Tuskegee Names Reginald Ruffin as New Football Coach, Athletic Director

Reginald Ruffin

Reginald Ruffin – Photo from Tuskegee University

Tuskegee University has announced that Reginald Ruffin will be the new athletic director and head football coach. Ruffin comes from Miles College in metro Birmingham, where he held the same two positions.

The university’s news release does not mention the status of current head football coach and athletic director Willie Slater.

“We are excited to see the return of Reginald Ruffin to Tuskegee,” said President Charlotte P. Morris. “He has proven himself a leader in SIAC football, and we look forward to him taking our program to the next level.”

Ruffin returns to Tuskegee after completing one of the most successful decades in the history of Miles College and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In nine seasons at the helm of the Golden Bears, Ruffin has led the program to four SIAC championships and an additional SIAC Championship game appearance. The school has also made two NCAA postseason appearances. Over nine seasons, Ruffin has won more than 60 percent of his games, going 59-39 overall, and was named SIAC Coach of the Year three times.

Ruffin spent five seasons at Tuskegee as the defensive coordinator and linebacker coach from 2006-2010. As defensive coordinator at Tuskegee, Ruffin had the SIAC’s top scoring, pass, and rushing defense in 2007. His team’s defense finished second in scoring and among the leaders in most defensive categories in 2008 and posted the league’s top defense in 2009.

Before his first stint with the Golden Tigers in 2002-2003, he served as athletic director and head football coach at Choctaw County High School in Butler. Other stops included times at West Georgia, his alma mater, North Alabama and Jackson High School in Jackson, Alabama.

Ruffin is a 1998 graduate of the University of North Alabama and holds a Master’s degree in Education Administration from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During his playing days at the UNA, he became the Lions’second three-time All-American and is the only Lion to be named All-America at two different positions: a defensive end in 1995 and 1996 and a linebacker in 1997. A four-year starter, he established a school record with 34 career sacks and the school single-season sack record with 11 in 1994. During his career, the Lions went 43-9 and won two Division II National Championships. In 2020, he was inducted into the UNA Athletic Hall of Fame.

In 1994, Ruffin was selected Gulf South Conference Freshman of the Year. In 1995, he was selected first-team All-Gulf South Conference, first-team CoSIDA NCAA Division II All-South Region, third-team CoSIDA NCAA Division II All- American, third-team C. M. Frank All-American, and honorable mention Football Gazette All-American in 1996. Ruffin was selected second-team All-American in 1996 by the Associated Press, CoSIDA, Football Gazette, and All-Gulf South Conference and first-team CoSIDA All-South Region. In 1997, he was selected first-team All-American by the Associated Press, Football Gazette, American Football Coaches Association, and second-team All-American pick by Daktronics as a linebacker.

Ruffin is the father of one son, Gabriel.