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Official release: Football staff adds Uzo-Diribe, McClure

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Official release: Football staff adds Uzo-Diribe, McClure

Postby PonyPride » Thu Mar 11, 2021 4:29 pm

From SMUMustangs.com:

Mustang Football Announces Defensive Coaching Hires

DALLAS (SMU) – Head Coach Sonny Dykes has announced the hiring of Chidera Uzo-Diribe as the Mustangs' new defensive line coach, as well as the promotion of Stefan McClure to assistant coach in charge of cornerbacks.

Uzo-Diribe comes to the Hilltop after two seasons at Kansas, most recently serving as outside linebackers coach, while McClure moves up after joining the Mustang staff in 2019 as a defensive graduate assistant.

Prior to working with the Jayhawks, Uzo-Diribe spent three seasons (2016-18) as a graduate assistant with the defensive line and outside linebackers at Colorado. Uzo-Diribe spent the 2016 season with new Mustang Defensive Coordinator Jim Leavitt.

In the summer of 2018, he participated in the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship Program with the San Francisco 49ers, a program created to offer minority coaches more opportunities to learn, coupled with great exposure to job opportunities. He was also named to 247Sports' most recent 30-Under-30 list along current SMU running backs coach Ra'Shaad Samples.

Uzo-Diribe was a four-year letterman at Colorado and finished his career tied for sixth in sacks (20), tied for 17th in TFLs (31), and second in forced fumbles (10). In 2013, he ranked second nationally in forced fumbles with five, and was on the final watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award for the nation's top defensive end of the year, while also opening the season on the Bednarik Award Watch List. He went on to sign as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints in 2015.

McClure arrived on the Hilltop after a stint in the NFL as part of the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Football Team. He was with Indianapolis in 2016 before moving to Washington and making the 53-man roster in 2017.

In 2020, McClure helped mentor Brandon Crossley to a national ranking of eighth in interceptions with four, including one for a touchdown at Tulsa, one in overtime against Tulane and one in the end zone against Memphis. Brandon Stephens registered a team-high 11 passes defended, which led the American Athletic Conference. He went on to earn a selection to the 2021 NFL Combine and NFLPA Bowl.

In 2019, SMU registered 21 takeaways, which ranked fourth in the conference. Transfer running back turned defensive back Stephens, who started all 13 games, finished second in the league with 12 pass breakups. Ar'mani Johnson also had a breakout season for SMU, finishing third in the conference with 11 PBUs.

The collegiate standout was a three-year starter at Cal and the only player in history to serve as team captain at the school for three seasons. In 2015, McClure was a member of the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List, a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 accolades and was selected as Cal's winner of the prestigious Joe Roth Award, which honors the player who best exemplifies courage, sportsmanship and attitude. He also earned the inaugural Frank Storment Award in 2014, honoring Cal's outstanding student-athlete from southern California.

The Mustangs open the 2021 season at home against Abilene Christian on Sept. 4. For ticket information, call (214) SMU-GAME (768-4263). Season ticket renewals are available by logging in to your SMU account or calling the SMU Ticket Sales Office.
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