Ole Miss announces hiring of Wes Neighbors III as Rebels’ new safeties coach
OXFORD, Miss. — On Tuesday evening, Ole Miss officially announced the hiring of Maryland safeties coach Wes Neighbors III to serve in the same capacity for the Rebels.
Head coach Lane Kiffin continues to rebuild his defensive staff this offseason after co-defensive coordinator Chris Partridge and linebackers coach Maurice Crum were not retained. This past week, Ole Miss hired former Alabama defensive coordinator Pete Golding for the same role on the Rebels’ staff.
Neighbors III heads to Oxford after a brief stay on the Terrapins coaching staff where he was hired last February. Prior to that, he served as the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns safeties coach in 2021 where he helped lead them to a 13-1 season and a Sun Belt Championship.
During Neighbors’ time in Lafayette, the Ragin Cajuns had one of the nation’s top defenses, ranking No. 14 in FBS passing yards allowed in 2021. During that time his defense only allowed 18.5 points per game and held eight of its 2021 season opponents to under 20.
Prior to joining the Cajuns’ coaching staff Neighbors spent the 2020 season in South Florida as the Bulls secondary coach.
Neighbors knows what it takes to work and build alongside Coach Kiffin as he was with him at both Alabama and FAU, serving as the safeties coach for the Owls from 2018-2019. With Neighbors coaching the FAU safeties, in 2019 the defense set a program record with 21 interceptions. They also led the nation in total takeaways (33), interceptions (22) and turnover margin (+21).
Success with the Tide
One of the most impressive parts of Neighbors’ resume is his time as a student-athlete and staff member in Tuscaloosa where he was part of five national championship Crimson Tide Teams in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017.
After a four years of dedicating his blood, sweat and tears to Alabama where he played safety for the national champions, he turned in his cleats for a coaching hat. He started out as a student assistant in 2011 and was later elevated to an off-field graduate assistant (2012-2013), a defensive intern (2013-2014), and then a defensive analyst in 2015.
Neighbors will brings an elite level of experience and will also serve as another solid defensive recruiter for the Rebs.
NEIGHBORS III COACHING CAREER
2011-12: Alabama (Student Assistant)
2013: Alabama (Defensive Intern)
2014: Alabama (Graduate Assistant)
2015-17: Alabama (Analyst)
2018-19: Florida Atlantic (Safeties)
2020: USF (Safeties)
2021: Louisiana (Safeties)
2022: Maryland (Safeties)
2023-Present: Ole Miss (Safeties)
Lee Ann is the Director of Recruiting for The Rebel Walk. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL content writer. She is also the Sr. Editor for MESPORTS digital. Herring-Olvedo is a Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games, and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.