Phil Ratliff Returns to Marshall as Tight Ends Coach

May 15, 2006

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University head football coach Mark Snyder announced the hiring of former Thundering Herd All-American Phil Ratliff as the school's new tight ends coach Monday.

"I am excited about being able to bring home one of our own," Snyder said. "Phil is an outstanding coach and a quality individual that has a great rapport with his players. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be a valuable asset to our program."

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 Award, 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.

"It has always been a dream of mine to coach at my alma mater," Ratliff said. "I believe in what Coach Snyder is doing with the program and I am ready to help take it to the next level."

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). JMU head coach Mickey Matthews announced in April that Ratliff would also be taking on the offensive line coaching duties for the Dukes in 2006.

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 (9), and a son, Dylan (6).