Rodrique Wright enters his fourth season with the Bearkats and his second defensive line coach. Wright has served his first two seasons as defensive ends coach as Sam Houston has rolled up a 22-9 record, and now holds a 34-10 mark during his tenure on staff.
During those campaigns, the Bearkats have reached the semifinals of the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs twice and the the quarterfinals in a third year, along with winning a pair of Southland Conference championships. They have also defeated 11 top 25-ranked opponents and finished ranked among the top five teams in the FCS national rankings all three years.
Under Wright, Bearkat defensive lineman P. J. Hall has flourished, being selected to nine All-America squads the past three seasons including the prestigious Associated Press FCS honor team in 2015 and 2016. He was also the runner-up for the 2016 Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in all of FCS.
Hall is a three-time first team All-Southland Conference selection and earned recognition as the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. He was named as the league's Freshman of the Year and placed third in the voting for the Jerry Rice Award as FCS Freshman of the Year in 2014. Following the 2015 campaign, Hall finished 15th in the voting for the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year.
Wright also directed Mouf Adebo to All-Southland Conference honors in 2014 for a Bearkat squad that ranked 24th nationally in total defense and third in the league in scoring defense. He followed that up with another all-league nod in 2016.
He has since been a part of the NFL's Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, spending time in camp in the summer of 2016 with the Seattle Seahawks and in the summer of 2017 with the San Francisco 49ers.
When Wright joined Keeler's staff in February, 2014, he brought experience as a player and coach at the FBS and NFL levels to Sam Houston State.
Wright worked two seasons as defensive special assistant for the University of Texas. He was an All-America and All-Big 12 defensive end for coach Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns, playing in 2002 through 2005.
He earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors and was a first team selection for both the Football Writers Association of America and Sporting News freshman All-American in 2002.
Wright was a two-time winner of the Longhorns' Outstanding Defensive Lineman Award (2003, 2004) and earned all-conference honors in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He was a Lombardi Award finalist and named AP and Walter Camp first team All-America in 2005.
Drafted by Miami, Wright played four years in the NFL for the Dolphins. He later played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL.
Wright was a Parade All-American and All-State player at Alief Hastings in Houston.