Randall McCray | Arizona Cardinals

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Team: Arizona Cardinals
Organization: Professional Football
Position: Asst. Special Teams Coach
League: National Football League
Hometown: Monroe, North Carolina


A college assistant coach for 26 seasons, Randall McCray enters his first season in the NFL as assistant special teams coach with the Cardinals after being hired on 2/14/18. 

He came to Arizona after spending the past two years as Texas State’s assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. While at Texas State, McCray helped Bryan London II get named All-Sun Belt Conference second-team in 2016after ranking third nationally by averaging 11.8 tackles and 6.9 solo stops per game. London II led the Sun Belt in solo tackles and was second among league leaders in total tackles while also having two forced fumbles.

McCray went to Texas State after working for three seasons (2013-15) as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Gardner-Webb. During his three seasons, McCray’s defense held 13 different opponents to less than 100 yards rushing. DT O.J. Mau earned All-America honors for the third straight season in 2015 and DE Shaq Riddick earned FCS All-American honors and was fifth in the final voting for the Buck Buchanan Award in 2013. Gardner-Webb had 12 All-Big South defensive players during that span.

In 2013, Gardner-Webb’s defense was one of the most improved FCS units when it moved up 96 spots from the previous year and finished among in the top five in total defense. The Bulldogs set a Big South record by allowing just 296.8 yards per game and led the conference in rush defense (122.5 yards per game), pass defense (174.2 yards per game) and pass efficiency defense. They also led the league in opponent first downs, third down conversion rate, sacks and fourth down conversion rate. In 2015, Gardner-Webb finished in the top-15 in the nation in total defense. 

Prior to Gardner-Webb, McCray worked in 2011 as the special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Pittsburgh, helping the Panthers play in the BBVA Compass Bowl. In 2010, McCray served as defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State and the Blue Raiders led the Sun Belt Conference and ranked 10th nationally in tackles for loss and 17th in sacks to earn a spot in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. The Blue Raiders ranked second in the conference in scoring defense, passing yards allowed and pass efficiency defense and Jamari Lattimore earned Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year honors. DBs Rod Issac and Jeremy Kellem also earned All-Sun Belt first-team honors and DL Dwight Smith was named honorable mention. Issac was later drafted in the fifth round (147th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft by Jacksonville, the highest pick for a Blue Raider since 2003.

He spent four years (2006-09) at Wisconsin, coaching the defensive line his first two seasons (2006-07) before overseeing outside linebackers/recruiting coordinator in 2008 and safeties in 2009. During his four seasons in Madison, McCray helped the Badgers win 38 games. In his first season in 2006, Wisconsin ranked second nationally in scoring defense and finished fifth nationally in total defense while Matt Shaughnessy and Jason Chapman were named All-Big Ten. Shaughnessy and Nick Hayden earned All-Big Ten selections and Kirk DeCreamer was named to the freshman All-American squad in 2007.

As a recruiter, McCray’s 2008 signees included 2012 Doak Walker Award winner and two-time All-America RB Montee Ball – who finished as the NCAA’s career TD leader (83) – first-team All-Big Ten C Travis Frederick and All-Big Ten LB Chris Borland. Under McCray’s guidance, LBs DeAndre Levy and Jonathan Casillas earned All-Big Ten honors in 2008. In 2009, safeties Jay Valai and Chris Maragos captured All-Conference honors and Wisconsin’s defense held every Big Ten opponent it faced to fewer than 100 yards rushing. Six of McCray’s players went on to play in the NFL: Shaughnessy, Levy, Hayden, Casillas, Maragos and O’Brien Schofield. 

McCray coached the defensive line and linebackers at Toledo (2003-05). In 2005, the Rockets were co-champs of the MAC West, finishing 9-3 and beating UTEP in the GMAC Bowl after finishing with one of the nation’s top-25 teams in total defense. The Rockets led the conference in scoring defense, total defense, pass efficiency defense and sacks – and were second in the league in rushing defense. McCray also helped Toledo win the 2004 MAC title while LBs Brock Dodrill and Keon Jackson earned All-MAC honors in 2003 and 2004, respectively

He was an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Illinois State in 2002 after working as the Redbirds linebackers coach for two seasons (2000-01). In 2002, LB Boomer Grigsby earned first-team All-America honors, was named the Gateway Conference Defensive Player of the Year and finished third in voting for the Buck Buchanan Award after leading the nation with 179 total tackles (108 solo). He was drafted in the fifth round (138th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. McCray also tutored Illinois State All-American LB Galen Scott in 2000.

Prior to that, McCray coached for three seasons at Murray State (1997-99), the first two as inside linebackers coach before adding defensive coordinator duties in 1999. He tutored All-American LB Ronnie Merritt in 1997 as Murray State finished with the second ranked total defense in the nation. He was also defensive ends coach at Bethune-Cookman (1996), a quality control coach at Clemson (1995) and defensive line coach at UT Chattanooga (1993-94). McCray began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at South Carolina (1991-92).

McCray was a two-year letterman as a linebacker and running back at Appalachian State. He played on the Mountaineers 1987 Southern Conference championship team and played on two teams that advanced to the I-AA playoffs. The Monroe, N.C. native graduated from Appalachian State in 1991 with a degree in Communications and earned a master’s in Higher Education at South Carolina. McCray and his wife, Michelle, have a son, Matt, and a daughter, Mallory.

Randall McCray Coaching Breakdown

Year         School/Team                              Position

1991–92   University of South Carolina       Graduate Assistant

1993–94   Univ. of Tennessee-Chattanooga       Defensive Line         

1995         Clemson                                     Quality Control

1996         Bethune-Cookman University      Defensive Ends   

1997–98   Murray State                               Inside Linebackers          

1999         Murray State                               Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers           

2000–01   Illinois State                               Linebackers         

2002         Illinois State                               Asst. Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator

2003–05   University of Toledo                    Defensive Line/Linebackers

2006–07   University of Wisconsin               Defensive Line

2008         University of Wisconsin               Outside Linebackers/Recruiting Coordinator

2009         University of Wisconsin               Safeties

2010         Middle Tennessee State             Defensive Coordinator     

2011         University of Pittsburgh               Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers

2013–15   Gardner-Webb University            Defensive Coordinator/Secondary

2016–17   Texas State                                Asst. Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/LBs

2018–       ARIZONA CARDINALS                Assistant Special Teams

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