Norvell promotes Dickey to Offensive Coordinator
MEMPHIS – Memphis coach Mike Norvell announced a trio of staff promotions effective immediately. Darrell Dickey will become Memphis’ offensive coordinator, Kenny Dillingham will be elevated to a full-time assistant coach position as the quarterbacks and tight ends coach and Ryan Silverfield will add Tigers’ run game coordinator to his duties.
“The interest generated by our opening was remarkable,” Norvell said. “But after the process of visiting with a number of coaches and coordinators from a variety of schools and just about every conference across college football, I feel the best option to continue our high standard of offensive success is to promote from within our staff. Our players have done a great job in adjusting to the offensive system we brought here this past season, and I believe next season, we have a chance to build off what we did as a unit. With these changes, as well as Coach (wide receivers coach David) Johnson and myself, I feel like we will continue to have one of the top offensive staffs in the country.”
In 2016, the Memphis offense ranked 15th in the country with 38.8 points per game and 14th in passing efficiency with 304.4 yards per game.
Dickey, who was the Tigers’ co-offensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015, spent last season as the Associate Head Coach and running backs coach. He helped junior running back Doroland Dorceus to an 810-yard, nine touchdown rushing season and helped develop freshmen backs Patrick Taylor, Jr. (93 carries, 572 yards and two touchdowns), Darrell Henderson (87 carries for 482 yards and five touchdowns) and Tony Pollard (31 carries for 170 yards and one touchdown).
“Coach Dickey brings a wealth of experience coordinating explosive offensive units and I believe that with the offensive staff we have in place, the brightest days ahead for this Memphis Tigers’ offense. Darrell does a tremendous job of leading men and developing relationships not only with players, but also with everyone associated with our program. He has done an outstanding job over the last five years here in Memphis developing a running backs group that I believe is one of the most dynamic in the country.”
Kenny Dillingham spent last season as a graduate assistant coach and oversaw the development of the Memphis quarterbacks, including junior college transfer Riley Ferguson. Ferguson ranked 11th in the NCAA last season in total passing yards (3,698), leading the American Athletic Conference. He set a Memphis single season touchdown record (32), which also tied for 11th in the NCAA.
“Along with the move of Coach Dickey to the OC position, the promotion of Coach Dillingham to QB/TE coach is one that I believe will have a wonderful impact on our program,” Novell said. “Kenny and I have worked together for the past three seasons and I believe he is one of the top young offensive minds and teachers in the game. He did a tremendous job last season developing newcomer Riley Ferguson into one of the top rated QBs in the country and is excited about the opportunity to continue to enhance our TE position next season. He understands our offensive system inside and out and brings incredible energy and detail to the job in every area from building relationships, as a recruiter, on the practice field, as well as game day.”
The final piece of the promotions announced by Norvell will be offensive line coach Ryan Silverfield taking on additional duties as the Tigers’ run-game coordinator.
“Coach Silverfield will continue to coach and develop our offensive line unit while adding the responsibility of Run Game Coordinator,” Norvell said. “Ryan did a great job of leading a young group that improved throughout the season and I believe will continue to grow. He brings a wealth of knowledge from his years in the National Football League and will do a tremendous job assisting Coach Dickey in our run game plan of attack each week.”
The Tiger football team returns to campus for classes, beginning Tuesday, Jan. 17th. The team will open its spring practice on Thursday, Mar. 16th, practicing every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday through spring camp. The Tigers’ annual spring game, Friday Night Stripes, will be held on Friday, Apr. 14th.