Former Thundering Herd All-American Phil Ratliff returned to his alma-mater as tight ends coach in May of 2006.
During his time at MU, Ratliff has coached and helped to develop all-conference standout and 2009 Mackey Award semi-finalist Cody Slate at tight end. Under his tutelage, Slate led Marshall in receiving for two consecutive years and finished the 2009 season among the top pass-catching tight ends in the nation. In addition to this, Ratliff coaches 2010 Preseason Conference USA tight end Lee Smith who is a candidate for the Mackey Award.
Ratliff was a two-time All-American selection as an offensive lineman at Marshall from 1989 to 1992 and was captain of the Thundering Herd's 1992 NCAA Division I-AA National Championship team. Ratliff won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is presented annually to the Southern Conference Lineman of the Year, in 1992. He returns to Marshall following a two-year stint as tight ends coach at James Madison University.
During his two seasons at JMU, Ratliff helped the Dukes post a 20-6 overall record and win the 2004 NCAA Division I-AA National Championship. He also coached all-conference tight ends Casime Harris (2005) and Tom Ridley (2004)and recruited current Jacksonville Jaguar Michael Caussin.
Prior to his tenure at JMU, Ratliff was the head football coach at Spring Valley High School from 2000-2003. He led the Timberwolves to the West Virginia Class AAA state playoffs in 2001, 2002, and 2003 and was named the Mountain State Athletic Conference's Coach of the Year in 2001.
Ratliff was a student assistant at Marshall in 1993 following his collegiate career. He went on to serve as defensive coordinator at Lawrence County (Ky.) High School from 1994 to 1999. The native of Louisa, Ky., received his bachelor's degree in elementary education with a specialization in special education from Marshall in 1994. He and his wife, Jenni, have two children - a daughter, Haley, and a son, Dylan.