent two seasons at Montana State as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Wright’s two Bobcat offenses averaged 440.6 yards per game, the most productive two-year span in school history. After leading the Big Sky Conference in scoring offense, total offense and passing offense in 2010, Wright’s unit topped the league in scoring offense and total offense in Big Sky games in 2011.

Before heading west to Montana State, Wright served nine years at perennial FCS power Youngstown State. Wright joined the Penguins’ staff in 2001 as quarterbacks coach, also working as offensive coordinator from 2005-09. Wright helped engineer record-setting offenses at Youngstown State, with the team winning two Gateway Conference championships and advancing to the 2006 FCS Final Four. 

Wright began his collegiate coaching career at Walsh (Ohio) University as a graduate assistant in 1995-96. After a year as a graduate assistant at YSU in which the Penguins won the NCAA Division I-AA national title, Wright returned to Walsh in 1998 and served until 2000. He first began working with wide receivers and was then elevated to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

A native of Wooster, Ohio, Wright earned his bachelor’s degree in business from the College of Wooster in 1994 and his master’s degree in education from Walsh in 1998. He and his wife Laura have three children:  Jake, Marielle and Joseph.

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