The Official Site of the FIU Panthers
Apollo Wright
Position: Running Backs Coach
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
Alma Mater: Cheyney University
Graduating Year: 1998
Major: B.A. Recreation and Leisure Services (Cheyney Universiity)/ M.A. Education (Wagner College)
Experience: 15 Years
Apollo Wright Bio
Release: 04/17/2007

Apollo Wright begins his sixth season on the FIU football staff and third as the Panthers running backs coach. In his two years coaching the FIU offensive backfield, the unit has performed astonishingly, bolstered by a pair of veteran backs that will go down among the all-time leaders at the school - Darriet Perry and Kedrick Rhodes.

In 2011, Rhodes, a sophomore, put together the finest season by an FIU running back darting for a school-record 1,149 yards on 234 carries. Twice during the campaign he carried the ball 30 times, tying for third all-time in a single-game. His five 100-yard games have put him one away from tying the school career mark.

Perry finished his career in 2011, and partly under the tutelage of Wright, the veteran would go on to establish several new FIU rushing records. Most notably, during the 2010 season, Perry would tally 16 rushing touchdowns - a school-record - while the team finished with 26 total scores on the ground. Perry would ultimately finish his collegiate career a year later with 27 touchdowns rushing.

Wright previously served as FIU's special teams coordinator, and helped turn kicker Jack Griffin into one of the nation's finest and a Lou Groza Award semifinalist in 2011. Griffin has already set school-records for extra points and field goals during his two seasons at the position.

That string of special teams success was also seen in 2009, when the unit ranked 18th overall and first among the Sun Belt Conference teams in punt returns. The Panthers also ranked second in the SBC in kickoff returns and third in net punting. His top pupil, Freshman All-American T.Y. Hilton, led the Sun Belt and finished ninth nationally with an average of 14.78 yards per punt return and was also among the national leaders in kickoff-return average. Wright's punt team also ranked high, behind punter Carlos Munera, who averaged among the top-third of all FBS punters at 41.09 yards per punt.

Prior to arriving at FIU in 2007, Wright served as a member of the Villanova staff for six seasons as running backs coach and spent three years as the Wildcats' special teams coordinator. He played a major role in the performance and development of former NFL All-Pro Brian Westbrook, who rushed for 1,603 yards and 22 touchdowns en route to earning the Walter Payton Award as the I-AA National Player of the Year, the Atlantic 10 Conference Offensive Player of the Year and the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2001.

Wright also mentored Wildcats running back Terry Butler, who accumulated 2,080 yards on 464 carries (4.5 avg.) and 17 touchdowns in his four-year collegiate career before spending a brief career with the New York Jets.

Wright's responsibilities at Villanova also included the breakdown of opponent film, serving as the program's pro liaison and recruiting the states of Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C.

Prior to Villanova, Wright was the secondary coach at LaSalle University from 1999-2000. Besides his duties as secondary coach, Wright was also in charge of the kick and punt return schemes.

In 1999, he was a graduate assistant at Wagner College, drilling the defensive backs and wide receivers. Wright began his coaching career with his first stint at LaSalle as the assistant defensive backs coach in 1998.

Prior to his coaching career, Wright played football for four years at Cheyney University, including two seasons as the starting quarterback, before he graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in recreation and leisure services in 1998. He earned his master's degree in education from Wagner in 2001.